'Stroller Rage' Is Real, And Science Explains Why It Happens


If you often feel pretty angry while out and about with your child strapped inside his stroller, there’s new scientific proof to explain why. As a matter of fact, there’s a new report that suggests “stroller rage” might be the new car rage, as more and more parents are feeling pretty upset over how many pedestrians make it difficult for them to navigate the streets of their hometown.

To put it in simple terms, stroller rage – or pram rage if you live across the pond – is when someone experiences an unhealthy amount of sidewalk rage in a very pedestrian heavy city with their child’s stroller. This is because many people are usually unaware of proper stroller etiquette. For example, a mother might stop in the middle of a sidewalk to tend to her tired or fussy child, despite the fact she’s done so in the middle of pedestrian traffic. As a result, she blocks everyone in her way.

In other example, many people often get frustrated when parents use their children’s strollers as grocery carts, storage bins, or as a way to push their way to the front while crossing a heavy intersection or trying to get on a crowded bus or train. There’s also the fact that so many people park their strollers in areas that make it hard for others to walk or maneuver around them, especially in restaurants, bars, and department stores.

According to Fatherly, more and more disgruntled parents and pedestrians alike are sharing their frustrations over improper stroller etiquette, especially in big, metropolitan cities. Strollers block people and their goals, which make them even more angry. One blogger even wrote, “It’s strange. I was never one for road rage. In, fact if anything I was the slow-anxiety-ridden driver causing traffic and inducing fury in others. But put me behind a stroller and I feel rage like no other.”

Credit: iStock / goodmoments

The difference between stroller rage and car rage is that more often than not you can’t release your anger by flipping the bird at a stranger and in front of your child, no less.

David Wiesenthal, a road rage expert at York University in Canadatold Fatherly, “Cars provide a means of aggression as well as a means of escape. In a car you’re anonymous and you’ll probably never encounter the other drivers again.”

Many parents agree that the best thing you can really do is practice good stroller etiquette and hope that others will follow suit. That, or you can simply practice your patience. For starters, if you have to pause or stop for some reason, try to find a spot where you can pull the stroller safely off to the side. Blocking a walkway when people are behind you waiting to pass is considered bad stroller manners. Always push your stroller on the right side of walkways and corridors. Your fellow travelers will appreciate it. Also, when traversing a narrow sidewalk with people walking towards you, practice good manners and let them pass. Don’t hastily try to wedge your stroller past them.

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