…It’s “Likely Because of Great Parenting”
It was a little ways into my daughter’s first week of preschool when I noticed the reminder in her backpack to bring in a family photo for show-and-tell the following day. I decided I’d run to Walgreens down the street before dinner to develop a photo, and I was happy to allow my daughter to come along as she wanted to and we’d done it many times before.
However, four full days of school and an irregular sleep schedule were beginning to catch up to her. We were waiting in line when she laid eyes on a bag of candy she wanted. As it wasn’t something she needed or even should have, I said no, but instead of taking no for an answer, my daughter began to whine.
When I didn’t give in, the whining turned to screaming, and pretty soon, my usually well-behaved daughter was in a full-out tantrum. I had to carry her down the street, but after only making it halfway home, I was forced to stop and wait for her to finish the tantrum there on the sidewalk.
As I waited and she screamed, almost everyone that passed by gave me looks of disapproval, and it was these dirty looks that had me more upset than my daughter’s behavior.
I’ll use Catherine Belknap of the mom-vlogging duo Cat & Nat to explain why I think it’s completely bogus for parents to get judged when they’re caught with a child in a temper tantrum.
“Mothers with kids who are acting up are most likely amazing mothers who have told their kids no for something, so if you want less a**holes in the world, smile at the mother with the screaming kid. She’s done exactly what makes her a good mother,” Cat wrote in a Facebook PSA.
She continued: “And when you see her marching forward with that screaming kid in tow, it’s most likely not neglect, it’s self-preservation. Because acknowledging that screaming child is like pouring gasoline on a fire.” It was almost as if she had seen me at Walgreens that day!
“Tantrums and throw-downs can happen at any time, at any age, at any place . . . we don’t choose it –and most moms are treated as if THEY ASKED FOR IT,” she added. “Trust us, it’s not our top choice to have a screaming uncontrollable wet fish of a child.”
She concluded: “Before we go throwing mothers under the bus for their children’s behavior, let’s remember that that behavior is most likely because of great parenting.”
I don’t think that I should get a Mother of the Year award or anything like that, but the fact is that I could have given into my child’s behavior and bought her whatever it was that she desired in order to quiet her, but I didn’t.
I also didn’t want her to think that whining and wailing would get her what she wanted. All in all, I may not be the perfect mother, but I certainly shouldn’t have to explain myself or my child to passing strangers.
As Cat said, “Stick together . . . we all need each other.”