Is It Ever Right To Complain About A Tantrumming Tot?

Is It Ok To Complain About A Tantrum?
7 March 2016

There can't be a parent alive who hasn't felt the hot sting of shame as her normally-cherubic offspring writhes on the floor of the supermarket in the grip of a tantrum worthy of a cheap horror flick.

In fact show me a mum who says her toddler has never had a public meltdown whilst out shopping, and I'll show you a gigantic fibber. We've all been there.

The simple truth is that all toddlers have tantrums and thus it is practically inevitable that one will strike when you're out shopping at some point. I bet some clever academic has done some fancy pants study on the link between shopping environments and toddler meltdowns but let's just say that there's something about the close proximity of utter strangers and the inability to get to safe ground quickly that makes dealing with a toddler tantrum when you're in a shop especially cringe-worthy.

So I felt a pang of sympathy for the mum who said she was asked to leave a well-known department store after customers complained about her daughter throwing a wobbler.

The Daily Mail reports:

"A mother said she was left feeling 'embarrassed' after she was asked to leave John Lewis when customers complained because her toddler was having a tantrum. Lindsay Robinson, 36, was shopping with a friend at the store's Trafford Centre branch in Dumplington, Greater Manchester, when her 16-month-old daughter, Heidi, started being 'loud and vocal'."

Ms Robinson claims she was approached by a menswear employee who asked her to leave the shop. According to the paper, the retailer denies that she was actually escorted out of the shop although they have reportedly offered her a John Lewis voucher and apologised for the staff member's inappropriate actions.

There's no question that asking someone to leave a public space because their kid is acting like, well, a kid, is totally unacceptable, in my view. But this story did get me wondering. When *is* it appropriate to ask a parent to get his or her tot to pipe down - and is doing so ever justifiable?

As the summer holidays loom ahead of us, none of us wants to be *that* family that all the other passengers on the train or plane try to avoid sitting near - and yet surely we've all watched a parent fight a losing battle with a tantrumming kid and wished, if only in the dark places of our mind, that the accompanying adult would do something to make it stop. No? Just me then?

Ok, well we''d love to hear your views on this topic. Have you ever been on the receiving end of disapproving looks from onlooker during your child's tantrum?

Or worse, has anyone ever asked you to leave a public place on account of your tantrum-throwing tot?

And if you've ever had a meal ruined or your peace shattered by a toddler whose parents seems hellbent on not intervening during a toddler tantrum, do you think it's ever appropriate to complain about a tantrumming tot in a public place?

Come and share your views by leaving us a comment here on the blog or joining the debate over on our Facebook page.

TOPICS:   Parenting Tips


  • bru

    clearly the lady and her child were causing annoyance to other customers. this lady should have temporarily left the store, and returned when the child was behaving itself. just good manners really. what on earth processed john lewis to give her £20 for, baffles me.

  • stayathomemummy

    I don't think it ever acceptable to ask someone to leave a public place because their toddler is having a tantrum.I think disapproving adults need to remember we were all toddlers at one stage and having a tantrum is part of growing up and a stagecoach all go through.I think it's a natural reaction for people to look  that's just what people do.

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