'This is what it takes to turn a child into a person': Dad's open letter to those who judged him

One of those tantrums
One of those tantrums Photo: Getty Images

We've all been there. That moment when your toddler throws an epic tantrum in public and you have to do the emergency exit.

One time this happened to me when I was in my local supermarket. I had a double pram with a baby and a toddler and I had to carry my four year old over my shoulder while she screamed. I couldn't go back to that shopping centre for ages – I was so embarrassed.

Clint Edwards, author of the blog No Idea What I'm Doing, recently had a similar experience after his two-year-old had a tantrum in a restaurant. He "dragged" her out to the car in front of the other diners. He was so upset at the reaction he wrote an open letter on his blog's Facebook page.

"I'm stuck in a van with my toddler," he wrote. "We went out to dinner as a family, and she had a meltdown because mom wouldn't let her throw chicken strips. So she screamed, and screamed, and kicked and kicked, and since I was the only one finished with my meal, I had the pleasure of dragging her out of Red Robin."

The dad said as he took his little girl out of the restaurant he was met with judgmental stares fro the other diners, mostly "childless" couples.

"I get it," he wrote. "Kids are irritating when they are loud in a restaurant. I know. I'm living it. But before you get angry and judgmental, realise that what you are witnessing is not bad parenting, but rather, parents working hard to fix the situation. You are looking at what it takes to turn a child into a person."

Good on him for telling it like it is. And it struck a chord with parents everywhere with his post being shared nearly 150,000 times and over 21,000 people leaving a comment, many providing examples of similar experiences and praising him for his action.

One commentator, Amanda said: "Good for you! I once sat in a Red Robin parking lot with a 5-year-old who threw a fit because we ordered him a child-sized milkshake."

And Megan said: "My husband did the same thing with our two year old whom was throwing a fit at a family get together. He removed her from the house and put her in the car. Once she was done having her meltdown she came into the house and apologised to everyone."

It seems Clint wasn't alone.