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Parenting VS the Internet Mob

Parenting VS the Internet Mob  Find more parenting blogs at Families.comParenting isn’t always easy. Sure, there are moments of absolute bliss. There are also days when a parent is exhausted, a child is especially cranky, and the whole thing turns into a big scene.

It can be frustrating and embarrassing when this happens. Even worse, there is the potential that a stranger will take a photo or video of the “meltdown”, or write about it on social media.

Chances are, you probably had at least one temper-tantrum in public when you were a toddler or young child. It’s part of being a toddler. Your mom was probably embarrassed by your outburst, and may have attempted to try and calm you down.

Meanwhile, the people who lived in your neighborhood may have been silently judging her parenting abilities. A week later, and most people would have forgotten about it. Things are different today.

Slate has an interesting article written by Rebecca Schuman. It is titled “I Am Terrified of Taking My Child Literally Anywhere”. In the article, she mentions an incident that took place in a tiny restaurant called Marcy’s Diner that is located in Portland, Maine.

In short, a family brought their toddler to the restaurant. The toddler “became unruly” (as toddlers often do). The parents chose not to remove their toddler from the diner. The owner apparently had words with the family. The family paid and left the diner and posted an irate review on the diner’s Facebook page. The owner (irately) responded.

Unfortunately for all involved, things escalated from there. Other parents decided to add their own “two cents” to the argument. These people were not present when the “meltdown” happened. They probably don’t personally know the parents of the toddler. They may, or may not, have ever been a patron of Marcy’s Diner. Despite this, the internet mob felt the need to cast judgment upon the parents of the toddler.

What’s a parent to do? First, don’t let fears about an internet mob stop you from enjoying life. Take your kids wherever it was you planned to go. If a “meltdown” happens, deal with is as best you can. The majority of people who observe the scene won’t feel the need to record it and post it online.

What if your social media has suddenly been filled with judgmental comments from strangers? It is best to not escalate things. You aren’t obligated to respond to their comments. Just ignore them.

If someone persists, you can block them. Don’t waste your time on people who are looking to start a fight over something that isn’t their business in the first place. Spend your time and energy on your kids and family members instead.

Image by Quinn Dombrowski on Flickr.

Related Articles at Families.com:

* When Your Child Throws a Tantrum in Public

* Still Judging

* When You Can’t Take Your Toddler ANYWHERE