What a Parent Who 'Just Sits There' During Tantrums is Really Doing

We've all seen it on the bus, the train, or even on line at the market: the parent who doesn't make the slightest attempt at calming their wailing child.

And while you might think that parent is simply choosing to give themselves a time out, that's not the case.

Australian blogger Constance Hall has pointed out there's often a very good reason parents choose not to intervene.

Inspired by a recent conversation with a friend, Hall mounts a passionate defense on her of parents with tantrum-throwing-offspring who appear to do "nothing" while their child wails.

She writes:

"I have been that mum. I have bribed, I have begged, I have stroked a child during a tantrum, I have lugged that child to the car, I reminded myself that it's going to be ok and repeatedly told my child that I loved him, that she was going to see consequences if she didn't stop..."

Hall admits that as a parent, there are going to be those moments when you try everything you can with your child.

"And any seasoned expert will tell you that sometimes the only thing you can do, is nothing."

As one parent in the comments section points out, doing nothing is actually a sign of support:

There is an overwhelming flood of love from parents across the internet nodding their heads in solidarity.

from  wrote:

"I 'just sat there' recently while my ASD child a full BLOWN MELTDOWN (different to a tantrum). I pushed him through the mall, ordered my coffee, went to Coles and then back to the car all the while he didn't stop screaming the centre down! I deal with meltdowns all day every day. I cuddle, speak calmly, tell him I love him, deliver everything and anything he could possibly need BUT when I do nothing it's because I am broken. ASD and meltdowns wear at your soul. Less judgement by standers is always appreciated 💙"

One thing's for sure, when a child is publicly throwing a tantrum, it takes a toll on both the parent and child.

Hall ends her post with a message to her friend and really, to all of us who have ever been caught between a screaming child and exasperated mother. She writes:

"I asked my friend to not see her as the mum who 'just sat there' while her child melts down. And instead see her as the mum who "is always there" while her child melts down. Because being there and doing nothing are two very different things."

Well said Hall, well said.