This dad's method of stopping his toddler's tantrum involves no shouting at, beating up, or even time out. And yet, it is so brilliant!
On a fine August day, Dad Terrel Crawford was shopping with his family at Wallmart in Ohio, USA. And that is when his daughter Iris, decided to throw a tantrum, right in the middle of the store, while her mum was shopping. And instead of being ashamed or apologetic, this dad did something amazing to stop the tantrum. He walked out of the store with his daughter to the parking lot and waited till she calmed down!
He filmed the entire process, and this video has been viewed by more than 22 million people in just a month. And to his credit, people just love his method. Here is the video where he explains his method.
The video begins with the father-daughter duo in the parking lot. The daughter is crying as the onlookers pass by. The dad is not even looking at the daughter. He is filming the entire process, and the daughter knows it.
Soon, he begins explaining his process, and where he comes from.
According to him, the best way to deal with a toddler tantrum is to wait it out where there is nothing to do, like a parking lot. The toddler does not have anything in her hand to distract her – no toy or a mobile phone. Instead, she is sitting on the hood of the car, deciding between crying and giving up.
Then, he tells her that they are not going back till she decided to stop what she is doing. And he warns her – if she throws a tantrum again, they would go back to the parking lot and sit it out! Because, according to the dad, walking around the store with the mum is a privilege, and the daughter needs to earn it.
Then he explains that a tantrum is a result of spoiling your kids. This is caused by parents not telling ‘no’ to their kids, and instead, pampering them. He gives fellow parents one advice – don’t entitle your kids. Let them earn the luxuries they are getting. Otherwise, they take them for granted and grow up to become rich, spoilt brats.
The dad’s stand on tantrums
Terrel explains that tantrums are inevitable. Kids, being kids, are going to throw a fit. He explains that he is not bothered by his daughter throwing a tantrum at Wallmart. What bothers him is that she does not stop when he tells her to. And so, they are there, in the parking lot.
Terrel wants to do things differently than his dad. Growing up, he would receive a whooping if he would throw a tantrum. But that just made him redirect his anger from the situation towards his parents. Many parents give an iPad to distract a toddler throwing a tantrum. But, according to Terrel, iPad is meant as a mode of entertainment and education, not as a distraction.
As he explains it all, Iris regains her composure, wipes her face, and is ready to go back in!
Managing a toddler’s tantrum
As a dad, I agree with Terrel to an extent. Kids often throw a tantrum when they are bored and are unable to express it in words. However, there are two main reasons he overlooks, probably because they are so obvious.
The two main reasons why a toddler throws a tantrum is because he is hungry, or tired. In many cases, it is a combination of both. So, before you head over to the parking lot or even the void deck of your HDB, you need to be sure that your kid is not hungry or sleepy.
If he is, then feed him and let him relax a bit by listening to some songs or nursery rhymes. It is best if you sing them. That way, he gets attention as well as relaxation, and it calms him down instantly.
However, if you are sure that it is a tantrum out of boredom, here are the three things you do.
- Get to the eye level. Children are much more receptive if you go down and meet their gaze. So do that.
- Ask them to express in words. Ask them what is bothering them. Lead the discussion by suggestive questions – are you bored? Are you thirsty?
- Wait it out. If it is just a boredom tantrum, let them get it out of the system. Let them sit at one place, and let them cry. Eventually, they get bored of crying aimlessly and their mood improves!
Thank you, Terrel, for this innovative method. I am sure I am going to use it the next time my son throws a tantrum!
Image source: Screen grabs.
But, if this is not your style, read how Kate Middleton manages her daughter’s tantrums!