We’ve all seen her. The mother with the child throwing a tantrum. We stare at her and look down our noses saying that our child would never act like that in public and if he or she did we would march right out of there that instant.
She sees you watching her as her ears and cheeks turn red. She wants nothing more than for her child to magically stop the tirade and behave. You see, she can’t leave right that second. She has groceries or some household necessities to buy and this is her only time to run errands. Her child may be late for a nap or just in a crappy mood. Yet we still look down our noses.
I was that person. The person who mentally wagged my finger at this mother with her ill-behaved child. See, it was easy for me to judge because my oldest has never thrown a tantrum in his life. Seriously, not one. Ever. I clearly had this parenting thing down to a science and surely she didn’t give him discipline, let her get away with murder, or just wasn’t a very good mother.
Then the universe played a cruel joke on me and turned me into that mother by giving me that child. The high needs child that will throw a tantrum at the drop of a hat for seemingly no reason. He threw his first tantrum at less than 12 hours old and has thrown one (or more) just about every day of his life since then. No matter what we say, do, or take away the tantrums persist and there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.
So instead of staring at the mom whose child is having a tantrum in public and whispering about her and her bratty child, just give her a smile. She is just as horrified as you are by her child’s behavior. Actually, more so.
How do you handle public temper tantrums? Do you leave, ignore it and go about your business, redirect the child’s attention? Something else?
Photo Credit: Katy Stoddard via Flickr