Friday Things – Public Tantrums

It’s time for Friday Things – Public Tantrums. No mom wants to deal with it. It’s embarrassing, stressful and even exhausting, but I’ve learned a thing or two.


a little boy having a tantrum in public


To the man who once yelled at me to “shut up that blankity blank baby” (who was three weeks old, our first baby mind you) who had been screaming for two hours no matter what I did unless i was out there on that back porch, you were once that baby, and I hope that your mother did exactly what I did. My sweaty palms and pits and utter exhaustion didn’t make me cave one bit. No, I prayed and snuggled, and soothed and rocked until I thought my back would break and arms would fall off.


I was born to raise these children and while it may be annoying to hear them scream I’ll keep trying teach, love and console them in the best way I know how and simultaneously forgive your horrendous behavior, because that’s what moms do, we multitask. 😜😘

Friday Things – Public Tantrums

Public tantrums? Yup.

We only experienced one between both girls but this guy is more like one every other day.

I despise it. It’s not even just that it’s awkward and embarrassing, it’s that it’s exhausting!

It all started over a cup. A used, falling apart, empty paper cup. I threw it away. Pretty much ruined his life. I mean, it was sticky and gross and empty and he had me holding it for the last 5 minutes without a single thought about it. Until I threw it in the trash. Heaven forbid.

I’ve gotten the glares and stares, the sighs and avoidance. It’s a real beast and it’s the adults that make it waaaaay worse.

Or better. ❤

This tantrum was in the middle of a crowd and he full on stopped and threw one. Not one person said or did anything to make me feel embarrassed.

🛒 The last was at the grocery store and the screaming was unreal. A woman walked up and offered him smarties.

Last week at target a little one was bawling and screaming while the mom was desperately trying to sort out a return, and a young girl, probably in college wandered over and said, “I like your red shirt, is that your favorite color? It’s mine too! What about the incredibles, they like red too” not one more peep. We all stood there watching a tender mercy and I couldn’t help but think, not only is there good left in the world, and not only are we all exactly the same- people just trying to make it through life, but we are also capable of staying calm, assuming the good, and making a difference.

The world doesn’t need more politicians, or super heroes, it needs more good women and men, but especially good women.

The first thing we can do in this world is to stop being so quick to judge. Even if you’re too shy to wander over and lend a helping hand, you can choose to not judge. You can choose to smile and give reassurance if that mother passes by and you can feel her frustration.


Surely I’m not the only one that has felt it or witnessed it? Have any of you?


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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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25 comments on “Friday Things – Public Tantrums”

  1. This year all 5 of my children are in school, and I shop empty handed! I remember being in your shoes with tantrums, etc. I remember when I was in the middle of always taking littles shopping and “grocery store angels” would come help me with my groceries-thinking that when I got empty hands at the grocery store that I would be that “angel” for others. And I have been able to do it several times already! One month into school! I absolutely know those feelings and how hard it is! I also remember trying not to cry when others helped instead of glared. You can do this, it does get easier! And you are doing the most important thing in the world by loving and teaching your kiddos. ♥️

  2. 99.9% of the time I assume that a child is throwing a tantrum because the parent is, well, parenting. The kid is upset because he or she isn’t getting exactly what he or she wants right now this instant. So if learning this lesson requires a level of wailing that can put a smoke detector to shame, I (a childless 30-something) am not going to judge. 

  3. Once my son, age 2, right beside his dad in a Ross store, pushed a rack that was unbalanced with clothing loaded heavily at one end. It was like a domino effect…it went over, knocking over the next rack which knocked over the next rack which knocked over the next one, toppling over nearly every rack in the store. Scurried out of there with him and didn’t go back in until he was five. Parenthood is not for the weak. Please know that there’s a lot of folks like me who are just smiling at your little ray of cloudy sunshine. They grow up so fast.

  4. I get it. Babies cry, toddlers tantrum. But for the love of God, get them out of the store, restaurant, wherever….. Not every one needs to suffer. I was taken out as a child. Be respectful. That has disappeared…..respect. Not everyone needs to hear your child or suffer with you. We understand you are having a bad day, but don’t ruin ours, too.

  5. I can’t re

  6. I’m sure every mother on the planet has experienced this one time or many times. My grandson laid down on the floor in super Walmart and kicked and screamed until security showed up to make sure I wasn’t beating him. I tried picking him up and was punched in the eye and other places.
    The security officer tried to calm him down. Finally a little girl came over and asked what he wanted. He pointed to the produce and I said go get what you want.
    It was a great big bag of collard greens. I guess it was the bag that attracted him because he was barely 2 years old at the time. He held that bag all the way home and climbed up on the sofa with it and fell asleep clutching it to his chest.
    Kids are precious but they do have their moments where you feel like the worse mom in the world.

  7. I was blessed, out of 5 children, this only happened to us one, with our oldest. She was at Walmart with her Grandparents, and started throwing a tantrum over a toy she could not have. It was in front of 3 of her siblings. My in-laws left their full cart with a clerk, packed them all up, and brought them home. They went back for their cart, and she (6 at the time), went to bed with no supper. She set the example for the 3 younger kids, and it never happened again. Having said that, I agree with the woman above who says know your child(ren), and try not to take them out when tired or hungry, etc.

    But I also would like to say that we as parents need to follow thru when we say no. When we say stop or we are going home. Parents who scream at their children, be-little them, shame them, call them names, and count to 3, (over and over) are more embarrassing than the children who are acting up. Set rules, set boundaries, and follow through, and children will quickly learn. Give in and give them everything they want, and children will quickly learn that the bigger the fit, the faster they will get their way. And it will never stop. We need to teach and discipline with love, and follow through.

    We have 5 adult children now, who have all been a blessing, and have actually thanked us for the way we raised and guided them, and have told us they hope to raise their children as well as we did! They are all close, loving, Christian children. That is all we can all work towards and hope for. God bless.

    • Oh Dany! I love this! Thank you so much for sharing your experience and perspective! I am with you 100%…you have to follow through with what you say as a parent. Even if it is very inconvenient for you as the parent. Thank you again for leaving a comment!

  8. My 25-yo son, the 2nd child, recently found out that we always called him “the poster child for birth control”. He hated change and still is not a big fan of it. He didn’t like to get dressed in the morning or put on his pjs at night. One day I took him to preschool in his underwear (in the midwest in February) because he wanted to stay home and play on the computer, not go to the school party. He did finally get dressed in the parking lot but whew! If we wanted McDonald’s for dinner, he wanted pizza. If we wanted pizza, he wanted McDonalds. If we all wanted to go to the zoo – he didn’t. What kid doesn’t want to go to the zoo or parties?! He threw tantrums on a daily basis. I really hope he doesn’t have a child like him because he wore me out. That said, once he hit high school he became the most wonderful young man – thoughtful, affectionate, always speaks to everyone, loves kids, smart – I can’t say enough good things about him. 

  9. I so can relate to this !! You are a rock star momma!!! Keep on …keeping on!!! Your kiddos are so lucky to have you !!!

  10. Thank you, from a Grandmother, for the reminders and stories of grace and mercy.

  11. I noticed that a lot of acting out occurs when the child is tired — like lunch time or 5:00/after daycare, etc. If possible avoid those times that are close to nap times.

  12. Ah, the dreaded public tantrum. Pretty sure we’ve all been there at least once and most of us more times than that!! That college girl you spoke of sure saved the day and is a saint in the making. When I can, I try to help out as I’ve been in that horrifying situation before and nothing sucks worse than the disdainful, scornful, or judging looks. Even just a simple, “Mine’s at home but I sure know what you’re going through; hang in there” works wonders.

  13. I had two sons. The first was very easy going like me, the second was a handful. Neither child was permitted public tantrums because, if I don’t want to hear them then I’m sure no one else does. My second son threw his first and last tantrum at the age of 22 months. We were in the main store on the Navy Base that I was stationed at in Keflavik Iceland. He decided he wanted a candy bar and was told no because we would have supper when we got home. He commenced throwing a hissy fit. I told him to stop and explained he was giving the nice store lady a headache and if he continued he could not have the toy he had chosen earlier. He continued. I then walked through the exchange and let him watch as I put his toy back on the shelfand we went home. By the time we got home he was just sniffling but was calmer so I explained how his behavior was not nice. and that was also his first lesson that HE was not in charge and that there are repercussions to our behaviors. Never had another tantrum….just sulking. I was lucky as I have seen children who can’t be talked to or reasoned with. I am just glad I never had to deal with that. I couldn’t help but laugh when that same son was horrified when his 3 year old son had a tantrum and swore he’d never take him out of the house again!!!! Talking to his son did the trick for him too. No two children are alike and what works on one may not work on another so it has to be trial and error. The biggest thing is to talk to your child and not overreact. I remember my sister having a tantrum when I was about 6 and she was nearly 3. I remember my mom laying down on the floor beside her and acting the same way, then asking her ” wasn’t it a silly way to act?” Talk to them…..they are people too.

  14. Great post! Kindness is highly under-rated in this hectic, fast-paced world!