We were all sitting at a table outside, chatting away, when we were interrupted by a mom and her screaming kid who I thought looked about five. They were leaving the ice cream parlor, but the little boy was screaming and crying and throwing a full-on tantrum on the ground while his mother held his ice cream cone. He was shouting "I WANT IT IN A CUP!! A CUP! I WANT A CUP!!! WAAAAHHH!!!!" He was so intense that one of my friends had to move his chair so the kid didn't knock his head. The poor mother was clearly embarrassed. I knew this because, at one point, she told her son "You are embarrassing." For about three minutes, the boy screamed and the mom said "Get up, let's go!", until the mom eventually passed the cone to dad, picked up the screaming and kicking child, and put him in the car.
When they had left, all five of us started laughing and cheering at the same time. We were laughing because some of us teachers deal with "behaviors" all day in the classroom and it's nice (and funny!) when it's not our problem to deal with! We were cheering because, and this is crucial, the mom did not reinforce his tantrum by going back into the store for a cup. It seems like a lot of parents these days would have done exactly that.
We indulged in some "If it were me" conversation at this point, which was actually quite ridiculous because none of us around the table were parents (and I'm sure we might all change our minds when we're the burnt out moms and its OUR kid), and we came up with several scenarios.
- Let the kid have a tantrum, but start taking off your belt...
- Let the kid have a tantrum, and give him an empty cup
- Let the kid have a tantrum, and throw his ice cream cone away
- Let the kid have a tantrum while you calmly eat and finish his ice cream cone
You have one guess as to which scenario was my suggestion!