When my son was born I began reading a book called 'What do you really want for your children' by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. It was given to me by my midwife and I have read it cover to cover and treasured it since. It's full of all kinds of 'radical' ideas (respect your children, allow them to do what they feel in the moment, give them personal space ~ imagine!) on raising what he calls 'no - limit' kids. There is truly not one ounce of advice or research I can disagree with in this book, and I have regarded it as somewhat of a tome as I approach daily life with my son. I mention all of this in the midst of a very unnerving event that happened while we were out shopping yesterday. With some spring weather finally making it's appearance, we discovered our son was in need and ready for some new clothing. Having just scanned the ads in the Sunday paper, we headed to the big box with the bulls eye to load up on wardrobe essentials. Upon arriving, I explained beforehand to my son that he would be expected to ride in the cart as opposed to his choice of walking. He gave me no grief and agreed to follow instruction. Of course at two and a half this all pleasantly slipped his mind once we entered into the store, and a tantrum ensued. Now I have a couple different options here... I can turn around and head back out the door, place my kicking and screaming child back into the car seat at his verbal and physical disapproval, and head home while left shaken to the core without anything we intended to pick up on our outing. OR... I can employ Dr. Dyer's technique and see my son's tantrum as truly what it is, a simple human expression of needs that are being displayed the only way he knows how (at this moment in time) and listen and respect and communicate him through the emotional event. Well naturally I chose the latter, and while I was calmly talking my son down from his temper tirade, my husband stepped away as preferred. And it was during this momentary separation of the three of us that another individual entered the equation. Naturally bystanders are inevitable, and in these cases even in my best attempts to find a quiet corner of the store, we may still experience some spectators. But I don't concern myself with them, therefore comments they may make never enter my ear. Not so this time, because as my husband kept in sight but with slight distance, he discovered a muttering elderly woman likely in her nineties calling my son a 'very very bad boy', and 'an unhappy boy with unhappy parents' and on and on, loud enough for anyone nearby to hear, and she herself drawing attention and creating a small crowd. My husband couldn't stand by and just listen, so he informed this bitter old lady that that 'very bad boy' was in fact his son and did she have an opinion on how the situation should be handled? She proceeded to say her children never acted that way and were now old and grown and successful parents themselves, successfully insulting my husband once again. Her advice was to take something away for his behavior. Like what, his clothing?? We are in a retail store and brought in with us only his snacks and juice... to conclude this entire event was very emotional for me, and although tantrums may be unpleasant at times for others, (this one lasted less than five minutes) as there are options for us there are options for them. In a 200,000 + square foot store, my advice is to step away and keep your cruel comments to yourself.