Woman sparks debate after suggesting strangers should shout at children to stop temper tantrums

(1 ratings)
Temper tantrum
Temper tantrums are inevitable.

Even if you're the best parent in the world, there is no predicting when your toddler will scream the house down with an epic tantrum... normally always in a public place.

But now one women has caused a debate amongst parents after creating a 'secret signal' which she thinks will stop temper tantrums for good.

Jamie Matson shared a friend's post on Facebook, which said parents should have a 'secret signal' that tells strangers it's ok to shout at their child and 'tell it to shut up'.

The friend's name has been blocked out on the post, but she said she came up with the idea after watching a mum desperately struggling to handle her child's screaming in an American supermarket.

She said: 'There should be a secret signal parents give when they can't take anymore so a random stranger can mean mug the kid and tell it to shut up.'

She then went on to defend the idea, saying that it would actually work and also teach the child about stranger danger.

'1.) The kid will be so shocked they shut up.
2.) It will reinforce stranger danger.
3.) It will show them, from an early age, that while your parents love you and put up with your s*** the rest of the world doesn't care about you (or your feelings), no matter how cute you are.'

Jamie shared the post, calling it a 'pretty good idea', and it has already been shared over 25,000 times.

However, not everyone agreed with the idea of getting a stranger to shout at your child, with one user making the point that for children with autism this could be particularly distressing.

They said: 'And what about that autistic child that looks like every other child but mentally is different and could melt down from any trigger sometimes parent have to do what they have to do to get through the store and they don't want anybody in their child's face'

They then added: 'And I completely understand that as a mom of five lol and my rascals can be hard to handle and I hope it is just a joke because even at a moment of serious struggle I would honestly become more upset if a stranger told my child to shut up'.

Another argued that actually helping the mum is more effective than shouting at their child.

'how about offering to help the mom out. either offer to carry her kid and walk with her through the store, or help her pick out what she needs while she carries baby. everyone is in such a hurry, just slow down and offer to help someone', they said.

But others welcomed the idea, with some saying they've shouted at a screaming child in the past and the method works.

One Facebook user said: 'I cannot stand to see kids throwing temper tantrums in public. Most of the time the mom is appreciative.'

Another added: 'Haha, I do it all the time...or look at the kid with a silly face, or a shocked look. Usually works.'

Continued below...

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Your rating

Average rating

  • 4
(1 ratings)

Your comments


This approach to temper tantrums is bad not just for children on the autism spectrum, but for all children. Temper tantrums are not willful acts of manipulation but manifestations that children are unhappy and overwhelmed. We would never scream at a crying adult to shut up, why would we think this would be good for children. Unhappy children need the same (and more) of what unhappy adults need - compassion and kindness. For a parenting book that offers effective and developmentally appropriate strategies for dealing with temper tantrums and other childhood unhappiness, see Smart Love: The Comprehensive Guide to Understanding, Regulating, and Enjoying Your Child. Also coming in 2017: Jilly's Terrible Temper Tantrums: And How She Outgrew Them.

Sheila Mitchell

My Granddaughter has Dyspraxia and autistic tendencies, she has on occasion thrown herself onto the floor screaming, people commenting and tutting is no help at all. It is very embarrassing, we have even heard people saying she needs a smack so she has a reason to cry. The bigger she gets the harder it is, it is difficult to move her to a quieter spot to calm down, my daughter feels a failure when people are staring and muttering.

comments powered by Disqus

FREE Newsletter