My daughter was two…

I took her to the mall and she was cranky. Cranky for a reason that only she could understand and sadly she wasn’t able to communicate her feelings to me in the way that I wanted her to.

While walking from one store to another, she decided to have a tantrum. I tried to quietly talk to her and pick her up, but she wasn’t having it. So I sat down on a bench that was right beside where she decided to have her meltdown (luckily for me). I sat and waited. I sat as she cried really loudly and freaked out. I don’t even remember what triggered it.

An older woman was sitting next to me and boy was she giving us stink eye. I smiled at her and kept waiting. I used all of my Supermommy powers to sit patiently while she let it out. I successfully ignored the people staring at us.

That same woman said to me disapprovingly, “Are you just going to leave her there?” I just smiled and said, “Yes.”

It was only a minute but it felt like a lifetime.

Sometimes Mommy needs to step away from the situation. If I had picked her up it would have been a struggle all the way to the car and we would have ended up at home. I would have been angry, frustrated and I may have yelled at her.

I gave her space and time to express herself. It was far from pleasant, but she finished her tantrum, walked over to me and if you can believe it we stayed at the mall quite happily for about an hour.

This wasn’t her only tantrum and I find that giving her space is what works. What bothers me is why complete strangers feel like they need to interfere. My daughter was not in danger and in my opinion unless you need to call 911 for me or offer up a lovely compliment you should stay out of it.

What ever happened to “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”?

Has this happened to you? How did you deal with it?

  • Silke

    Sorry to hear that this stranger tried to make you feel bad. Fortunately, I had the exact opposite experience when my toddler decided that he had to have a tantrum while walking outside. He threw himself on the sidewalk and wouldn’t move. I just stood 5 metres away and waited. In the meantime a stranger with her son came by and saw me and my toddler. She actually gave me the thumbs up for standing my ground and letting my toddler get rid of his frustration. I hope you will encounter more strangers like this in the future (I will try to give the next mum the thumbs up as well).

  • Catherine

    this happened to me once in an underground parking lot with my son. He was so strong I couldn’t do anything about the fact that he was thrashing about screaming and kicking on the dirty pavement with garbage everywhere and oil leaks. I was waiting it out when a woman driving by rolled down her window and said “You should spank him”. Unbelievable.

    • Maani

      Some people are just unbelievable! 
      My blood just boils over and I want to react right then. You already are totally out of patience and have the pressure of hanging on for your child, but no, you must deal with this too.  How can anybody spank a baby whose already bawling his guts out?  My girl has just turned two and I’m learning my  lessons.  But what I want to know is how do you deal with these nosy people in front of your baby who wants to know and speak every word you say!  

  • Ingrid

    We’ve all been there!!  Surely every child has chosen an inopportune time to  have a total meltdown…usually in front of the most judgemental person in the mall/store/street.  I totally believe that kids need to blow off steam and get it ‘out of their system’ so good on you for letting her express her frustrations despite the disapproving stares and judgemental comments.  You’re right, once it’s over it’s like a ‘reset’ button has been hit and they come around to their amazing little selves.
    Not quite tantrum related but I had someone come up to me in the grocery store and ask if my 7 month old baby was dressed warm enough.  Granted we were in the dairy aisle which is always chilly, but it was a warm day, she was dressed in two layers AND she was right next to me in a baby carrier!  My first instinct was to explain all of this too her, but then I realized it really just wasn’t any of her business so I just said “She’s fine”.  Another mom had overheard the exchange and came over to me an winked saying – ‘they’ll always find something wrong with what you’re doing’.  And boy, did that make me feel soo much better; a sympathetic comment, rather than a judgement on my ‘terrible’ parenting. 

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