A dad has written an open letter to the strangers who judged him for ‘dragging’ his two-year-old out of a restaurant when she had a tantrum.
Clint Edwards, author of the blog ‘No Idea What I’m Doing’, said he understood it can be irritating when kids are loud in public.
“But before you get angry and judgmental, realise that what you are witnessing is not bad parenting, but rather, parents working hard to fix the situation,” he wrote on Facebook on Saturday 4 March.
“You are looking at what it takes to turn a child into a person.”
Edwards had been enjoying a meal out with his family when his two-year-old daughter “had a meltdown because mum wouldn’t let her throw chicken strips”.
“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,” he explained.
“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.’”
Edwards candidly stated: “Well… no. I can’t control her. Not all the time. Not yet.
“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.
“These lessons take patience, hard work, and real world experiences, and I’m sorry to those at the bar who got irritated by my child’s fit, but you are part of this practice.”
Other parents responded to Edwards’ post by sharing their own experiences of dealing with toddler tantrums in public.
“Once in a moment of desperation after certain child had pitched a fit every single time we went anywhere for like six months, I joined my daughter for a toss on the floor screaming fit in Walmart,” wrote one mum.
“Stopped her fit cold turkey. She just stared at me. Eventually I looked at her and said ‘what?’ In that super annoying way that says ‘I know exactly what, but I am going to make you say it anyway!’
“She told me ‘that’s embarrassing mummy’ I responded ‘no way, for real?’ Got up and finished shopping.. she never once ever did it again.”