Clint Edwards, who created “No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog” was out to eat with his family when his two-year-old’s meltdown left him feeling like he knew exactly what he was doing when it comes to parenting.
According to his Facebook post, while his family was enjoying their food, his two-year-old daughter was busy playing with hers. He wrote that as she was attempting to throw her chicken strips across the table, his wife was preventing it from happening.
Unfortunately, his wife’s attempt to discipline their two-year-old sent their daughter into a full-blown meltdown. He wrote:
“She screamed, and screamed, and kicked and kicked, and since I was the only one finished with my meal, I had the pleasure of dragging her out of Red Robin.”
As Clint carried his little one out of the restaurant, he felt the eyes of almost everyone sitting at the bar staring at him.
I'm stuck in the van with my toddler. We went out to dinner as a family, and she had a meltdown because mom wouldn't let…
He admitted that he assumed the people looking at them “straight-faced” with their “lips twisted” were childless because he presumed that someone with a child would ever give another parent a look that says, “if you can’t control your kid, then don’t go out.”
“Well… no. I can’t control her. Not all the time. Not yet.
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. By saying no a million times, letting her throw a fit, and telling her no again.”
The father of three went on to say that teaching his daughter how to act appropriately in public will take “patience, hard work, and real world experiences.”
While Clint is sorry that his daughter’s meltdown disturbed other people’s night out, he wished that they would acknowledge that they are part of the lesson too.
He explained further:
“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.”
Clint conceded that he knows that a child throwing a fit in the middle of a public place can be annoying, but what onlookers are seeing isn’t “bad parenting,” but rather a parent doing their best to raise their child to become a well-round human being.
He told Independent Journal Review that he hopes other parents going through a similar time remember that it will get better:
“[Parents] just need to realize that most likely [their] child will grow out of it. Keep that in the back of your mind. It helps keep you calm.”
Because when people stare at a parent as their child has a meltdown, they aren’t looking at a person who can’t control their own child, they “are looking at what it takes to turn a child into a person.”