‘No, I can’t control her… not yet’ – Dad’s powerful letter after toddler’s tantrum

"No, I can't control her, not all the time, not yet..."


The dad of a toddler has written a powerful open letter after feeling judged for his child’s tantrum.


Clint Edwards, who runs the blog No Idea What I’m Doing, took to his Facebook page to share what happened when his 2-year-old daughter had a paddy in a restaurant and needed to be taken outside.

He says he noticed stares and judgmental expressions from fellow diners, as he made his way to the family’s car with a screaming-and-kicking little person in tow.

Here’s his post in full:

“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 her throw chicken strips.

“So 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.

“I carried her past the bar and everyone stared at me, most of them childless, I assumed. No one with children would give me that straight faced, lip twisted, look that seems to say, ‘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.

“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 recognise 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.

“I get it. Kids are irritating when they are loud in a restaurant. I know. I’m living it. But before you get angry and judgmental, realise that what you are witnessing is not bad parenting, but rather, parents working hard to fix the situation.

“You are looking at what it takes to turn a child into a person.”

We see loads of posts like these here at MFM, but this one really struck all of us – not only because it’s written so calmly and eloquently, but because he totally hits the nail on the head with his measured description of parenting a toddler.

The whole point of taking your little one outside when they’re being disruptive in a public place is to teach them that they can’t behave that way. It’s a lesson that’s gotta be learned.

Plus, removing them from the area minimises the effect it may have on other people nearby.

So surely common sense shows he did the best thing he could do in that sitch, right?

Hats off from us ?

Images: Facebook/Clint Edwards

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