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Teri Hatcher: Unrealistic Expectations Lead to Public Tantrums

06/04/2010 at 04:00 PM ET
Gilbert Flores/Celebrity

The public tantrum is a scenario most parents will eventually encounter, but Teri Hatcher never has.

Mom to 12-year-old Emerson Rose, the Desperate Housewives star concedes that it is an enviable position to be in.

“I know, hate me,” she quips to Babble.

All joking aside, Hatcher opines that tantrums occur when “we put our children in situations we have no right to.”

“We push them when they are tired; we create a behavior reward system with everything from food to stickers to toys,” she elaborates. “That will always backfire.”

Instead, Hatcher believes that children should be taught to behave appropriately “because it’s the right thing to do, not out of fear of time-outs or cookie rewards.”

“My advice: Deal in the boundaries of expectations of what a three-year-old should be able to do without a tantrum,” she adds.

Parenting isn’t an exact science, of course, and Hatcher, 45, doesn’t strive for perfection.

“Use mistakes and mishaps as opportunities to grow tolerance and to teach,” she advises. “There is such a thing as happy accidents.”

A social life — or lack thereof — is Hatcher’s own biggest parenting challenge, but she insists that as a single mom she harbors no regrets.

“I’m not sorry for it, but I have sort of let that go,” she concedes. “My daughter’s old enough now that it’s easier, more guilt-free [to have a social life], but there have been some lonely nights. I wouldn’t change that.”

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Showing 74 comments

TC on

Wow she seems so down to earth, it’s nice actually.

I’ve said that many times, you have to take the kid into consideration when it comes to well almost everything. You can’t expect a 2 year old to behave through the grocery store when it’s passed lunch and nap time but so many times that’s exactly what I see. Or I see kids at a restaurant acting up and there is nothing to entertain them. A coloring book and crayons or a small car or heck even an ipod works to keep them entertained and behaving before their meal gets there.

Michelle on

Funny, my mother never did any of that with me and I still threw tantrums when I wanted something, thinking one day it would work. She lives in a ridiculous pink, fuzzy bubble.

hudsonberry on

In a perfect world this sounds wonderful. I have a 2 1/2 year old and if I go one day without a tantrum, that would be a miracle. You can’t “reason” with a 2 year old, you just can’t. Congrats to her for never having to experience a tantrum…they are horrible. Personally, I think she is setting some pretty insane standards. I hope she has another one and she’s just like my daughter……Then we’ll see what she thinks of giving a cookie in exchange for not having a tantrum!

Kira on

What works for some children does not work for all children. Cut her some slack…I think what she is trying to say is kids will be kids and we can’t expect them to be perfect and well behaved if we have push them to the LIMIT for the day.

On a side note:
I do see a lot of kids acting out though because they are CLEARLY tired or bored…heck, I want to throw a tantrum sometimes if I am in Wal-Mart after work and I am hungry and tired. LOL.

Lizzy on

Really? No public tantrums ever? It has been a few years since her daughter would have been young enough to have a tantrum. Maybe she forgot? Kind of like I am hoping to forget how awful potty training is….

izzy on

@ tc- that mentality of giving an ipod to a child to entertain him isn’t a good one. i’m with you on the coloring stuff, but an ipod? if a kid’s old enough to value an ipod (i.e. the hard work that pays for such an expensive gadget) he should be old enough to be patient enough to wait for his food.

TJ on

She didn’t say her daughter has never had a tantrum… she states that her daughter has never had a public tantrum.

Teri seems like a great mom- she seems very close to her daughter, and they always look so happy together in photos.

Shannon on

I agree with her. Bribing children will backfire eventually.

erika on

well that’s really nice…except some of us have to put unrealistic expectations on our three year olds because that’s just life- like when we have to run errands and we don’t have the luxury of a nanny…when we have no family to help us and we are on our own, and we must get the grocery shopping done or go to that doctor’s visit. nice way to make other moms feel like crap…way to go, terri!

DD on

This sounds like great advice. My son definitely acts up mostly when he’s tired or hungry. I do think parents can forget what it’s like for the child in certain situations.

CC on

I totally agree with Teri… I used to teach early learning (18mouths-3years old)… Kids will be kids, but they do understand, you have to remember that their young that you have to speak with them on their level….. That’s not saying that they wont ever have a fit, but it does help..

Lee on

@erika, bitter much? How sad. BTW, no one is forcing you to be a celebrity baby blog. If you hate them so much, why are you here?

Emily on

Um, Erika…I think I recall reading an article where Teri was without movie work for a very long time, including much of the time when her daughter was young (and presumably young enough to be potentially throwing public tantrums). I would highly doubt she had a nanny then. You’re reading stuff into this that isn’t even there!

I think she has some valid points. Sure, it won’t work for every child, but the principles are great. She’s just saying what worked for her. No harm in that!

AC on

The problem here is that the parents of today empower there kids and have them as friends. They learn no discipline. They have no respect. they think they are at our level.
I want my kids to respect me, and my authority. I have friends. They need life lessons that will propel them to seek greatness.
Look at society and u will see children that mock school, disrespect authority and life.
Wake up people!!!
Unless u want ur kids like Lindsey Lohan!

Deborah on

Wow, somebody with common sense. How refreshing. I get completely crazy when people try to engage a 2 year old in conversation as if they understand reason.

Alice on

Spot on, AC!
While I think sometimes you just can’t avoid a tantrum, it helps not to take kids when they are gonna be tired or bored or hungry, or simply if you’re going somewhere that’s going to be very tempting for them (like a shop with toys) but they won’t be getting anything. I know though that sometimes you don’t have a solution to leave them. When I was little there was a clothing shop with a little play area in the back for children, that’s a really good idea.

Jen S on

So says the woman with only one child and a nanny. *rolleyes* I do use a reward system with my 3 and 4 yr olds. If the promise of a ride on a mechanical horse for behaving during our shopping makes it a more pleasant experience for us (and the other shoppers) then so be it. It isn’t promising a reward that’s the big problem. It’s following up on the threat/promise. The other day kid #1 did not earn his horse ride and I made him sit there while kid #2 took her ride. He was pissed but oh well. THAT is the lesson, he learned that I am going to stick to my word. Adults live in a reward-driven world (you go to work, you get paid, etc) why is it so bad that kids can’t work toward rewards as well? (of course, rewards need to be small, no ipods for listening in the grocery store)

SH on

for all of you knocking the iPOD comment – i have a 3 year old (my 3rd kid out of 4) with severe sensory processing issues that interferes with our normal daily life. he has problems in the grocery store and it’s impossible to go to church or go out to eat as a family. it doesn’t matter where we go – he just gets overwhelmed with everything. all 3 of his therapists have suggested him listening to music – and his speech therapist even puts earphones on him during therapy and he turns into a completly different kid – the music calms him down. i think that’s what the poster was getting at when she suggested using the iPOD for young kids in the restaurant – gives them something to listen to in an environment that can be very overwhelming to some kids. it’s not used as an award – it’s used as more of a coping tool.

The Writer on

Teri doesn’t have a nanny. But feel free to continue being bitter about her having an opinion and/or being more successful than any of you.

HL on

She is out of line. Yes, you should take the child in to consideration. However, if you have a highly sensitive child you are going to have tantrums no matter what you do. It 100% depends on the child’s temperment. It is NOT all about parenting. Just because she had an easy going child does not give her the right to judge or to give parenting advice. And, i might add that she only had ONE child. That alone makes her job way easier.

Alisa on

All children are different, Teri! If your daughter listened to you and never threw tantrums because “it’s the right thing to do,” well you’re pretty lucky. Not all kids are that easygoing, and even if they are well-fed, well-rested… sometimes there might still be tantrums because they don’t want to leave the park, they want that pack of gum at the grocery store, or they don’t want to ride in the stroller on the crowded sidewalk in the city.

mommytoane on

Oh wow. I HATE Haters of parents of onlies. Because we have one does not make us any less parents, or our lives any easier.
Keep in mind. Opinions are like a rear end. Everyone has one. One person’s opinion shouldn’t make you feel like any less of a parent. We are all equal. Trying our hardest every day to make the little person who we brought into the world the best person that he/she can be. Parent how you want. Don’t let one person’s opinion on tantrums make you feel any less of a parent. Last I checked, she’s an actress, not a psychologist. Until then, her opinion is just that. An opinion.

izzy on

@SH, your kid has a valid reason. how many kids out there being bribed with expensive toys have parents who just don’t wanna deal with them? i’d say like 98%. i’ve seen this with my own eyes. you can tell when a kid is just spoiled and when a kid NEEDS something soothing in a chaotic environment.

amandamay on

i agree with teri, but truthfully it depends on the child. my brother and i are 18 months apart in age. he’s always been easy going (literally never screamed/cried/threw a tantrum EVER) and i was the opposite (constant tantrums/moody/dramatic) my parents raised us the same way in a rather no-nonsense, but very loving household – i was an extremely difficult child and my brother was easy-peasy. you really can’t use a “one size fits all” philosophy when it comes to raising kids because all kids are different (and we’re born that way!) as payback, i got a son just like me :-) and yes, i’ve dealt with my fair share of public tantrums! it’s not always as simple as judging “look at that child having a tantrum – what a bad mother!” like others have said, some of us can’t live our lives around the “cranky or not” schedule of a child. sometimes things just have to get done when they have to get done.

my brother and SIL have the most easy going 1 year old on the planet. he never cries (never!! not even as an infant), is quiet for hours on end (i’m seriously not exaggerating lol he’s the quietist child i’ve ever encountered)… and my SIL is always acting like she’s such an amazing mom (rather condescending) and that’s why he’s so passive/calm, when it’s really just that the kid was born like that (like my brother). i highly doubt he will ever have a tantrum – not because of her stellar parenting, but because it’s not in his nature.

Lorus on

It really depends on the child but I agree with a lot of what she says. The only times my 2.5yo throws a tantrum while we’re out is when she’s tired. As my husband is only home on weekends there are times when I just have to get things done and she has to come along tired or not. Thankfully it doesn’t happen too often but she is very strong willed.
My older child was amazing when she was little. Her first and only tantrum was when she was 5 years old!! Now that she’s older, 9.5yo, she has mini fits here and there but will just walk around grumpy instead of the screaming and crying.

JK on

Of course, she’s an expert isn’t she?!?!? EVERY child is different. Some children respond to boundaries, some don’t. Some have tantrums, some deal with challenges better. We all have to try different ways in order for us to move forward with the development of the child and our own parenting skills. At the end of the day we all want to what is best for the child and of course the parent. We sometimes forget to look out for the parent who has to deal with a tantruming child, which is not only frustrating for the parent but also exhausting. As long as the parent is happy and given skills, that avoid hitting and smacking, to deal with difficult situations then that will help to raise happy and healthy children. It doesn’t matter if you take the approach of reward charts or the ‘naughty spot’. Use whatever works for you despite what some celebs may say (who probably have enough money to pay for someone else to look after their child) as long as it is safe and respectful towards the child. Just because Ms Hatcher’s child didn’t tantrum in public does not make her a ‘good parent’ or indeed an expert. Do not beat yourself up just because a celebrity says that they have never had to deal with tantruming children and you are dealing with it on a daily basis. There will be other situations that she would (and will) have to deal with but will not talk about it in case it makes her seem like a ‘bad parent’. You are not a bad parent if your child tantrums. You are not a bad parent if you are using techniques such as reward charts. Actually you are a fantastic parent if you are seeking such techniques because you are addressing a problem and are proactive in your child’s development. What Ms Hatcher has done is alienate a lot of parents who may find parenting completely overwhelming.

sophie on

In my opinion, punishing bad behaviour is a good life lesson. If a child is naughty or throws tantrums in public sending them to the time out corner or to bed without desert is a good way for them to learn that that sort of behaviour isn’t tolerated- throughout life. Rewarding good behaviour and punishing bad behaviour is something that happens all through life- why is it bad to start teaching this to young children?

Terri Hatcher is perfectly in her right to have her opinion, but all children are different and she was very lucky to have an easy going child. I was easy going, my sister was kind of in the middle and my brother was a very high strung baby/toddler/young child and would have full on tantrums for half an hour in shops which was ridiculous (i found it very embarassing), he had to be taught that his behaviour was wrong. My mum never bribed us during the day with if you do this then i’ll give you an ice-cream, what she did was in the evening tell us if we got a gold star or a black spot which worked very well and thats how we learned.

A 3 year old doesn’t really grasp the concept of what appropriate and inapropriate behaviour in public is so thats why a lot of parents have a reward and punish system because it help teaches them. (this is all my opinion though)

traxie on

Her daughter seems gorgeous and happy. Well done Teri!

Sri on

I have 3 girls (now age 8,6 and 3) and all of them never had a public tantrum. EVER. Oh sure, once in awhile they get whiny and threw a fit at home, but never in public. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones.

Marie on

I will never understand why when a known person is engaged in a conversation, answers the question and gives an opinion in a perfectly acceptable manner, not attacking anyone else or being rude and judgemental about those whom they’ve never met, that other people (and it is almost always women) feel the need to all of those things and worse.

I think Terri has a very fair comment to make. My mother never, ever allowed any of my two brothers or I to have a public tantrum. It never happened with any of us. At home, sure, we’d kick off, but never in public. This was because she created a standard for behaviour and that was that. We behaved because it was the right thing to do, and we sensed before we could maybe speak at length, that the disapproval and consequences of not behaving in an acceptable way with good manners and not interrupting adults, would be worth it. I do believe it is more a symton of modern pressures and parenting and a wider environment (so not all down to parenting, no) that leds more to child tantrums. I’ve lived in Africa as a teacher and worked in schools and never come across a tantrum throwing child in public as I would in the west. It doesn’t happen. And no, physical punishment is not used by everyone in Africa. But there are very polite societies there where good manners are everything from birth.

Leah123 on

I think moms are so very sensitive to this because there is nothing that makes you feel more judged as a parent than people staring during a public tantrum. When a parent says to another “my child never has them,” it does feel condescending. Sure, in a perfect world I would only take my kids out when well rested and super happy, but achieving that “perfect mood” is harder for some kids than others, and the odds of someone feeling grumpy increase with the number of kids and various temperaments.

CTBmom on

ITA Amandamay….my son had only 2 tantrums his entire baby/toddlerhood. It had very little to do with my parenting (although I did TRY avoiding running errands and going out to eat when I knew he would be tired) and more to do with the fact that he was just a very laid back, easy going child. If he saw something he wanted at the store, all I would have to do is raise my hand in the air and say “I’m going to tickle your belly” and he’d giggle and forget all about what he wanted. That worked on him….but I know it wouldn’t work on every child. Temperment really does play into it…but I do think Teri made some valid points.

Lauren on

Sherri Shephard from The View has spoken out numerous times about her son’s behavioral issues and the fact that he throws tantrums on essentially a daily basis. Since he has intellectual disabilities, one could easily use that as an excuse for bad behavior. But Sherri has admitted several times that when he acts up in public, it’s her own fault. She chooses to take him out when he hasn’t had lunch or a nap because it’s more covenient for her to do what she wants than consider his needs, and as a result he flips his lid. amandamay is absolutly right that some children simply have temperments which are more sensitive and thus more volatile, but I also know many parents who try to use that as an excuse for their children’s misbehavior, even when it disturbs those around them. After a certain extent, kids only do what you let them get away with, and if you don’t bat an eye while they whine and scream and flail, they’ll learn that that’s acceptable behavior.

Mimi on

I think that what she is saying is mostly common sense….although tantrums are actually a developmental stage…you can’t avoid them all together…… I still wonder how many times she handed her daughter off to the nanny….. I’m sure she didn’t have to deal with the tantrums lol

Hea on

If you have to bribe a kid you’re doing or you’ve done something “wrong”.

SH on

@izzy, actually, no, it’s not that easy to tell between the two. when a child has sensory processing problems it comes out and appears as a behavorial problem to the public and you are automatically a bad parent – EVEN IF i also have 3 other kids who are being complete angels. when my kid is screaming in a restaurant it looks just like a temper tantrum that any 3 year old would throw in public. the difference is that he just doesn’t know what to do with himself when his sensory system is overwhelmed so he freaks out. believe me, i get comments and looks from other people, they just assume it’s bad parenting. the last time we were in a restaurant (for a mothers day brunch with my entire extended family) i had him coloring quietly by our table (on the floor next to my chair because it’s darker and quieter down there) and a woman walked by and said to me “this is a restaurant, not your house” – apparantly him coloring on the floor next to me was offending her, so…yeah, there are very judgemental people out there. you can’t always tell the kids that have problems. i’d say if you see a kid with an iPOD on his ears….yes, there are the parents that will do that to appease a spoiled older kid, but i wouldn’t say it’s 98% for younger kids – if it’s a young kid – like 2, 3, 4 – i’d say it’s calming them down. it’s funny that this is being brought up, actually, because i don’t own an iPOD, but i’ve been thinking about buying a little one just for when we go out with my 3 year old! :)

i do agree with some of the other posters though – terri has one girl. i’ve got 2 of each and generally i think it is much easier to reason with and entertain girls in public, let alone one girl. if you are out in public with one girl, giving her one on one attention the whole time, i think it would be pretty easy to keep her happy. jmo.

Rachel on

I agree with her to some extent and would agreed with her wholly if I had stuck with my eldest son as the only child. My second son has really given us a run for a our money, tantrums, stubborness like you wouldn’t believe, crazy behaviour including a broken leg at age 2 (yes it happened in 20 seconds flat) in a seemingly normal situation. He’s just a risk taker, a boundary pusher, and hell part of me relishes his personality which exhausts all of us. Gentle discipline is a daily, hourly event with him and still he is his own person. If we had only had his older brother… WAY different story. Easy, no tantrums, and just so damn easy to think that was down to parenting. Nope, a lot of it is the character of the child, PLUS dynamics with a sibling.

Sorry dear Terri, but parenting one easy child is a whole different universe! Simple truth. It doesn’t make you less of a parent but it reduces your suffering and gives you an inflated sense of your own parenting. Been there done that, and had it thrown in my face by child #2! :)

Luna on

I have five kids (two boys, almost 9 and eight months. three girls, twin almost six-year-olds and an almost three year old). With as many kids as I have, we have stricter rules than some other people I’ve encountered. I don’t take the kids out when they’re tired, hungry or sick. However, if I take them out, they know the rules. We do punishments (ex. no dessert, losing a toy etc) but we also do rewards. For example, if one of the kids sets the table or does a chore without being asked, they might get to stay up past their bed time (weekends only) or get to go to a movie with Mom/Dad. However, we do not do rewards for something like being good in public. Those are expectations, not going above a beyond. We do rewards for doing something above and beyond (aside from their assigned chores for which they get an allowance). Very, very infrequently do any of them have a fit in public. However, for the most part, they’re easy-going kids. I don’t know what to credit their good behavior to, having strict rules with rewards and punishments or their personalities.

Melaine on

Teri Hatcher lives in her own (Hollywood) fantasy land. She has ONE child and is SINGLE. When you are married w/more than one child then you cannot coddle and plan every.single.thing you do around your child(ren). My three kids are completely and totally different. My first almost sent me to a padded cell and to suggest he would have never had public tantrum if he was well rested and fed is so naive and ridiculous! When he was 1 or 2 there was no reward system (he wouldn’t understand anyway) and you bet I stuck to my guns and didn’t give into things.
I think Teri Hatcher needs to shut her mouth and be incredibly thankful for her “easy” child.

LaDonn on

My son is now 12 1/2 and he never once had a tantrum. No magic secret, but he was always a very well behaved baby, toddler, etc. I got really lucky and don’t think it had anything to do with what I did with him. I think that it is just in the nature of some children. I had only held one other baby and never changed a diaper before I had my son. I am very lucky that I had such good natured baby because I don’t know what I would have done if I had to go through a tantrum. I will say there are some days that he more than makes up for it now, but overall he is a pretty good kid.

Kira on

Wow. The way some of you are talking, unless you have several children you are not a parent AT ALL……

I understand there is a difference between having one child and having multiple children, but dang….She is just stating what worked for her. Yes, she is lucky to only have one child who happened to be a very good in public. I have read another article that said she did not work for a while…maybe she did not go out as much when her daughter was younger, I have read several places and heard her say in interviews that she did NOT have a nanny.

izzy on

i didn’t say its easy to tell because of the CHILD. i meant that it’s easy to tell because of the parents.

bratty kids’ parents are always all annoyed looking. they shove an ipod in their child’s hands to shut them up. you can tell by looking at the parents. they’re the ones that are so deeply engrossed in their own business and a child is an annoyance.

if a kid needs comfort, i’m sure the parent isn’t going to look at their kid like some annoying yapping creature, am i right? i would think a parent trying to help their child would not look annoyed.

i, in no way, meant to offend you or your kid. my original post was simply meant to state that i don’t agree with giving ipods to little kids. of course, there are exceptions, as you have shown me. so thank you.

Mary on

Bribing doesn’t even work for my 3 1/2 year old daughter but I still try it!

Lorelei on

Luna, I agree with you. It’s probably both how you handled it and their personalities. I have 3 (boy, girl, boy). They’re fairly close in age -3 years from start to finish. Expectations were set ahead of time and I never rewarded tantrums. I would have rather left a store then give in (just my stubborn side). Some of it was timing. They never tried a public tantrum and the ones at home were pretty fruitless for them. Of course with every child is different and with a child with sensory problems, etc. It’s a whole new ballgame.

kristie on

Please Teri you think I’m buying that you NEVER had one single public tantrum. Come ‘on. Of course logic says don’t go out in public with a child who is hungry, tired, and bring toys etc. I skip out on things and try to pick wisely when and what to do with my kids. But I find it really hard to believe she never had one public tantrum. I bet if her child had a public tantrum she left and went home or a private location to let the child cool off. Then says oh no my child didn’t have a public tantrum.

Reema on

so i get what she is trying to say but with a 6 yo son who has had public tantrums i can say that sometimes its all about them not wanting to listen or because they want something really bad and you say no once. It is not unrealistic to want your children to listen to you as their parent. If her daughter has never acted like that good for her but she needs to realize that in some childrens cases reality is much different.

Anna on

I do agree with Terri that it’s mostly in how parents raise a child. Just look at other cultures where children are not throwing tantrums nearly as often as you see in western countries. That shows it’s in the way a parent teaches their child to behave.

Tee on

I sort of hesitate to jump into this discussion! I have five young nieces, ages 9, 7, 6, 4 and eight months. Taking the baby out of the picture, none of the four older girls have ever had a tantrum in public and only the four year old has had a few at home. (She’s quite stubborn and opinionated!) I spend a great deal of time with them and use the same training techniques that my sister and brother in law do. We lay out our expectations and they know that we are serious. All of them have learned how to sit still through a church service or boring “adult” activity. I’m not saying that they are perfect by any means, but they don’t have tantrums because they have been trained not to.

However, I do know that every child is different, as is every parent/caregiver. We are very strict in the way we raise the girls. When it comes to consequences for bad behavior, we even have a known expression… “Tee Tee (that’s me) doesn’t make threats, she makes promises!”

Above all else, I don’t think Teri was trying to put any other mothers down. She was simply stating her experience as a mother. I just don’t think it’s fair for some of you to be saying that it’s because she only has one child. My family proves that that’s not true.

Emerson is growing up to be such a beautiful young lady!

martina on

Oh Teri… All kids are different. My first child slept through the night by 8 weeks; I thought I was a sleep-training genius. Well, none of it worked with my second. Teri means well, but her comments are rather naive.

soph on

lot of bitter mothers here…

felicity on

even if she didn’t have a nanny…i am sure she has a lot of help. i doubt she is scrubbing her own toilets, or running all her own errands. ;-) and that’s totally fine- but she shouldn’t be trying to relate to all the other mothers out there who don’t have her resources.

the realities of raising more than one child, and having to get things done without the aid of assistants and helpers (whether they are nannies or not)- makes it hard to always schedule your whole life around your child.

when you have more than one child and you have a husband, sometimes you have to drag your child here or there for the sake of the other family members. that’s just LIFE.

and i agree with the previous posters about temperment issues- you just cannot judge a parent by how a child behaves in public.

i feel like she is saying she is a superior parent and that her child’s needs were better met than a child who throws a tantrum in public. her tone seems really condescending.

CelebBabyLover on

kristie- It IS indeed possible for someone to have a child who’s never had a public tantrum. Just look at all the posters here who have said that their child, or one of their children (if they have more than one) didn’t (or in one poster’s case, that her brother never did).

Somehow I doubt they’re ALL lying!

Crystal on

People on here are so condesending and rude! Why must we judge, scrutinize and pick apart every interview if it doesn’t sound like “our child?” It’s ridiculous. Why would she lie? What would she gain from lying about something as minute as Emerson’s behavior? Geez! Take her for her word and leave it alone. If you don’t believe her that’s your prerogative but must you say? We’ve all heard the saying “If you can’t say someting nice………”
Oh and Melanie, get off your high horse. She’s single NOW! For a majority of Emerson’s life she was married. Yes she only has one child and if your son was so awful what in the world warranted you to have more??? She is content with her one no tantrum having child! :)

Merin on

I have 2 children. One through public trantrums almost every time she left the house. The other never did. I don’t think I learned any new parenting skills between the two, It’s just that the two children were very different from day 1.

Fortunately, the tantrum thrower grew up to be a very lovely teen. I would never have guessed at the time!

shanni on

People compliment us all the time on our son’s behavior. (He just turned 3 on Wed.) And I always say that we were blessed. He is very calm for a boy, follows directions well and is really good about being polite. I like to think I am a good Mom. But I also know some very difficult boys who have excellent parenting. I also point out that he is the only one. He doesn’t examples of crazy behavior at home. I am aware that with a different boy or other children around, things could be very different. I give my son an awful lot of the credit. He is a great kid. It is presumptuous to assume great behavior is all you being wonderful or bad behavior is all someone else being a bad parent.

shanni on

Everyone certainly has a right to their opinion and Teri gave hers. Since I have the opportunity to leave a comment, I can give mine. It does not make me a hater I have nothing against Teri Hatcher. Big fan of the show.
But I think it is a bit naive to have 1 child and assume that all of the child’s good behavior is entirely because or your parenting. People compliment my husband and I on our son’s behavior often. I always respond that we were blessed. He is very calm boy, remembers to use his manners often and follows our directions very well. I like to consider myself a good mom. But I have seen good moms have difficult children. And I have seen some very bad moms have some pretty calm kids. PARENTING IS HUGE IN THE WAY OUR CHILDREN TURN OUT, I get that. But I know that things could be very different if I had a different child. I know many, many boys who are much wilder than my son, by nature.
I just think it presumptuous to assume that your child’s good behavior is entirely because of your awesome parenting, especially if you are basing this on 1 child! Give the child some credit. I do, my son is awesome and I am very lucky!

Hea on

Temper tantrums is mostly a modern day thing often associated with stress. It is also very much cultural.

Cheryl on

I don’t disagree with Teri. I always feel badly when I see toddlers & young kids out at the grocery store at 10 or 11 o’clock at night (and that is something I’ve seen frequently)

Of course I realize most of us don’t have the $$ for a nanny, as I surely don’t, but even those of us with very little $$ can trade babysitting with a friend or neighbor if we don’t have family nearby to help.

iluvperfectparents on

Good for her!!! My husband and I have several children and the oldest now (19) I have NEVER had that problem. It is possible!!! I see nothing wrong with rewarding or using reasonable types of punishment either.

All parents are different, whatever works for your household may not work for mine. I will say that it irks me to no end to go to the movies only to hear screaming children, or out to eat at a restaurant with a screaming child at the next table/booth and that parents are sitting there as if their child is as quiet as a mouse!! Grrrrr!

Theresa on

It also makes a difference when you can focus on an only child vs. 2 or 3 at once. The dynamics of siblings can be a big factor too.

Rosanna on

Rewards don’t work in the long run, even for adults (let alone kids!). If you use reward systems they become dependent on the reward… so if there is no reward, there is no effort. And life isn’t about “rewarding people”, becoming an adult encompasses learning to do things in the absence of a reward.

klm on

I disagree, Rosanna. Everything in life is about rewards, the nature of the reward just changes as you get older. Rewards are a healthy and important part of setting goals in life. No reason to just trudge through life – enjoy it AND its sweet, positive rewards!

klm on

. . . And by the way, there are a lot of people who are using the terms ‘bribery’ and ‘reward’ interchangeably. They are not the same thing.

Beth on

Wow. So many of you just refuse to admit that you have parented your children in the wrong way. It took me many years of therapy to realize why i developed Narcissistic Personality Disorder(basically believing the world revolves around you) and the reason was that my father’s parenting strategy was “if she is upset, give her whatever she wants”.I threw tantrums all the time and always ended up with what i wanted. This is a lazy way to parent and has caused me so many hardships in life, because things do not work like this when you are grown. If you are spoiled as a child and materialistic rewards are your motivation to do good, you don’t end up a very good person, and i can say this from experience. I learned the difficult way when i was finally on my own and my father no longer gave me everything i wanted. You shape your child’s personality, a small part of it is genetic.

MiB on

I know I shouldn’t be surprised that people get so upset by common sense, but it still baffles me. Even when taking different tempers and personalities into account, what she says is common sense; a tired, hungry and/or over stimulated child is way more prone to throwing a tantrum wether it is a fiesty little thing or a cool dude. Off course you can’t always avoid these situations, especially if you have more than one child, are working or a single parent, and that doesn’t make you a bad parent. Tantrums are a stage that most kids go through, which is true, and some children are worse than others, but still, fatigue, hunger and over stimulation sets off tantrums, there is no denying it.

Sara on

Wow, it’s amazing how many moms on here have “extra sensitive” children who need to be treated as “special.”

Gem on

I think the point she was making is that if you take a tired or hungrey 2 or 3 year old out in public, they’ll act out in order to express their frustrations. Likewise if you expect one of them to sit still doing nothing in a restaurant. Her point is that by insuring that her daughter was fed, rested and entertained when ever she was taken out, she didn’t have a cranky child and thus avoided public tantrums, without having to bribe.
Tantrums are a child’s way of expressing frustration and are symptoms of bigger things which a child can’t express rather than the trigger itself.
Yes, she probably had help and had the luxury of ensuring that her child was happy before going out. But that doesn’t take away from the point that ensuring your child is fed, rested and entertained while out, will help avoid tantrums.

SH on

Sara, could you elaborate on that comment?

lyn on

I never had any tantrums with my daughter. There are some basic rules. It is common sense. 1-Eat before leaving home. 2-Talk to your child with respect. They are a human being, not a dog on a leash. 3-Tell them what you expect before leaving the house. Example: “At the dentist, you need to play with the books and blocks, while Mommy gets her teeth cleaned.” 4-As you go on errands, praise them for good behavior. Say, “I am so proud of you, you acted like a big boy/girl at the store.” This is magic to them, and they will want to do it more.
Give your child a little respect, and they will usually give you their best.

Sandy on

I for one have always been struck by how close and happy Terri and her daughter seems. She’s simply talking about what works for her (and it seems to me that it is working). People need to step away from the computer and busy themselves with something else if reading commments like these causes so much aggravation. Seriously, don’t look to what a celebrity says in order to evaluate your self-worth as a parent! She’s entitled to make comments like these, and good on her I say, she looks like a lovely mum.

Suzi on

My child (2 1/2) throws tantrums mostly when he IS NOT tired, or has reasons to be cranky. He practices crying in the mirror. He throws a fit when he’s playing by himself and his toy drops.
So she shes a kid throwing a fit and that automatically equates that to parents forcing their kids into situations we have NO RIGHT to?
She is not understanding every kid is different. Mine is naturally high strung, then there is autistic kids, general high needs one and etc.
You can’t categorize kids into “it’s the parents fault” and be correct much of the time.

Ann on

Terri is being very blindsided, all children are different & OF COURSE anyone who is tired or hungry is going to have meltdowns but that’s how you learn self control! She has 1 child being a daughter she has NO IDEA. My brother & I are many years apart me being the oldest & I never had to be told twice about anything & never did/said half the stuff my brother does. It has a lot to do with gender,age,& of course parenting. But like one mom said not everyone can cater around their child/children & we shouldn’t have to. That is whats wrong with kids today.

Kitty on

So does anyone that says you never gave into your 1 or 2 year old tantrums know that this is not a true tantrum? Aside from being sick, tired, or hungry, these events are usually because they are trying to communicate and cannot because they do not have the words? Or they are trying to do something and do not have the skills? Yet it seems you are attributing them to bad behavior. Even older children can have tantrums because they are frustrated and no longer have the coping skills to deal? Children are not trying to be bad and ignoring them actually make them worse and more likely to occur. This is especially true for the more sensitive children – by ignoring you are invalidating their feelings, which is what a sensitive child needs. It does not mean you have to give them what they want or “give into them” but it means you acknowledge their feelings first.

I remember a mom in a card store ignoring her son. He was wanting to share a card with her that he found funny. He was probably 5. She just ignored him and he became upset more and more. I was even becoming upset because if she had simply taken time to look at what he was looking at and share it with him, then he probably would not have escalated. I felt horrible for him. I felt like she had been very misguided in how to deal with him and I would like to know how she will feel when he is older and will not come to her with his problems? Why should he? She ignored him when she could have had a special moment with him when he was little.

I cannot stand this idea of ignoring a little one when they are upset. Children are not necessarily trying to manipulate or get their way. There is a need there and as parents it is our job to try to meet them. I bet the parents who ignore their children are the same ones who did the “cry it out” method and put the baby in a crib in his/her own room from the beginning. It is a different frame of mind than I have and I cannot understand it. I personally feel it is cruel and totally inhumane – it is so against nature and the way mother’s are suppose to hold their babies, breastfeed, and sleep with their babies.

Why is it you think children need to learn about the reward/punishment system of the world when they do not even know what the “world” is yet and are trying to learn and explore this new world they know nothing about. But instead of letting them naturally learn the things that are age appropriate for them, you expect them to KNOW everything that you know as an adult. In fact, it seems children are held to higher standards than adults are. Children need to be able to trust that his/her needs will be met before he should have to experience the harshness of life. It is just as foolish as this idea of giving kindergarteners homework and not allowing them free play time during full days of school or even thinking preschool is so necessary so they will get used to it. They are not developmentally ready for it and it causes great anxiety and can cause a HATE for learning. But it is thanks to our society’s attitude about putting the horse before the cart when it comes to raising children. I think this society tries to force children to be independent too soon and many have very unrealistic expectations of children.

Kitty on

I also would like to add that a temper tantrum is an expression of anger. Our society is very uncomfortable with anger as well as other emotions like those experienced during grief. Children need help in dealing with anger appropriately. Ignoring or punishing it does not help. Girls in particular have problems dealing with anger, because they have been taught it is not lady like. So they can internalize it and it becomes a cause of depression and anxiety. Anger is not bad, it is a feeling. Some people are just more outward about expressing it than others, and that is not necessarily bad either, though there are constructive ways to express it.

I am also sick of hearing people talk about the problems with children these days as if there is an epidemic of bad behavior. All generations have had negative comments about their youth. The media inflates everything, too. All in all I think things are not as bad as they seem. I do not see kids behaving badly everywhere I go. It is very rare to see and if I do see it, I can usually understand the child is tired, hungry, getting sick, or the parent has not dealt with them in a respectful and validating way. Yes, children deserve to be shown respect, too. In fact, I see more parents behaving badly than any kids. I have seen more adult temper tantrums than children having them. :) I remember hearing one woman cuss her daughter out so badly and demeaned her so badly outside the grocery store and in front me and one of my small children as we were leaving that I wanted to tell her to calm down and how inappropriate she was being… may be I should have but I really feared she would turn on me – literally if you know what I mean.

For the person who said she had Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I seriously doubt you have this. It is not caused by parents giving into all of your wants. It is generally thought to be children whose feelings have not been validated and their parents have actually neglected them to the point of being cold and unempathetic. It is actually more about low self-esteem than an inflated one. There is still questions about what really causes or leads to it. As far as psychological labels… they are really are just used so doctors and counselors can bill the insurance companies and be paid. Psychology is a soft science and it is open to interpretation or misinterpretation of the specialist.

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