When Your Cuddly Toddler Becomes A Rage Monster

Toddler Smash
Image courtesy of: https://pixabay.com/en/incredible-hulk-superhero-green-man-1527199/ (Caption within image my own)


Welcome back readers!


So, I want everyone to picture this scenario: You are a parent, out running errands with your young toddler. One of your stops is a grocery store. In the middle of gathering items for that night’s dinner, your child decides he or she wants something they cannot have. You say no. Your child basically says fuck you. That normally sweet little one has become a writhing, demon-like creature who has now begun screaming while laying on the floor. Onlookers have gathered to provide an audience and you feel like crawling into your own body to escape.

What do you do? Do you let your child continue to scream until they grow tired? Do you stop them with a strong scolding? Or do you just pretend that angry, honey badger of a human isn’t yours and slowly walk away? I wish I had an answer for you, but honestly, I don’t. (Unless you picked the last one. Surprise, you’re an asshole! Hey, don’t be mad. Nine times out of ten, I would pick that one as well.)

My son has grown into the stage where he lets you know when he wants to do something (typically something he shouldn’t be doing) and does so LOUDLY. Usually this happens in a public setting and it garners some stares. I do my best to keep my voice calm and firm while explaining to him that it’s okay to be upset but he can’t do *(insert ridiculous toddler request here)* that. For now, he gets over his anger quickly. But I’m sure that sometime soon, I should start carrying four-leaf clovers or a horseshoe for luck when mine runs out.

Banish The Toddler Demon
Image courtesy of: https://pixabay.com/en/holy-water-catholic-water-church-1431421/ (Caption within image my own)

Dealing with toddlers and their need to loudly express frustrations is an ongoing chess match for all parents. And there has been much advice provided by numerous sources on how to deal with these situations. Something I saw on social media recently has made me think a lot about this topic. I’m sure a majority of you saw this post featuring actor Justin Baldoni and how he handled his little one’s public tantrum.

Personally, my initial reaction to this article was that he gave some great advice. Looking back on what he DID, however, I began to think his reaction may not work for every toddler meltdown. I am by no means a parenting expert but I feel all the information shoved into our faces on how to handle childcare can make your head hurt.

Image courtesy of: https://pixabay.com/en/fidget-spinner-spin-play-stress-2373971/ (Caption within image my own)

And I feel that perhaps that is the reason why there are no definitive answers to this issue; every child and situation is different. Some children seem to respond better to being allowed to “cry it out” while others need a little stern redirection. And there are instances when the same child who likes to cry it out occasionally requires firm verbal guidance.  

The point I’m trying to make is this; although I may not feel that Baldoni’s reaction will work for every tantrum or toddler, I do agree with what he says. As parents, we are the people who understand our kids the best. And they look to us to guide them in the proper fashion. So if your kid is the type who needs a moment to bawl their eyes out in public, then let them do so without judgement from you. If he or she is the type who requires a quiet but firm redirection, then do so without making an overt, embarrassed gesture.

Fuck all the judgmental stares or comments and just be a parent to your kids anytime they go nuclear. Always try to understand your little one is still developing his or her emotional spectrum and children require your compassion, not embarrassment. This way, they grow into empathetic adults instead of becoming idiotic onlookers passing judgement upon the next generation of parents with cranky toddlers.

-So how many of you parents (or family members caring for a little one) have had to deal with public meltdowns? How did you handle it? Feel free to comment below.




15 thoughts on “When Your Cuddly Toddler Becomes A Rage Monster

  1. Heck yeah we’ve had the public meltdowns. And honestly? Different response on different days. Sometimes I just GOTTA GET THROUGH THE STORE, so maybe we give in. Sometimes I have the peace and patience of a fairy princess and can get down on his level and talk it out on the floor. Sometimes the other two are trying to escape/cry/make new friends and we just gotta toss the toddler in the cart and have a tantrum on the go. I just do whatever is going to work for all of us in that moment. But I agree – fuck the stares 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Definitely have dealt with the public meltdown. Like you said, what we do changes depending on the situation. There are some situations where we can ride it out and help her calm down with some extra hugs, and other situations where we head to the bathroom or car to get sorted (namely restaurants). People who stare and make comments about spankings or say other unhelpful things just kill me.

    The pictures with this post are hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Usually, in public, meltdown don’t last long. They’re for attention. I found with my two that if I paid them no attention their meltdowns would wear out quickly. When they were old enough to walk instead of having to ride in the cart I would literally walk away from them (to the end of the isle if we were in a grocery store). They learned very quickly that when they heard “Okay bye. I’m leaving.” they could either stay put and get left behind or stop the meltdown and keep up. If they wanted a hug they got one and we’d finish our shopping.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I give them choices: stop whining or we go home for time out. I had to cancel plans the first few times, they now know not to fuck with me.

    Oh, using a low slow icy tone helps. It freaks them out.

    Other people stare? Fuck them too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha. I hear you. I already have a harsh voice which can send the wrong signal sometimes so I try to keep it toned down. But there have been times when I’ve had to unleash it. My kid has learned quickly that is an “Oh shit” moment and stops what he’s doing.


    1. Haha I’ve got a constant death stare on my face when I’m out in public but it usually softens around my wife and son. Unless he does something ridiculous, he doesn’t usually see it; once he does, he has learned to stop the shit haha 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. When first becoming a parent I definitely was conscious of the public stair downs, but then became to realise that the majority of them don’t really exist. Most people are parents too & have probably gone through that situation and are sympathising with you big time! Great pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

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