Tantrums and Stranger Intervention?

The Ogre is home at last! I don’t want to take time away from our reunited little family for long, but I wanted to link to a post and then get your opinion on something. First, read the post from the Matt Walsh Blog:

A kid going berserk at a grocery store doesn’t indicate the quality of his parents, anymore than a guy getting pneumonia after he spends six hours naked in the snow indicates the quality of his doctor. Grocery stores are designed to send children into crying fits. All of the sugary food, the bright packaging, the toys, the candy — it’s a minefield. The occasional meltdown is unavoidable, the real test is how you deal with it. This mother handled it like a pro. She was like mom-ninja; she was calm and poised, but stern and in command.

(Read the rest here)

Now that we’re on the same page, one of my facebook friends said something fascinating when I shared the post:

“Sometimes I wish strangers would be like “Hey kid, stop treating your mom like crap!” Instead of acting like I am incompetent.”

In the combox, a few people said that children should be publicly spanked to embarrass them, basically, into not acting that way in public, and mentioned that strangers used to spank children on the streets. Morality of spanking aside, I think it’s pretty clear to most people that spanking in public is about as smart as crashing your car into a CPS building with all your kids unbuckled and nary a car seat in sight. It’s no longer a viable option, whether we wish it were or not. But why are we so afraid to help other parents out a little, not by criticizing them but by, you know, also being parents? If someone said that to my tantrum-throwing kid, I’d be taken aback and then immediately grateful for the good example of another adult reinforcing what I have no doubt told them a zillion skillion times. Hearing it from someone who’s not mom or dad can often snap a kid out of their meltdown. But I’d also be wary of saying the same thing to a stranger’s kid. What if they took offense? What do you guys think….how would you feel if a stranger said that to your tantrum-throwing child?

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