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I recently received a request to do an interview on stroller etiquette. What a great topic! The interview gave me an opportunity to think through the issues that come up when people pushing strollers encounter tight spaces and crowded places and the manners that can help navigate them. It’s clear that there is etiquette to be found on both sides of the stroller. As with so many of our manners, stroller manners emerge from those three basic principles that form the foundation of all our etiquette advice at The Emily Post Institute: consideration, respect, and honesty. Stroller etiquette seems to be rooted primarily in the principle of consideration. Angela Hill, who wrote the article for MercuryNews.com, describes with humor and accuracy the potential situations that can arise: triple wides on a narrow sidewalk—strollers on public transportation at rush hour—what to do with a stroller in a restaurant while you eat—strollers so loaded with “stuff” the child has to walk anyway—and more! At the end of the article Angela shares my list of stroller manners. I love the title she created for the list:
How to Keep the Peace
Consider whether a location is “family friendly.”
In restaurants, place child in high chair, then move stroller out of the way to a coat check area or lobby.
Have a back-up lightweight, collapsible model for travel and public transit.
Be considerate. Don’t block others when it's avoidable. Say please and thank you.
Be patient. Caring for small children isn’t easy!
Expect crowds of kids at amusement parks.
Open doors to help the parent.
If you’re blocked, ask politely for the stroller to be moved.
Be considerate. Go around. Say please and thank you.
I’m so glad Angela prompted my attention to this particular set of everyday manners! Thanks…
This article originally appeared as a post on Cindy's parenting blog, The Gift of Good Manners, which is now part of The Etiquette Daily.