Temper tantrums — they're something that every parent or former child (aka everyone) is familiar with. Who can forget the times that they threw a fit because they couldn't get the bouncy ball they wanted or the candy bar they saw at the register? Tantrums, as embarrassing as they are to parents, do happen all the time, and how this dad handled his daughter's temper tantrum at a Walmart is so admirable.
Temper tantrums can be a little mortifying to parents, which is why some parents choose to take their children out of the store and let them get it out of their systems in the parking lot. Just like Ohio native and massage therapist Terrel Rico Relz Crawford, who chose to go live on his Facebook page while his 3-year-old daughter, Ari, had a tantrum on the hood of his car — an all-too-common scene for some.
In the video, Crawford calmly talks to his daughter and she stops her crying to listen to him. "When we go back into the store, are you going to listen?" he asks. "Because everyone sees you acting a fool."
He reasons with her, stating that they don't have to go back into the store if she wants to keep crying. "We don't have to walk around the store with your mom, that's a privilege," he tells his daughter.
"See, when you spoil your kids, this is what happens," Crawford tells the camera. His honesty (and willingness to admit that he spoils his daughter) is refreshing on so many levels.
Crawford then explains his reasoning for taking his daughter to the parking lot to the camera:
I'm OK with the kid screaming in Walmart, what I'm not OK with is them not stopping when I tell them to. So we can be out here in this lovely old parking lot until Miss Ari wants to stop screaming her head off.
Crawford continues with his sage advice, stating to viewers: "If [children] don't learn by you teaching, then who are they going to learn by?" He instructs his daughter to "wipe the stress" off her face (so sweet) and tells her to pull herself together before ultimately calming her down and making sure she is alright to head back inside. And by the time they're ready to walk through the doors of Walmart, Ari is dancing, smiling, and ready to go.
It is his truthful reasoning with his daughter (and the camera) that has made Crawford's video go viral on Facebook accumulating over 21 million views and 300,000 shares in the weeks since he posted it (and probably partly because Ari could not be any more adorable, even in her post-tantrum state).
The reasoning behind his method for handling the tantrum isn't something learned in psychology books — it's all about understanding where his young daughter is coming from, according to the Mansfield News Journal. "We all learn as we grow," Crawford told the Mansfield News Journal. "You're learning as a parent just as the child is learning as a child. You're always learning, whether your child is 2 or 22 or 42, you're still learning to be a parent to that type of child."
Science shows, according to NPR, that tantrums have a pattern and rhythm of anger and sadness, which can help parents, like Crawford respond more effectively. According to NPR, one study found that once parents are able to figure out those patterns of emotion (like Crawford seems to have mastered) they can detect when their child is going through these emotions, and will know when to intervene with their child's tantrum.
According to TIME, parents should ride out the periods of when their child is angry and then intervene when their child is sad. This allows parents to have more control when it comes to their child's tantrum, getting rid of the embarrassment and feelings of helplessness that they might encounter. Pretty neat, huh?
Ari is certainly not the first kid to have a tantrum in the middle of a store (this tantrum, for instance, video shot in the store's toy department in 2011 has over 8 million views on YouTube). But, this video is unique due to Crawford's expert handling of the situation. It's refreshing to see a parent handle such a big situation in such a reasonable manner — his real-life example of dealing with a tantrum is one that people can watch and learn from when handling an inevitable pint-sized fit.