Toddler Tantrums in Public | Keep Them Home

Toddler Tantrums in Public | Keep Them Home



I need to get something out into the open.  I think if your child won’t behave in public, then leave at them home.  I realize this is a wildly unpopular opinion, when said out loud.  We’re supposed to be understanding of children when they have a bad day, hard time, or trying to communicate their needs.  These things I understand completely.  It’s not the children I have any issue with.  It’s the parents.  Parents are the reason these poor kids are at the store on a day they skipped a nap,  at a restaurant that is known for relaxed dinning while they are starving, etc….  It’s never the child’s fault, it’s the parents.

Real Moms of Vegas - Toddle Tantrums


Toddler Tantrums in Public | Keep Them Home

I often wonder as I watch a melt down why the parent is ignoring their child.  Sure, I get that you are used to hearing it.  I even understand that you can’t leave the store when it does happen.  But why is it happening at all?  I have 3 kids who have but once (each) had a melt down.  And guess what?  It was my fault! The last occasion I knew my toddler was cutting teeth, I knew I wanted her amber teething necklace to work so I could continue to say I didn’t use Tylenol.  I packed my bag with all sorts of things to chew on, distractions, and added 20 minutes to my trip knowing I’d most likely have to stop numerous times  to calm down my toddler.  I knew this, and went anyways.  I needed milk and bread.  She melted down at the end, while in line.  I felt the rightful daggers of hate from the other customers.  And couldn’t have cared less.  My kid was in pain, we’re having a tough day, deal with it.

Real Moms of Vegas busy moms

But why did I feel my errand was more important to complete at my desired time, then the noise pollution (of course I don’t view anything MY kids do as noise or pollution!) the public was going to endure?  I don’t know.  I feel selfish about it, did the moment I got in my car honestly.  My husband travels over seas for weeks at a time, often without notice.  I had 3 kids under the age of 3 (I have a set of twins) going through potty training, teething, and the need to run everywhere.  Which I welcome, I love how inquisitive kids are!  But they do need to learn boundaries.  Boundaries.  Something I dismissed when I blew off the public and made my life and errands the center of everyone’s world.

It’s my job to teach my kids through example to be respectful and have manners.  To think of others and be courteous.  I thought about how I could have handled it better.  I then realized, it was me the mother who had to change my perception.  My day isn’t about me and my schedule.  It’s about having learning moments when ever possible and to be a good role model.  What sort of role model ignores other peoples distress over my hard day?  Or goes knowingly to an event that my kids very possibly wont handle well, but will just grin and bare it while handing out empty apologies.  This isn’t how we teach our kids to behave, humility, or common courtesy.

Toddler Tantrums

Toddler Tantrums in Public | Keep Them Home

If we feel that we can’t have our kids in a public place without a manageable melt down (we as parents know exactly what that is) then don’t go out.  When I ran out of something important, I waited till the kids would either sleep in my grocery cart (that really was cute) or if I could I would swap watching kids with a friend and go the next day.  More often then not, you know when your running low on something.  It does take effort to be kind to others, so why not do better planning of your day around your kids schedule?   There are so many options for us!  Kids don’t always tell us when they’re going to melt down.  The sneak attacks are the best.  But have a get out plan.  When our kids where too young to go to restaurants without sitting fairly still (as in they would color, play games, and speak in a calm voice) we just didn’t go.  We would get a sitter and have a date night 🙂  But the other patrons are trying to have a nice meal, there’s no need for them to listen to my chaos.

One thing I will make very clear: Glaring or making snide comments to the parent who has a child in melt down mode is NOT HELPFUL.  In fact, you may become the target this mother needs to vent her frustration on!  So keep it to yourself and finish up your errand so you can leave and not hear it any longer.


  1. Since meltdowns are so unpredictable we would take our kids EVERYWHERE but the second of the beginning of a potential meltdown, their scenery was quickly changed with a walk outside while waiting on food to be delivered to the table etc.

    When you think about it, if you handle the meltdown properly it’s better for the parent and the kid {and of course those with frowns on their faces watching}.

  2. I couldn’t agree more with this article! I am a mom of 10 kids ranging in age from 5 to 24 years old. There has been more than one time I have canceled a planned outing because one (or more) of my kids was having a bad day. If something happened while we’re out we removed them from the location until it was calmed.

  3. Great post and I agree 100%!

    I think a change in scenery is a MUST when a meltdown occurs. Not only is it respectful to those around you (if you’re in a small restaurant) but it also removes the child from whatever is upsetting them and gives them a chance to cool off. People may disagree with me because no one really cares about anyone but themselves anymore, but I still think respect is a very wonderful thing in situations like these.

  4. I COMPLETELY agree. This is why we do not go out to dinner as a family often, or other misc things that do not appeal to my two toddlers (son 3 and daughter almost 2). We don’t make plans that interfer with nap time. It’s the facts of life. If they act up, we go home. I don’t like the whining and crying so why would a stranger? I could go on about my opinions but this is what works for me and my family. But when we are out, trust me I’m throwing eye daggers at ‘those’ parents who do nothing or they do and act just like the brats LOL ………….

  5. I’m sad that you think parents of kids with special needs can’t go out in your public because they are poisoning your children.

    • Hi Dale, the *comment was to make sure that anyone parent with special needs children understand that they are welcome and “understood”. In fear that I would be upset with a special needs child, I never make rude remarks to the parents or anything that would impact their day. I don’t think there is a way to tell who is and who isn’t special needs, so we need to ignore the noise of all kids when they have a tantrum.

  6. Get over yourself.

    So your kids are “angels.” Mine is an angel too, really. But if your kids can’t handle seeing another child get frustrated in public, then I know exactly whose kids need to stay home.

    You’re teaching your kids how to deal properly with emotions, yet their emotional state isnsonorecarious that your years of “proactive parenting” or some such nonsense will fall to pieces if they witness a tantrum?

    I know exactly whose kids will be in my office having a meltdown 15 years from now.

    Get over yourself.

    • To respond to your actual point, my children handle seeing chaos just fine. The point is, they know that’s what it is. Not always a child working through teething, some of these kids just have a case of the GIMME’s and my kids think its dumb. My kids aren’t angels, they just know how to behave in the situations at hand. It’s like getting your child ready for the work environment. Just because Johnny got a raise doesn’t mean you get one too. My kids will grow up striving instead of complaining and feeling entitled.

  7. Wow what a terrible article! What a snob this person sounds like. I have two children, both well behaved but occasionally that is not the case. Are people supposed to never go out on the chance their kid may be having a bad day. How are we supposed to teach children how to behave and how to deal with things out in public if they don’t experience it? Perhaps the better advice is if you can’t go out in public and deal with a wide variety of other people from all walks of life then YOU, author of this article, should in fact stay home. I can only hope your perfect children aren’t taught the intolerance that you reek of.

    • It’s important to react to the tantrum, to show immediate reaction. This is not an article, it’s a RANT. There’s a huge difference. I can write an article siting the MANY approaches we took to our 3 kids, as not one reacted the same to any of them. It took time, lots of effort, and it paid off. I don’t experiencing tantrums is an educational experience….but we do eat at McDonalds once in a while so we see plenty of melt downs!

      • If I was a kid and my parents would take me to McDonalds I would probably throw a fit too. That place is nasty, the food is not ideal or a human being who is growing. Taking a child to McDonalds is, in my point of view the worst parenting ever!!!!!

        • Once in a while it’s not okay to take them to fast food? You don’t know what I’m ordering them….my kids are self proclaimed vegetarians due to the awesome selection at a farmers market near our house.

          • No it is never okay to take your kids to Mcdonalds. And lets be honest.. nothing in this place is healthy or even good for that matter. Those who claim to be self proclaimed vegetarians are defiantly not eating at McDonalds. Face it you suck just like the rest of parents who kids throw fits.

  8. Maybe you should keep yourself home. You sound like a whiny toddler on their worst day. And wow you have 3 kids who are good in public… Well I have 7 and while they may be angels to me they are not perfect. Not to mention my 3 year old with autism who doesn’t deserve to not go in public because you might not be able to tell she has it and might ruin your precious angels. You sound like an over stressed mom of three with nothing better to do than rant about a toddler having a meltdown at cvs.
    Might want to pull that coat hanger out now..

  9. I understand where you are coming from – it isn’t right that an entire restaurant looking for a night away from home is subjected to a child who doesn’t understand proper behavior. And the simplest solution is for parents with difficult children to stay home.
    However, that is a short-term solution. In the long term, it is impractical and unreasonable for parents and children to stay home. Most children learn through experience, and if they never get a chance to interact with others, they might never learn what is proper behavior.
    Instead, parents should find baby steps on the road to being able to eat out. Maybe start with going out and getting ice cream. The moment the child acts up, the ice cream is thrown in the trash, and everyone gets back in the car and goes home. Ice cream is a fairly inexpensive treat, and the lesson will not be lost on the child – their behavior has consequences.
    Then try going to fast food. Easy enough to pack up and put in the car if the child misbehaves. And if the child sits through dinner, they can play on the playground at the restaurant.
    As kids do better, try something a little more challenging, but keep their limits in mind. If your kids get tired at night (and therefore cranky and less manageable), go out for lunch, or do an early dinner. Make sure to bring things to keep your kids entertained – crayons, coloring books, or small toys. If dinner takes a while to come to the table, or you have a picky eater, be prepared with a baggie of Cheerios or crackers to keep the munchies at bay. If kids start to get atsy, take them for a walk outside or to the fish/lobster tank before they get out of hand – the trick is catching the behavior before it starts.
    As a parent of 4-year-old and 1-year-old boys, when I see a child misbehaving in public, I don’t think, “what a bad kid”, I think “those parents are in over their head”.

  10. My son was a lot like your children. He would never have dreamed of drawing attention to himself by throwing a tantrum in public. He generally responded well to discipline and was sensitive to others. I used to think that people who complained about how hard parenting was had no clue what hard was, because in my opinion, parenting just wasn’t THAT hard. It turned out that I was the one who was clueless. My daughter was wired differently from birth. From the day she was born, I couldn’t put her down without her screaming. At two weeks she developed colic. At 9 months she was throwing full blown tantrums, and at 2 years, she’s still at it. She is extremely strong willed and while I hope that her determination will serve her well as an adult, dealing with her moods can be a nightmare. Now she has learned to get out of shopping carts, and when told she has to sit in the cart or hold hands, she throws herself on the floor and screams for 15 minutes straight. When this happens, you have no idea how badly I want to trade shoes with all the people who are passing by us with those judgmental glares, but it’s not as if I can scoop her up, walk out the door and leave our cart full of groceries to rot. If I didn’t have to subject myself to these things, trust me, I wouldn’t. If we’re at the store, it’s because we need to be. But please, don’t make it even harder by judging what you don’t understand.

    • I agree, shooting glares or making nasty comments is not helpful. Parenting is hard, we are judged for everything. I just don’t understand why you don’t have your groceries delivered to you (which is free or at a low fee via coupons via Vons and Smiths) if you can’t have your daughter sit in the cart? It’s not safe for her to be crawling about and its distracting to yourself and everyone else. You immediately become a mark to any thief who’d like to take your wallet. Having a controlled environment is more then a calm child, it’s knowing and being aware of your surroundings. If you can’t be that, then don’t go. Have them delivered. Which again, is free. You have options.

  11. I tend to agree, regarding MY kids in MY personal situation. I have 4 kids aged 7, 4, 2 & 4 months. YIKES. As a previous post commented on the mom “in over her head”, yeah that’s probably me. So yes, we stay at home mostly, especially if its just me + all 4 (while DH is at work). I do go grocery shopping with all of them and I do go to some kid centered events around Vegas, but not usually. It’s just a lot for any one person to handle. That being said, I don’t judge other parents whose kids are misbehaving unless they are disturbing me on a night when my husband and I actually are lucky enough to get out to get away from our kids for a brief hour! As moms we all do the very best we can and we do what we are comfortable doing. This article IS a rant and at times kids ARE annoying – mine included!

  12. For the most part, I think it is important to just think that everyone is doing their best. Each person is dealt a different deck of cards. I have learned through parenting that people take too much credit for both the good and bad that their children do. I have been in many situations when someone has offered a understanding smile, but find it so great when I have been able to serve someone I don’t even know. I think when we become a society that learns to help and serve we will stop finding faults in others and learn to love. I find the most joy in mothering when I see my son, that used to struggle with his emotions, reach out and help another child that is struggling.

  13. I find your “rant” extremely idiotic. And I disagree. I also disagree with the way your rant was handled on your web page on Facebook, Vegas Family Events. You deny over and over it was you…people like myself piece everything together and you still deny you wrote this. What does this have to do with Family Events? Why post it there and not expect a reaction. Then you delete posts that were negative? Professional. Then lock me out as well as others from leaving comments? Juvenile.

    You’re a judgmental character, Danyelle. You can’t know when kids are going to have a temper tantrums. If we did, don’t you think we wouldn’t want them in public with you giving us dagger like stares? My child is a kid. He won’t always have good days. But he’s human. You want you’re kids to be un-emotional robots, go for it. Whatever works for you.
    I’m proud to say my 4 yr old isn’t perfect. He’s not a Stepford child. And I love him just the way he is.

    • Hi Claire,
      You have every right to your opinion on my rant. I did not once deny the article was written by me on FB on MY page, VegasFamilyEvents. It has nothing to do directly with events which is why I posted that I was sorry to offend my readers and will no longer be posting article not from MY site. My site, I am a writer for Real Moms of Vegas, as I write for many sites. I did not delete negative posts, I deleted posts that attacked me personally. This is not a community forum, this is my business fb page we’re discussing. If I don’t want to be attacked on my business page, I don’t need to be. I have that right.

      Claire, I am glad you love your child. I love my own as well and am not going to let a person I have never met nor ever will meet, attack me or how I parent. I grow as I learn and choose to not attack people. I even mention in my rant that I don’t verbally speak to the parents because I don’t feel it’s necassary to effect their day. I’m RESPECTFUL. Please choose to be the same and stop attacking me. It’s an article, move on.

  14. Listen crazy, just cause you raised your kids in the dark ages and kept then trapped inside doesn’t give you the right to comment on other parents’ parenting style and that they want to take their kids out. Not everyone is a loser like you so why don’t you just stay home if you can’t handle it. You’re an idiot.

    This is in reference to the dumb ass who wrote about leaving their kids at home with temper tandrums.

  15. I disagree with much of the article. While I will personally do my best to leave a situation if my son has a meltdown – they happen. Sure parents can be sure to stay in around nap time, or avoid situations where meltdowns seem to be frequent, but they aren’t always avoidable. My son is 4. He is very smart, and sweet, but he still has random meltdowns. THAT is TOTALLY normal. Your article came across judgey and demeaning IMO (why use words like “horrid” “selfish spoiled brats” and “poisoning my life” unless you wanted a reaction?). You have a point for sure. The parents that do nothing and ignore the behavior isn’t acceptable in my book either, but I don’t judge them because 1. – I don’t know their background story and 2. – it isn’t my place. I lead by example with my children – offering a hand to someone in that situation shows my child compassion for others. As far as teaching horrid behavior? I use it as a teaching point. We get in our car and talk about that child’s behavior and what they could have done instead.

    That said – My husband is gone 1/2 the year and has been since we moved to Las Vegas. Best laid plans don’t always happen. I can plan to my hearts content, but I can’t plan something I don’t see coming. I have even reached out to friends to pick something up for me when I knew the boys weren’t going to tolerate going out. And still, I have been the mom with a crying kid. It happens. We did our best to get out of the situation as quickly as possible, but it would be nice to be offered a hand instead of a rude glare. If my son has a meltdown elsewhere (as in somewhere we went for fun instead of need) we leave. Getting a babysitter or delivering groceries doesn’t work for everyone – I have tried having groceries delivered. 1st they don’t carry many of the products we need so I still have to go shopping, and 2nd the produce they pick is often gross. After three times of getting bruised or rotten produce it’s not helping me at all. I think this whole article got lost in the words and tone you chose, when it reality it had many great points.

  16. If the author would’ve taken the time to actually write something worthwhile to read it would’ve been better received. Her message was in there but it’s so poorly written no one can find it.

  17. This is very poorly written unfortunately I’m not sure what the message is other than letting off some steam maybe? If you have an opinion properly formulated and put it into words that everyone can understand.

    My children are not angels and I do take control the situation in public as I don’t like a screaming child either it’s a bad situation for everyone involved and the last thing I want is my child feeling like they’re being stared at area situation that is not going well

  18. I remember one time when my kids where little and I was pregnant with Dallice who is now 8. Madeline was 11, Ethan 10, Sunnie 9, and Makenna 6. We where in line at the bank, they where not being bad jumping talking loud or whatever. They where conversing among themselves and right next to me.

    My kids knew I would not tolerate bratty behavior and that I would not hesitate to discipline them in public. We are a blended family 2 of the above mentioned children came along with the package I got with my McDreamy Hubs.

    When it was my turn to go up to the teller my kids stood around me, there were two women that had to be in their 60s, mind you I am big and preggars about 7 months. The one women said to the other, if I had that many kids I’d shoot myself. This bank was small inside of the grocery store everyone was within 1-2 feet of each other.

    I looked at Madeline my 11 year old and said to her “If mommy turns out to be like this old bitty when she is older give me a gun so I can put myself out of my misery.” Then to the further amazement of the tellers, my children and the other customers in the bank I turned and looked at the women and said if I had a gun I would give it to you so you could put yourself out of your misery, my children are well behaved and have every right to be in public.

    Yes. I agree that children at not being trained to show respect, yes I agree that tantrums should be handled with proper discipline, but what I am finding these days is not only children are showing disrespect but so are adults. Children only mimick what they learn.

    Whatever happened to being kind to your neighbor, or showing the child that is throwing a tantrum some kindness. I admit I could of handled the above situation I mentioned differently. That woman was not being kind to my children and she was quick to pass judgement on my children and me. My wrong was to repay her unkindness with more unkindness.

    Maybe play with the child or smile at them, or the parent. The parent is probably embarrassed and because of that not dealing with the situation correctly.

    But I am no one and please do not take this comment as passing judgement over one side or the other.

  19. It will be a great day when we as moms stop making life MORE difficult for other moms. When a kids is acting out it doesn’t mean the parents don’t know what they are doing. Toddlers are just that TODDLERS . They are not totally developed and sometimes have issues with emotions.

    What would be better is to have judgemental parents stay home- if it bugs you so much don’t go out in public. When I see a kid having a fit I always feel bad for the parent. I know how challenging it can be.

    • It’s not the child throwing the fit that’s my problem. It the parents who are accepting this behavior. It’s not okay. It’s not cute, and it’s down right rude to make me listen to your laziness. It’s not out of line to ask parents to parent. That’s not a judgement call, it’s observation. Is there a reason these parents can’t go out to the car or outside to discuss the behavior, give the child a break if they’re overwhelmed, or find out what the issue is? Why is this just shrugged off when in reality, it’s a parenting point. Drop your cell phone, get off the internet, and pay attention to YOUR child. All parents know the challenges of being a parent. The real challenge is watching a parent, not parent.

  20. I’m not in Vegas but where I live now having groceries delivered costs extra and babysitters cost money as well. Having spent a few years as a single mom the budget didn’t allow for those sorts of extras and taking my younger kids out in public was a requirement. I could tell you quite a story about the time my daughter was sick and I had to wait in the incredibly long line with everyone else at the pharmacy for her needed prescription when she went into melt down mode. It did force me to handle misbehavior on the spot, and even figure out ways to diffuse a situation before it reached melt down phase, but I believe I’m a better mom for it and my kids know from experience that no matter where we are they can still get in trouble. And my kids also now look at other kids misbehaving in public and will say to me that they know they shouldn’t act like that. Kids will be kids and have bad days or have something random upset them. Having been a cashier I can say that I’ve seen just as many adults act as badly as any over tired toddler. Obviously there are gonna be occasions where staying home is the better idea but you don’t ever know the full story behind any tantrum you see in public and thinking ‘they should just keep their kid at home’ is horribly judgmental.

  21. What is the matter with you people!!! How are out children going to know how to act in public is we don’t take them anywhere!!!!! Kids are going to be kids where ever they are!!! I feel bad for the children whose mothers are on here saying that they don’t take them to many places because of tantrums..or the worry of tantrums ….Get off your high horse!!! Geez…. *smh* and *smh* again!!!!!!

    • That’s the point, there’s a difference between the parents who take their child out and work with the issue at hand and the parent who feels righteous about having their kids flipping out while they shop. It’s not hard to tell who’s parenting and who’s shopping. No high horse, just observing and plugging my ears.

  22. There’s an identical post on a fb page called “sanctimommy.” I wonder if this is your work of art or theirs. Either way, you weren’t credited.