Meltdowns are inevitable in public, no matter what your parenting style is. Already you have to deal with a screaming child or children, which is stressful enough as it is. Getting judgmental looks from strangers while trying to diffuse the situation only makes it a million times worse. 

 

Mum-of-two and blogger Mary Katherine Backstrom was in the supermarket with her two and four-year-old when she could feel and impending meltdown coming on. 

 

In an emotionally charged Facebook video, she explains that both the children were tired and hungry. Being the experienced mama tht she is, she whisked around the store, trying to get as many items off her list as possible in such a short space of time. 

 

Then a well meaning stranger offered the kids balloons. 

 

 

"Bless him, the very last thing my two children need at this point are balloons to fight over, and pop, and freak out with, but that's what they got," she says, explaining what went down. 

 

As she predicted, all hell broke lose as her two-year-old let go of the balloon and it floated to the ceiling, causing her four-year-old to cry. 

 

 "Ben starts screaming and crying because his sister's balloon is now in the ceiling," Backstrom explains. "The lady behind me in the parallel line checking out goes to the guy who's checking her out, 'I tell you what I'd do with that behaviour. I'd take him outside and I'd [makes slapping noise].' This is what this lady says." 

 

Needless to say, the statement shocked Backstrom, who quickly paid for the groceries and left the store with two screaming children on tow. 

 

 

But now Backstrom has a message for the not-so-helpful stranger.

 

"I'm 33, my son is 4. When I'm frustrated, when I'm upset, I know how to handle those emotions. 

 

"My son cannot regulate himself yet, and he wasn't even being a selfish kid. He was empathising with his sister who lost her balloon. 

 

"Why would I want to beat that out of my child? Why would I want to take something that's good about my son and punish him for it?" 

 

And while she acknowledges that the meltdowns were "embarrassing and inconvenient", her daughter was hungry and her son is empathetic and "neither of those things warrant punishment." 

 

 

Not only is passing comment on a strangers parenting completely rude, but Backstrom points out that punishing boys for showing emotions creates "toxic masculinity." 

 

"Do you want to know what's wrong with half the men in this world? That can't express themselves, that feel ashamed to cry? It's that. 'I'm going to beat you for crying in the grocery store is what's wrong'." 

 

And while a tantrum isn't exactly the most pleasant thing in the world to see or here, it's how children learn to express themselves. 

 

"Children are allowed to cry in public. Children are allowed to be in public. They're allowed to meltdown in public...The last thing they need is nosey Nelly in aisle six throwing in her parenting recommendations." 

 

 

Despite her bad experience, Backstrom is determined that this will not affect how she treats her kids in public. 

 

"Take your kids in public and let them ber kids, and don't be ashamed that they're being kids... They're still humans. they may be tiny humans byt they have as must equity as you do in the world, so you should show that some respect." 

 

What do you think mums? Was 'nosey Nelly' out of line? 

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