|I do not take credit for this image|
How many times have you been in a shopping mall where a toddler has thrown her/himself on the floor and a panic stricken mother is either standing helplessly, visibly praying or attempting to negotiate with the screaming child? I have witnessed the sight a multitude of times and every single time I have thought “Women please get your sh*t together!”
Now that I am a mother too, however, it is whole other ball game. While my son rarely throws tantrums in public places (I got lucky), I have encountered it a few times and I can tell you without a doubt, it is any mother’s worst fear. Not because we have no idea how to handle our children, but because strangers are standing around, staring judgingly just as I was. You have to understand, you simply cannot prepare in advance for a tantrum, it always happens when you least expect. But, this post is not for the onlookers. It is for the moms who have been avoiding going out all together because they cannot imagine dealing with the dreaded outburst.
Let me assure you, IT’S NOT PERSONAL. Chances are it is just a case of bad timing: you probably decided to make the trip close to the little one’s nap time. Or the large crowd is causing them to be a little restless. More often than not, it has nothing to do with who you are as a parent. The sooner you realise that, the sooner you can forget about being judged and that might make defusing the situation a little easier. Forget about feeling self-conscious and focus on the child.
Like I said there is no way to fully prepare for a tantrum, but you can do a few things to lessen the chance of one. What works for me is feeding before we go shopping and also packing a few snacks. I also make sure my son is well rested and is aware of where we are going and what is going to happen. And the most important thing, I promise him a reward if we get through the trip without any major hiccups. And if all else fails and he does end up throwing a tantrum, I take him home. I can always continue shopping another time. Losing my own composure is bound to make things way worse. Remember, IT’S NOT PERSONAL.
TILL LATER, LAUREN!