Dad writes a post about restaurants and tantrums that all parents can relate to
We’ve all been there: you’ve managed to make it through dinner at a restaurant relatively unscathed when your toddler suddenly remembers she’s two, and decides to act accordingly. The tantrum comes on. Followed closely by the judgment of onlookers. There is literally no way to win once your kid acts up. Any move you make will be judged — by someone.
One dad’s post about dealing with a tantrumming child has gone viral, because so many parents can relate. The worst part of your child throwing a tantrum in a restaurant isn’t even the tantrum itself — it’s the way you’re made to feel when you are trying to diffuse it.
Parenting writer Clint Edwards of No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog, was recently out to dinner with his wife and three children — ages two, seven, and nine. When his toddler began acting up, Clint was the only one finished with dinner, and hence got the luck of dealing with removing said toddler. “I’m stuck in the van with my toddler. We went out to dinner as a family, and she had a meltdown because mom wouldn’t let her throw chicken strips,” he begins his now viral post. “So she screamed, and screamed, and kicked and kicked, and since I was the only one finished with my meal, I had the pleasure of dragging her out of Red Robin.”
“I carried her past the bar and everyone stared at me, most of them childless, I assumed. No one with children would give me that straight faced, lip twisted, look that seems to say, ‘if you can’t control your kid, then don’t go out,'” he writes.
If the screaming toddler doesn’t kill you, the judgment you face while attempting to calm that toddler will certainly twist the knife. “I used to be a server, and I used to complain with a lot of other servers about people’s kids,” Clint tells Scary Mommy. “Now I’m on the other end of that equation and I want to have a conversation with my former self about the realities of parenting.”
We’ve all had that karma return, haven’t we? Our parenting is top-notch before we actually have kids. We have all the answers.
“She’s two and it’s going to take years to teach her how to act appropriately in public, and the only way I am ever going to teach that is to take her out and show her what’s right and wrong. By saying no a million times, letting her throw a fit, and telling her no again,” he writes. And it’s true. How can our kids learn how to behave in a public setting if we don’t give them the opportunity to get used to it? There are some people who would love it if families were shut-ins until their kids reached a certain age — but too bad. That’s not how any of this works.
“No no one said anything. It was just a general feeling,” Clint tells Scary Mommy. “The kind of feeling you get whenever you drag a fit-throwing child out of a restaurant. Lots of dirty looks. Sadly most parents know this feeling.”
Yes, we do.
“I get it. Kids are irritating when they are loud in a restaurant. I know. I’m living it,” Clint writes. “But before you get angry and judgmental, realize that what you are witnessing is not bad parenting, but rather, parents working hard to fix the situation.”
“You are looking at what it takes to turn a child into a person.”