Why Dragging Screaming Toddlers Out of Restaurants Is Actually Great Parenting

Clint Edwards shares important reminder to all parents
No Idea What I'm Doing: A Daddy Blog/Facebook

There are times when you're raising a toddler that you want to yell from the rooftops that you're doing your freaking best -- or wave the white parenting flag in surrender and defeat. Because, honestly, no one truly knows the ups and downs you'll navigate bringing up a small child until you're battling it out in the trenches. That's why dad blogger Clint Edwards shared this account of his toddler's tantrum inside a Red Robin to remind people to show a little kindness to moms and dads who are likely doing their best -- because as this dad says, "You are looking at what it takes to turn a child into a person."

Advertisement

It's not super hard to imagine (at all) how this dad, a husband and father or three, felt trying to make his way out of a Red Robin after his 2-year-old daughter decided the spirit moved her enough to have a tantrum after she wasn't allowed to throw chicken fingers.

Yeah, likely not a quiet encounter.

More from CafeMom: Couple Changes Tables to Get Away From Mom & 3 Kids -- but It's Not What You Think

Taking to his Facebook page No Idea What I'm Doing: A Daddy Blog, Edwards reveals onlookers stared at him and his daughter with looks that said "if you can't control your kid, then don't go out" -- prompting Clint to school us all on the importance of showing compassion and giving people the benefit of the doubt.

Clint Edwards shares must-read parenting incident that's a reminder to be kind
No Idea What I'm Doing: A Daddy Blog/Facebook

"She's two and it's going to take years to teach her how to act appropriately in public, and the only way I am ever going to teach that is to take her out and show her what's right and wrong," Dad writes. "By saying no a million times, letting her throw a fit, and telling her no again." He continues:

These lessons take patience, hard work, and real world experiences, and I'm sorry to those at the bar who got irritated by my child's fit, but you are part of this practice. Your parents did the same with you, and that's how you now know how to recognize when a child does something irritating in a restaurant. It's how you learned to look at a situation and say, 'That parent needs to control their kids.'

It's how you learned to be a respectable person.

More from CafeMom: 6 Things Not to Do When My Toddler Is Having a Tantrum in Public

Ooh, Lawd. Are we passing around the plate to give this man our tithes and offerings? Because Clint is preaching to so many parents right now!

I have found that dining out with my 3- and 1½-year-old kiddos can be like a game of double dutch: You've got to time leaving the house just right -- factoring in the wait for food, how quickly LO is so over the new scenery, and whether or not your kid had an adequate nap -- or your experience will quickly turn into a nightmare.

There are times when my husband and I leave a restaurant unscathed, and then there are times when we cross ourselves (you know, Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost?) as we quickly motion to the waiter we need to go -- like right the hell now.

Still, the sight of a screaming and likely frustrated or tired toddler does not mean said models of peace and tranquility are like that all the time -- or that parents aren't trying to remedy the situation.

It just means you happened to catch our currently dysfunctional clan during an off moment.

More from CafeMom: If Your Kid Is a Pain in the Butt at Restaurants, This Menu Is for You

"I get it. Kids are irritating when they are loud in a restaurant. I know. I'm living it," Edwards says in his Facebook post. "But before you get angry and judgmental, realize that what you are witnessing is not bad parenting, but rather, parents working hard to fix the situation."

So freaking true, Clint. So freaking true.

Becoming a mother has opened my eyes so much. I try harder not to jump to conclusions (try being the operative word) and try to show more compassion, as we're all fighting battles -- even if a few of those battles are against a pint-sized person who can't fully communicate why he or she is upset.

At the end of the day, we're all doing our best, and we shouldn't be so quick to judge a parent who might be experiencing a less than stellar moment.

Read More >