5 Tips To Follow When Another Parent's Kid Is Having A Tantrum
If you are a shy, retiring type, and you are also a parent to a toddler, the chances are that your offspring have drawn quite a lot of unwanted attention your way.
Their shouts of protest turn heads at the supermarket as you try to coerce them to sit in the trolley.
Their cries of disgust prompt raised eyebrows as you deny them a sweet treat from the ice cream van at the park because you really, really want them to eat a decent meal when you get them home.
You can feel the red burn of embarrassment sting your cheeks as you ward off another kick to the shins and carry your child, raging in the way that only they can, from the playground.
Here's how to react when you see someone else's kid having a meltdown:
1. Don't Stare
We ALL look when we hear a kid losing it, and mostly we do it because we're making sure that the kid is ok. But sometimes, we forget to look the other way again quickly, as soon as we know everything is alright. That parent doesn't need to misinterpret our casual glance for judgement so.. mind your own beeswax.
2. Don't Judge
We have ZERO idea of what's going on with another parent and what they're dealing with. So long as they seem like nice, normal people who are doing their best, the likelihood is that their otherwise nice afternoon is just getting demolished by the eccentric hormonal kid in their charge. It happens, so get over it.
3. Offer A Hand
Every now and then, it might be appropriate to offer help to a parent who's having a hard time with their temperamental kid. It might be on an aeroplane and you could distract the kid by making faces or offering to walk them up and down the aisle. Maybe the parent just needs to get their shopping bags packed at the checkout and could use your help in playing with the kid for a minute or two. Don't be afraid to help - we ALL need help from time to time!
4. Give Them Some Space
I was once dealing with an epic meltdown with my son who just could not find it within him to get into the f*cking car at the carpark of a playground. We wrestled for a few minutes, he kicked me in the chest, I shouted a bit - it was crap. And then the ladies who were parked immediately next to us couldn't find it within themselves to just hang back while we got through it. No, no, they huffed and puffed until I got out of their way so that they could get into their car and leave - which meant that the little maggot escaped for the umpteenth time from the carseat and I had to start all over again. Rage.
5. Don't Tut
Whatever you do, keep your tuts and sighs to yourself. You have NO idea how stressful the situation is when your little one is screaming at you and kicking you in the genitals in a public place when you can't just walk into another room for a breather. For the love of all that is good and holy, do not add to it with your soundtrack of distaste, please and thank you, 'k?
Join the conversation on Twitter @HerFamilydotie