That Mom with the Child Throwing a Tantrum

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little-girl-throwing-tantrumWe’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

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  1. Hah! I was that child. 🙂 I was just a high energy kid and having a temper tantrum seemed to get it out of my system. My mom actually designated a spot in the house as my tantrum spot. It was right by the kitchen and whenever I felt the urge to tantrum, I would just go to that spot and jump up and down and scream until all of it was out of my system. It would make the entire house shake (it is a Craftsman built in 1909) and I still remember the satisfaction of that now, at the age of 35!

  2. Oh, my goodness. I have completely been there and done that. I’ve had Norton scream the entire time we were in Costco. It’s helped when another mom has come up to me and said not to worry about it, we all go through it and it’s okay. I’ve done that with other moms… and when I hear someone else’s kid screaming aisles away? I feel a bit of relief because I know that it’s not my kid screaming this time. 😛

    I just try to rush through the shopping as quickly as possible if de-escalating the rage fit doesn’t work.

  3. Oh yeah, I’ve been there. My oldest is usually that child throwing a temper tantrum. Yep. My middle only throws one if she’s tired. The youngest only cries when he wants me. He usually stops as soon as I pick him up. I’ll admit, I’m sooo grateful that I only have one so far that throws temper tantrums like that. I’d be bald or permanently locked in my bathroom if I had more than one. My girl does cry a lot, usually because big brother is picking on her or pissing her off.

    1. I hear that! I am really glad that my oldest is too old for temper tantrums now though he is starting the lightly enter teenaged angst. Thankfully even that hasn’t been too bad at all. He’s very easy in that respect. If I had to deal with two tantrum throwers I would be more grey than I am now. I sometimes say, ‘Kid, you’re lucky that you’re so cute” 😉

  4. My Daughters In The Middle Of One NOW LOL! She Screams Bloody Murder Over EVERYTHING, IT DRIVES ME NUTS, Her Siblings Can Just Touch Her & She Makes A BIG Deal Of It! LOL! THANK GOD SHE DON’T DO IT IN PUBLIC! It’s True All Mother’s Know What It’s Like….. XO

  5. I have to share, a few months back, I actually went to do some shopping WITHOUT the kids, which has never happened before. I was really missing them and kept looking for them as I was shopping. When I got to the checkouts, this lady had 2 screaming kids…..I wanted to go thank her for helping me stop wishing the kids had been with me at the store. Ha!

    I have been lucky, there have been very few occasions where my kids have had tantrums in the store, they have always been pretty good. On the occasion that it has happened, I quietly tell them their behavior is unacceptable while we are at the store, and then finish our shopping. We live too far away from the stores to just leave and go back another time.

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