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to think people should not judge and be more understanding when they see a tantruming child?

(28 Posts)
mrsdamvan Sun 09-Oct-11 15:08:34

I am getting sick and tired of strangers thinking they can stop and stare when dd is having one of her tantrums. The dirty looks being thrown at me by (mainly) women does nothing to help an already difficult situation.

DD is a 'challenging' child but I refuse to sit at home all day and want her to participate fully in family life. This means going out as a family shopping, to the park, restaurants etc. Today we went to a shopping centre to buy a present for dh's birthday. She woke up this morning early and despite several attempts to get her to nap during the day she just would not sleep. Desperate to get out of the house I though a ride in the car, change of scenery would help. And it did until of course she decided that no she was absolutely not going to sit in her push-chair on the way back to the car and had a major tantrum.

I don't know why other women are so judgemental and critical, but when I see some poor woman desperately trying to control a tantrumming child I think 'yes, how awful, been there, poor woman' whereas I have people whispering under their breath at me, staring, throwing me looks that could kill and generally being judgey.

When dd has a tantrum there is literally nothing I can do to calm her down, have tried it all.

AIBU to expect women (and especially women who have or who have had children) to be a little more sympathetic?

ScaredBear Sun 09-Oct-11 15:11:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 09-Oct-11 15:13:31

YABU... People are going to stare if there's a commotion and it's all in your mind that it's a 'dirty look'. They could just as easily be thinking 'how awful for the poor woman'. If anyone actually criticises you out loud to your face then respond in kind.

iMemoo Sun 09-Oct-11 15:14:13

Ask them if they've never seen a child tantrum before. I've done it and it shames them into looking away.

gordyslovesheep Sun 09-Oct-11 15:14:28

I think you are being a bit chippy - sorry - who gives flying rats arse if people look - gorw a tougher skin x

walkingonthebeach Sun 09-Oct-11 15:15:34

To put this another way though, you could argue that just as they aren't showing understanding to you, you are not to them either. I'm usually a lovely person ;) but I have to admit the other day I was queueing at the cashpoint, I had had a bad night's sleep, was unwell and had heard news that had really upset me and there was a child SCREAMING in her trolley ... I did wince as no matter how good the reasons and how much it wasn't the mother's fault, it was just a horrible noise!

Normally I wouldn't have dreamed of wincing but yes on that particular day the screaming was very very grating.

SauvignonBlanche Sun 09-Oct-11 15:17:08

YANBU, but a bit naive if you think that's really going to happen.
Try and imagine the looks you get when it's a teenager!

havinhoops1974 Sun 09-Oct-11 15:17:17

I feel scared about this all the time et the end of the day v, young children have tantrums some more than others they should not be so judgemental.

however they maybe thinking 'poor woman' rather than 'bad mum'

BoysAreLikeDogs Sun 09-Oct-11 15:18:03

when you are feeling heightened tensions you might perceive a fleeting glance or sympathetic smile as criticism

but it's not, truly it's not

mrsdamvan Sun 09-Oct-11 15:18:33

walkingonthebeach what exactly do you expect someone to do when their child is having a tanturm though? my aim is to remove my child as quickly as possible, to somewhere quiet where they can calm down. Actually putting this into practice is another thing!

This is what upsets me the most. Of course I know my child tantrumming is causing a disturbance to other people and I try to minimise it but as most parents know (unless their child is an angel) when a small child decides to kick off there is very little if anything you can do to make them stop!

This is when all the pointing and staring by strangers makes a difficult situation worse.

MindtheGappp Sun 09-Oct-11 15:18:53

I think people are generally sympathetic, rather than judgmental, when they see a child having a tantrum, but that doesn't mean that the situation is hopeless.

If your child is having lots of tantrums, you may be able to recognise a pattern and work around a way to avoid or minimise them.

blackeyedsusan Sun 09-Oct-11 15:19:35

now i would be watching to see if you have any tricks that work. have you not mastered carrying a kicking screaming toddler under one arm whilst pushing the pushchair withthe other, or the knee between the legs to stop the back arching sliding out under the bar trick they seem to perfect? sounds like you are going to get lots of chances to practice.

gaveitago Sun 09-Oct-11 15:20:17

I always try to give a "don't worry we've all been there" type of look- hope that doesn't misinterpreted. Really you should concentrate on yourself and child not strangers.

mrsdamvan Sun 09-Oct-11 15:20:39

I know the difference between a 'sympathetic' stare and a 'oh my god why doesn't that woman sort out her child' look. Can kind of understand it when it's from people who don't have children ie teenagers, but when you see women with small children themselves doing it, it is not at all understandable.

VonHerrBurton Sun 09-Oct-11 15:20:54

YANBU. Of course you're not. I would guess that the majority of parents are thinking 'poor you, nightmare, been there' though, rather than being judgey. It probably feels that way if you are stressed and feeling like people aren't being particularly understanding.

Regards the others -fuck 'em. Even if they don't have kids, they were one once themselves!

walkingonthebeach Sun 09-Oct-11 15:23:15

Mrsdamvan - I would never, ever point and stare and think anyone who would is very rude.

However ... it's not an excuse but a child making a noise is still very much a disturbance and if you're feeling a bit crabby yourself, on some days it is more of a disturbance than others if you see what I mean!

I do think it's one of those difficult areas to be honest - yes children scream, and in a supermarket or similar I think anyone getting shirty needs to get over it. But in a restaurant I'd be less than thrilled if a child screamed indefinitely throughout, or in the cinema or theatre or somewhere where basically you have paid for entertainment and that is impeded by someone else's screaming child.

(That said last time I went to a restaurant it was an old woman who spoiled our meal - long story!)

bibbitybobbityhat Sun 09-Oct-11 15:25:29

I sincerely doubt that any parent who has had a child over about 2 would be judgemental if they caught a glimpse of yours having a tantrum. All children have tantrums, some more than others, but all of us parents have been there, done that.

Bucharest Sun 09-Oct-11 15:26:11

I'd actually like to witness this obnoxious tutting that apparently goes on everywhere (except clearly the places I am) because I've honestly only ever seen people smiling sympathetically or trying to lend a hand when a child throws a tanty.

Of course, I've also seen so many of these "narsty old bag giving me a mean look" threads, that I daren't even look in the direction of a tantying child anymore in case I get accused of the same.

OP- you sound as though you are very stressed about your child's tantrums, but honestly, we've all been there, and it's really not worth worrying about. This too shall pass and all that.

Unless your child is 14 obviously. grin

Sandalwood Sun 09-Oct-11 15:27:13

Tricky to know quite how to react though.
I do hope you are reading my 'Pesky toddlers. I-hope-you-know-I'm-not-judging-you-look' right.

mrsdamvan Sun 09-Oct-11 15:29:34

bibbity how do you explain a woman with two children (about 10 and 12, not very good with ages) furiously tutting away this afternoon when I was trying to get dd to the car park mid tantrm? She obviously had children and unless she spent no time with her own children at all, must surely have encountered at least one of them having a tantrum?

My own grandmother had 5 children and now she is 90 seems to have forgotten what small children are like and often looks on in amazement when dd acts up. I think it is very common that once your own children are past the age of tantrums you do forget and do start judging others (on my children never acted like that).

I am determined that when I hit 50 or whatever I will not suddenly forget how badly some small children can behave and that this is perfectly normal!

walkingonthebeach Sun 09-Oct-11 15:32:41

If you ask my dad now, my brother and I always behaved perfectly. grin I don't think I was ever prone to tantrums but I did vomit a lot as a toddler and small child - even now, if I attend a social event where I meet a lot of my parent's friends they tend to bring up an ancedote of when I threw up on them! I always feel the need to apologise too - I am 31!

You sound a bit stressed though - sorry if that sounds rude - I just think it is sometimes helpful to take a step back a bit. Do you think DD's behaviour is causing you to be a little anxious? x

MindtheGappp Sun 09-Oct-11 15:34:05

I feel that there is a fine line between having a normal life (ie not being stuck at home) and completely trying to ignore tantrums.

You have to go out - this is essential.

However, if you are in one place (ie one shop) for 20 minutes with a screaming toddler, then you are doing something wrong. Firstly, your child is not happy in the environment, so you have to try to change it, and secondly, it is not fair to other people.

I don't think anyone here knows when to give into a child for their own good, or when this giving in is putting them in control and manipulating you.

All I can say, as the mother of five (youngest 9), is that I have pretty much forgotten those memories (a bit like childbirth). It's one of those things that really does get easier (until you hit the teenage years).

Just remember that a mother's place is in the wrong, and try to do your best.

I genuinely think that most people are totally sympathetic but the way our society is set up nowadays, we aren't allowed to offer any help.

TheOriginalNutcracker Sun 09-Oct-11 15:38:32

I think it is normal for them to look, but to keep looking is wrong.

Ds is 8 and currently having some problems which include public tantrums. People see an 8yr old behaving like he does and nearly give themselves whiplash trying to get a look.

I just ignore it though tbh. Yeh it is ebarrassing, but I know that ds has issues, and they don't. I also know that I am doing my best to get the issues sorted out, so I couldn't give fudge what they think.

GalaxyWeaver Sun 09-Oct-11 15:58:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Vinomum Sun 09-Oct-11 16:01:12

When I see a fellow mum struggling with a tantruming child, my only thought is 'there but for the grace of God...'

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