The Huffington Post recently posted an article about the blog page asshole parents and having read some of the comments on there I was aware of a huge mix of opinions from the public on documenting children tantrums.
Some people seemed to have an extremely negative view of blogging these moments within parenting, with comments ranging from how these children should be smacked for behaving in such a way, to how parents should be assisting their children with their emotions throughout the tantrum rather than photographing them and posting them on social media.
I'm going to disregard the smacking opinion because as a parent I don't believe in physical punishment and don't wish to get in to debates on the effects of this. It's just not for me.
However, I do want to acknowledge the other argument as I do believe on some level it's a valid one.
Of course, in moments of distress your children need you to be sensitive of their needs and emotions and as a parent it is your job to help them through this and provide a loving and understanding response to ensure they feel safe in a very confusing world. Your childs needs should always be put first, however as a mum, and a new mummy blogger I think it's important to acknowledge how the parent is feeling also.
I recently had a photograph of my 3 year old reposted on Instagram by asshole parents. The photo was of him laid on the floor in the middle of a shop and gained over three thousand likes. When looking back at the photo I can laugh, but at the time I was in deep distress as a parent.
Whilst shopping I allowed my son to choose a game from the shelf. His Nana who was with us at the time noticed the box that the game came in was open and stated to him that it was open and would he like her to close it to ensure nothing fell out. This resulted in my son laying down in the middle of the floor in protest. What people don't see from the photograph is that whilst down on the floor we attempted to reassure him, explained that his behaviour was inappropriate, asked him why he was feeling angry etc. Whilst attempting to do this the behaviour became worse and we were becoming centre stage for a number of onlookers, some who laughed and some who were clearly the type who believed in physical punishment or felt my son was naughty and I was a bad parent. It is always the negative comments that you imagine people making when in a situation like this. When people walk pass and laugh or offer a comment such as "ooh "I've been there" it actually provides some comfort.
In a situation where I felt helpless and at risk of severely losing my temper I instead walked away (with my son still in sight) in an attempt to give us both space and to allow myself a breather to think how else to address the situation. It was at that point I took the photo. My son wasn't looking. My thoughts were to take it and to show him at a later point to discuss with him what had upset him so much.
I don't want this post to come over as defensive. It isn't intended that way. However I think people may forget that children can freak out over the smallest thing, and when they are in the middle of a melt down, that isn't always the ideal time to talk about it with them. Some parents, who may be more isolated can think their children are behaving abnormally, or they are failing as a parent. Couple this with comments about how their children should be punished or dealt with more efficiently can only increase this thought process.
The aim of blogs such as asshole parents and blogs like my own is to provide reassurance (in a lighthearted manner) that their children are acting in the same way as thousands of others on the planet. EVERY child will have a melt down at some point. It's part of their development, and blogs such as this allow other parents to realise it is NOT always their fault. They are NOT a bad parent. No parent is perfect, but in my opinion, a parent has a much better chance of success when they can relate to others, have a sense of humour, and not feel wholly responsible for the way their children may sometimes act. Everyone will have their opinion on blogs such as these and it's not for me to object to them opinions, however I do think it needs to be addressed that sometimes as parents we just need to be honest about the struggles we go through in order to alleviate our own stresses. These types of blogs provide a platform for that, as well as a comfort blanket to know that at some point within your parenting journey you will without doubt be an asshole.