The Worst Part About My Toddler’s Public Temper Tantrum

child having a public temper tantrum, public meltdown

I have to say that I’ve been VERY fortunate to not have to deal with a public temper tantrum for the entire 3 years since becoming a mom, until recently. To be honest, I’ve been dreading it because I don’t know how to react or how I would handle it. My daughter is really sweet and cheerful; and although she would sometimes cry in public, she would ALWAYS listen to whatever I told her. Things would never escalate to a temper tantrum. I guess she learned early on that when Mommy says no, there’s nothing she could do to change that. But, of course, my son is different. Although he is a happy and easygoing child,  he is also very strong-willed. When he says no, it would always be a challenge to get him to change his mind. And the same goes for when he wants something. And it was while I was out with him, when I got judged as a mother. He had a public meltdown; a full-blown temper tantrum that lasted for a while.

It happened in one of those seemingly normal afternoons, when my husband and I picked up the kids from the daycare. As soon as we entered my son’s room, he immediately told me that he wants to be carried; of course, I obliged. We spent around 10-15 minutes in his room talking to his teacher to find out how he did that day. And then we went to the playground to pick up my daughter. We spent another 10-15 minutes in the playground playing with my daughter while trying to find out from her teachers how she did that day. We then had to go back to my daughter’s room, on the other side of building, to get her jacket. At this point, my arms and back were already hurting since I’ve been carrying my son while we did all of these. I wanted to get the jacket as quickly as I could so I decided to leave my son outside the room, with my husband and my daughter, while I grabbed my daughter’s jacket. As soon as I went out of the room, my son told me he wants to be carried again. But since my arms and back were still hurting, and all we had to do was to get outside the building and walk to the parking lot, I told him that he has to walk. That’s when it happened, my son had a temper tantrum in public.

He sat on the floor, screaming while crying, and started kicking. I did what any parent would during the situation. I stood my ground so he’d know that he won’t get everything he wants just by crying. He would get up and walk a few steps, but then would go back to sitting on the floor kicking while screaming and crying. This went on for a while; and then one lady interfered. She looked at me like I’m the most horrible person in the world, and told me she was bothered because I wasn’t picking up my son and just letting him cry. And that really infuriated me! I managed to tell her to shut up because it was none of her business; before I focused my attention to my son again.

A few minutes later (but felt like eternity), I managed to get my son to our car and we went on our way home. After my son calmed down and I talked to him about what happened, I still couldn’t shake how that lady made me feel. And then it hit me, the worst part of a public temper tantrum isn’t the actual meltdown, it’s the part where you are being judged, by strangers, as a mom. Let me tell you why.

She Was Bothered Because I Wasn’t Picking Up My Son & Just Letting Him Cry

Who in their right mind would just let their child cry and not comfort them? Of course, it broke my heart seeing my son crying like that. I wanted so much to give in to what he wanted, hug him as tight as I could, carry him all the way to the parking lot, and just ignore the pain I’ve been feeling that afternoon. But if I do that, he’ll know that he’ll get anything he’d want just by crying. Not to mention that my daughter was watching too; so she’d also know that she can get away with anything just by crying, if I gave in.

It was really tough trying to do the right thing when all you want to do is the opposite. I knew in my heart, that if I stood my ground, it’s going to help how he (and she) reacts to things moving forward. And as a mom, that is worth standing my ground for.

She Interfered In One Of The Teaching Moments My Kids & I Have

She interfered while I was trying to teach my son a valuable lesson. She told me, in front of my kids, that she was bothered by how I was handling my son’s temper tantrum. Sure, my son probably didn’t hear her; but my daughter did. And what will that tell her? That what Mommy was doing was ALL WRONG! That I really should have just given in to what her brother wanted; but instead I was choosing to be firm and ignore his brother’s feelings. BUT THAT LADY WAS WRONG!

She Made Me Feel Like A Horrible Person

The moment she interfered with a disgusted look in her eyes, and said those words, I doubted myself; not just as a mom, but also as a person. All the while, I was confident that I was doing the right thing for my family; but all the confidence went out the door as soon as she entered the picture. And I felt like the most terrible person in the word.

Of course, I am not a perfect mom; I’m totally far from that. I’ve made a lot of wrong decisions in my life, and I did a lot of things I am not proud of; but those don’t necessarily make me a horrible person. I’ve recognized my mistakes and I’ve learned from them; and I always try to do the right thing moving forward.

She Only Saw A Glimpse Of Our Lives

Isn’t it just completely wrong to judge someone when you didn’t know the entire story? She didn’t know our story, what went on through our day, and what led us to that public meltdown. She didn’t know what it’s like to live my life, or our lives for that matter. She didn’t even know how I am as a mom, as a wife, as a friend, and as a person. All she saw was that few minutes when my son was having a public meltdown. And yet, she felt she had the right to judge how I was choosing to handle the situation?

She Simply Doesn’t Have The Right To Do That

No mom should ever feel like they’re a bad parent when all they’re trying to do is the right thing for their families. And we shouldn’t be explaining why we’re doing such things to anyone other than our husbands and our kids. No one has the right to question how we raise and discipline our kids, except our partners.

A Message To All The Judgemental People Out There

The next time you feel the urge to interfere with a mom handling her child’s public temper tantrum because you disagree with how she’s handling it, make yourself useful by letting the mom do her job and just walk away; and DO NOT aggravate the situation by telling her how she should discipline her child. Remember, it’s her child, not yours! And because unless your opinion is solicited, it won’t matter.

I do realize that this won’t be the last time I’ll be judged as a mom. But I will stand my ground each time. If how I raise and discipline my kids bothers strangers, then that doesn’t make that my problem. It’s theirs!

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Did your child ever throw a temper tantrum in public? Read on to find out what's the worst thing that could ever happen during temper tantrums. | temper tantrums toddler | temper tantrums in older children | public temper tantrums | public meltdown | mom problems | motherhood | parenting | motherhood problems | motherhood struggles | parenting struggles | parenting stress | motherhood stress

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