Does anyone else hate being judged when their toddler is throwing a temper-tantrum in public?

Josie - posted on 09/16/2012 ( 20 moms have responded )

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How do you handle peoples' comments when you are trying to just finish up shopping and some has the nerve to call you a "bad parent" because you "let" your child cry and have a tantrum? I was shopping today with my husband and end up leaving the store in tears myself because of rude comments that were made by some women who told me to "keep my baby quite" and "he's been crying for 15 minutes do something already! Seriously parent him don't just ignore him " (really we were only in the store literally 8 minutes by the time i left empty handed and crying) What happen was we made a stop at Starbucks outside the store and when my 19 month old son decided he wanted my iced coffee. To make it short I obviously wasn't going to let my toddler have coffee. So anyway, he was upset and threw a tantrum in the department store. I was trying to make light of it, I offered him juice (which he threw of course) and just kept telling him "Sorry Will no coffee for 2 year olds" Then the women 3 separate time comments and tells me to "pick him up and cuddle him" I said "If I take him out of the the stroller he will first off run around the whole store and secondly I'll never get him back in."So she call be a lazy parent and walks away, so i take him out and he tries to run all over the store and when i pick him up he throws another tantrum because now he wants rein of the store. As I pick him up off the floor now in full meltdown mode she gives me a dirty look and says "Wow, you really are a terrible mother" I left in tears. Do any moms out there have similar stories? How did you deal with the guilt of being a "terrible parent?" Please help me, Thank you!

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Linda - posted on 09/16/2012

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Your worth as a mother, or as a human being for that matter, does NOT depend on anyone else. Do not take anything a stranger says with more than a grain of salt. You should have followed your own instincts and NOT taken him out of the stroller. Almost every mother has had a child who had a temper tantrum at one time or another. Personally, when I see a kid having a tantrum, I'm thinking "I'm glad I'm not in that stage anymore!" and feel sorry for the mother. I also think when you have a child with a tantrum, your two best options are (1) ignore him (as you were doing), or (2) take him out of the store if you are able. Cuddling him would be the absolute worst option because it would encourage further temper tantrums, which usually start in the first place because the child wants your attention and wants something he can't have.

Charla - posted on 09/16/2012

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My 2 yr old does the same thing to me. I let him cry and scream. A lady once told me that I need to pick him up and hug him and to not just let him scream....... I told her that she is not him mother and if she doesn't want to hear him scream then for her to leave. I understand that some people dont have kids and dont want to go out and hear kids cry but I will not stop my day and what I have to do to please some one else. My 2 yr old is not the type of kid that will stop doing things that he is not suppose to because I hug him or take him out of the situation. ( he is very stubborn). With my experince I would say... don't ever let your kids control what you do. And never let some ignorent person bring you down!

Ariana - posted on 10/02/2012

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People who make ridiculous comments like that either don't have kids or can't remember when they did.



The first time my son threw a tantrum in a store I laughed and said "who's kid is that anyway?" I mean what else can you do? Next time someone says something like that tell them to mind their own business. Or just smile and say of course you, a stranger, would know how to take care of my child better then me, what was I thinking? Then laugh and turn away. People are rude, you can't reason with idiots.

VANIA - posted on 10/01/2012

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Hi Josie T,



I don't have a similar story, because I've never had a stranger react in such a rude manner to my public parenting skills. However, I have 6 children, 3 which are toddlers and so I completely understand your point of view. I would have probably left the store once the tantrum started, unless what I needed was a necessity (diapers, milk etc). Sometimes as parents we have to know when to throw in the towel, to keep our own sanity, smile.



Take care and good luck.



p.s. You should have gave those ladies dirty looks and told them to mind their own business, you had more important things to handle besides their rudeness.



Vania

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User - posted on 09/25/2012

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That's happened to me, but I didn't leave the supermarket crying. I felt as if the old woman was literally following me around the store, while my 2yo was throwing her tantrum in the trolley. The old lady pissed me of by saying that I was the worse mother she had ever come across and that I should be more attentive to my girl. I had 3 other kids in tow, so what I did was, I looked at her and said loud and clearly 'if you think you can do a better job, you take her and we'll see if her tantrum stops!' A few other mothers that were shopping with their Littles actually applauded me for my comment. But what made it even more effective, I left the bitch with my girl and walked up the aisle I needed to go to, to get a few things. It stopped her from nagging me, and my baby girl stopped her tantrums. She hasn't had a public display like that for almost 3 years.



You basically ignore what the people around you are saying, if they make rude or nasty comments about your parenting skills, thrust you're child into their arms and stand there as if waiting for the best advice, be completely arrogant about it too. If that person thinks they know better, get them to prove it.

Rebecca - posted on 09/18/2012

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I feel for you, her attitude was just plain rude you did exactly what I would have done. only instead of calling me a bad Mom people usually just try and offer him candy with-ought asking me if it is alright! which causes more problems when I just take it away from him since I don't believe in rewarding tantrums. just ignore these people and hold your head high you are doing right by your child.

Ella - posted on 09/18/2012

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Gosh that woman really was in the wrong,no one should pass judgment it is so confident breaking for the parents,I used to live next to an old lady who's kids had grown up n moved away,she always liked to pass judgment on my parenting commenting how she thort I was to soft and my lad was sooooooo bad lol at the time her words stand like wasp sting I lost a lot of confidence in the way I parented n when I met my sons now stepfather n we had another child I suffered horrendous postnatal depression ,the lady's comments weren't solely to blame but they didn't bloody help neither I have since moved and moved on n realise now that no matter what she thort she shouldn't have said those hurtful thing,it really isn't others place,your child's behaviour,paddys wot ever is between u n ur family!!!no one eles

Ella - posted on 09/18/2012

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Gosh that woman really was in the wrong,no one should pass judgment it is so confident breaking for the parents,I used to live next to an old lady who's kids had grown up n moved away,she always liked to pass judgment on my parenting commenting how she thort I was to soft and my lad was sooooooo bad lol at the time her words stand like wasp sting I lost a lot of confidence in the way I parented n when I met my sons now stepfather n we had another child I suffered horrendous postnatal depression ,the lady's comments weren't solely to blame but they didn't bloody help neither I have since moved and moved on n realise now that no matter what she thort she shouldn't have said those hurtful thing,it really isn't others place,your child's behaviour,paddys wot ever is between u n ur family!!!no one eles

Josie - posted on 09/18/2012

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Thank you all so much for your words of wisdom, I am feeling much better about the whole situation. I even have plans on going back to the store today, toddler and all, to finally pick up the few things I need before the sale ends. Wich me luck!

Chaya - posted on 09/17/2012

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When my toddler would throw a temper tantrum, I would pick her up and carry her out, I told her we can't go shopping or whatever when she throws a temper tantrum. If we can't go grocery shopping, we don't get dinner. It worked eventually, but she was five by the time it did.

Screw the women who clearly don't know jack about children. You'll eventually realize what a treasure you have in your kid, probably already have. We all have times we wish to beat our kids to a bloody pulp.

Jennifer - posted on 09/17/2012

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Wow! What an unfortunte encounter with someone who probably never had to deal with children. Geesh! Sorry you had to deal with such stupidity.

I have learned from working with kids and then having my own, that it is very unfair to judge others based on what their kids do, within reason. (running completely amok while being unattended is another story...) You never know what the story is. Is the child tired? hungry? bored? angry over something that happened earlier? dealing with special needs? You were doing exactly what you should have. Kudos to you!

Anyone who has had kids understands. I find myself wanting to approach moms like you and just give them an encouraging "Atta girl! Your doing great Mom!" Heaven knows I could use that once in a while.

Last year my daughter (then four and who is very spirited) was throwing a tantrum over marshmallows. We were late for lunch, but I was trying to do a quick pick up because I wasn't feeling good. I was about ready to leave the store. She did the "follow Mommy and throw the fit where she can see her" bit. I knew the whole store could hear. (sigh) Finally, I just picked her up under one arm and proceeded to the checkout. Now, she is quite tall for her age, so I know it looked worse than it was. As I rounded the aisle a little old lady and her husband were tooling down the main aisle. I smiled and put on my "Go ahead and say something, I dare you" face and kept walking. I spent the time in the checkout line holding onto my kid with one hand and putting the items on the belt with the other. Then I "potato sacked" her over my shoulder to pay. I felt bad because I got the pregnant checker! LOL.

When she was younger, I found myself once sitting in the middle of the floor at Best Buy helping her "take a break". People just looked and walked around us.

Your job is to be the parent, no matter where you are or who is around. I know it's hard because you don't want the stares and incredibly stupid comments. I'm still self-conscious, but I know I have to do what is right for my child and what works for her.

A friend of mine said when she went out with her son, she would take a "tantrum in progress" sign to hang on the cart to ward off unwanted comments.

Kimberly - posted on 09/17/2012

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OMG that is shocking!!!! Fair enough I may have thought stuff about some kids in shops but I would never in a million years actually think that it is anywhere in my right to openly judge and critize another parent!!!! I have been on both the viewing and recieving end of some tantrums and it does make it harder when you can feel people watching you but I always think at the end of the day, my daughter is almost three and usually tired when tantrums happen because she is emotional on the other hand the people judging me and her are usually over 20 and have no excuse for there rude comments and looks!!!! I was once stopped by a lady who decieded that she should cross the veggies section of the store to inform me that it was ' incredablly irresponsible for me to have my baby so lightly dressed in such a cold airconed shop and I should do a better job to take the care to dress her properly!" mean while we live in the tropics and I just came from a hot car so I decieded to thank her for decieding to make her unwanted options known to young first time parents so that in future we could be aware of how rude some people could be to stranger while walking away! I am proud to say that I am one of those terrible parents because I refuse to give into the demands of my toddler just so she will not disturb other people, when they start raising her then they can have a say in what she can and cant have until then mind your own bussiness!

S. - posted on 09/17/2012

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Please don't feel like a "terrible parent" that woman should feel guilty for being a terrible person! My 2 year old can paddy, everyones two year olds can paddy and in public it's the worst but carry on what you are doing and f**k everyone else! I'd ignore my daughter as well! If you give in to it you tell them "ok do it again next time were here" the key is to stay calm the minuet you get flustered is the minuet the kid wins and you start to hear the tutting and rudeness of strangers. If your calm and a stupid cow says something to you, you'd Handel the situation better. Have a bit of confidence in your ability and they do grow out of it :)

Amanda - posted on 09/17/2012

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I wouldn't have been able to keep my mouth shut.



My SIL is the worst for giving out so called parenting advice. She doesn't have kids and has no experience with kids of any age whatsoever. She won't dare say anything to me again about how I parent my kids. She did it once and I let rip on her. How dare a stranger or anyone judge the way we are parenting. It's none of their damn business.

Jodi - posted on 09/16/2012

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I think I would have probably told her to fuck off. Actually, a good comeback would be "And you are a terrible person, and you can't change that."



I did have a lady go off at my daughter once. My daughter was standing in line at the supermarket, and this lady had a stroller and was trying to get through. I hadn't seen her, neither had my daughter, and I heard her yell at me "Get your fucking kid out of my way, get out of the fucking way kid". I was absolutely shocked, but I turned around to her and went off at her. I told her that if she spoke to her kids like that, then that's her problem, but don't you DARE speak to my child like that. A simple excuse me would have sufficed. That woman was still ranting at me all the way out to the carpark, and I just totally ignore her.



Some people simply aren't worth giving the time of day. They are especially not worth showing they have upset you.

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What a bitch! Should have told her to mind her own business the first time she commented. That's what my hubby did when some old bag was blaming me for my little one being a bit loud. (he wasn't even having a tantrum, he was squealing with pleasure)

My guess is that stupid woman has no kids of her own otherwise she would have known better than to be so hurtful.

Juliannemarie - posted on 09/16/2012

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Shes just a rude bitch. Next time that happens, tell the person he's your child and you parent him the way you want because you know whats best for him.

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