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What Would You Do?

I wasn't planning on posting today, mainly because I didn't have anything to say, but then I read my sweet friend Des' post and it reminded me of an incident I witnessed Saturday while shopping, and the question it had brought to mind, so I thought who better to ask this question of then all of you who will be honest and answer it truthfully for me. 

First, please go HERE and read Des' post so you can fully understand this.  Go ahead, I'll wait.


Ok, so after reading that you can see how frustrating it can be to keep our little ones happy in public places.  How many times have you witnessed a kid having a full-on meltdown with the poor parent standing there helpless with that mad, frustrated, OHMYGOSH CALGONTAKEMEAWAY look on their face?  I just saw this on Saturday.  It was about 5:00, at Wal-Mart at the end of my long day of shopping.  There was a family of 4, a mom, dad, preschooler and toddler.  The toddler was riding in the cart and he was throwing a grade A fit.  Crying, screaming, yelling at his parents (I'm hungry or whatever).  I could hear it before I could see it.  Now, I have to be 100% honest with you.  My kids have NEVER done this to me.  Never. Yes they have been a tad unruly in public, yes they have whined incessantly in public.  But they have never thrown a knock down drag out tantrum like this.  That doesn't mean I can't sympathize with these parents. So, I heard it before I saw it, but once I saw it I saw the 'look' on the mom's face, who was pushing the cart.  The dad was following dutifully behind dragging the preschooler with him.  They looked mortified and uncomfortable. 

My first thought was to stop them and tell them "hey, it's no big deal.  We've all been there, don't worry about it" because I know that feeling where you think everyone is looking, everyone is judging.  But I didn't go with my first instinct, instead I just sent a smile their way and said a little prayer for God to send them patience. 

My question is, how would you take it if some stranger came up to you and said a few words of understanding and comfort and encouragement to you in this situation?  Would you be offended?  Would it help you calm down?  Would it just be totally awkward?  I just felt like they needed that one person to say "it's ok, these times go by fast, remember the cute hugs and kisses that sweet little guy will give you tonight when you're tucking him into bed."  Something to just calm them down a little and make it a tiny bit less awful for them. 

What do you think?

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  1. I have to say (knock on wood) my children have never had any public high speed come aparts, but there is still time. I would hope others would lend a hand, smile and reassure me it's ok or at least not send over their nasty vibes. Sometime you are the only parent out numbered by children. There is no way to keep them all calm and never do you know when I child will decide it's a good time to throw a fit. I would totally be receptive to someone offering a sucker, offering to make a silly face at my child to get them to laugh or assure me this too will pass.

  2. While Marcus has never thrown any EPIC public tantrums (there's still plenty of time for those, though), we've certainly had our share of uncomfortable moments. However, when I see parents dealing with these kind of situations I try to send the "I feel your pain" look, and sometimes I'll say, "We've all been there." Parenting is a tough gig, and while I'm no expert, I do know any encouraging words seem to go a long way - especially on those days when it seems like we'll never come out alive. And, shoot, if you have something in *your* bag of tricks that might calm my child, I'm all for it!! :)

  3. I would ALWAYS welcome words of comfort like that. It's so nice to hear others relate when there are so many judging eyes. :)