If you have kids or have had kids, I’m sure you can all relate to this parent, especially if you currently have a toddler. As a parent, you know it’s not easy dining out with toddlers, especially if your little one ends up throwing a tantrum in public. This causes several with laser glares to come your way.
This father experienced the toddler’s tantrum and the glares, but took the problems one step further on social media. Check out how he handled this situation and then you’ll understand why it’s gone viral.
Edwards and his wife have three children, ages nine, seven, and two. And like most families, they like to occasionally enjoy a nice dinner out.
One evening, while dining at Red Robin, Edwards’ 2-year-old daughter began to throw a fit because “mom wouldn’t let her throw chicken strips.” The tantrum, filled with kicking and screaming, forced this dad to brace himself against the dirty looks of childless diners as he carried his toddler out.
Edwards, a writer for his hilariously honest blog “No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog” and author of the book “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: (Parenting. Marriage. Madness),” took to Facebook to write a truth-filled message to all complainers who don’t have children. He snapped a selfie saying, “I’m stuck in the van with my toddler… since I was the only one finished with my meal, I had the pleasure of dragging her out of Red Robin.”
Edwards addressed the stares from the assuming childless people at the bar that appeared to say, “if you can’t control your kid, then don’t go out.’” “Well… no. I can’t control her,” he wrote.
“She’s two and it’s going to take years to teach her how to act appropriately in public,” said Edwards. “The only way I am ever going to teach that is to take her out and show her what’s right and wrong.”
He continued his truth rant by exposing that those same irritated diners at the bar were a part of this learning process too. “It’s how you learned to be a respectable person,” he said.
Edwards admitted that in his past days as a server, he used to be that person who got annoyed and complained about children. But now he wishes he could go back and tell his past self all about “the realities of parenting.”
“I get it. Kids are irritating when they are loud in a restaurant,” he wrote to the Facebook community. “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.”
Amen! Kids are kids. They take patience and understanding. They take parents that understand learning right from wrong takes time. They also can’t experience situations, if they’ve never been in them. Kids learn best by doing and being in the real world.
I give this guy a lot of credit. Parenting is hard, but it’s also very rewarding. His patience and understanding now, will pay off big down the road. I also wouldn’t worry about those laser stares either; those are probably coming from people who’ve never had kids. They don’t know any better.
So the next time you’re witnessing a parent with a toddler throwing a tantrum, try to not be so judgemental. It’s called parenting. Being a parent you need to remember, as Edwards says, you’re working with a “raw product.” That “raw product” is going to turn out to be one fine example some day in the near future that you can be proud of because you, like Edwards, took the time to be a parent.
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