Maggie Dent says toddler meltdowns are part of normal developmental behaviour…

Is there anything worse than being out in a public place only to have your child throw a spectacular tantrum without warning? Many parents are willing to do whatever it takes to avoid this situation, but parenting expert Maggie Dent says we shouldn’t be so afraid of a little foot stamping every now and then…

Nothing Has Changed

Maggie, a mum of four boys herself and author of countless parenting books, says that the fundamental things that children need as part of healthy development have remained the same. “I’m an old mum, but my message is the fundamental things children need hasn’t changed at all,” she told the ABC. “The sorts of things that push our buttons as parents are developmentally normal – things like sleeping problems with children, toilet training, meltdowns and tantrums.” Maggie says that the mounting pressure to raise a tantrum free child is largely the result of  the introduction of social media and online forums over the past 20 years. “Our stress levels are higher and our children are feeling it,” she said.


Completely Normal

Maggie believes that a child having a meltdown is not always a reflection on the parents. “They’re all completely normal,” she said. “What happens when we get frustrated and we’ve tried things is we think we’re a lousy parent.” When Princess Charlotte famously threw a tantrum on the tarmac in Germany back in 2017, you could almost feel a collective sigh of relief from parents worldwide – even the royals have the odd toddler outburst to deal with now and again!



Has your child thrown an epic tantrum in public? Share your story in the comments.

  • Tantrums are sometimes a result of frustration of either you not understanding what they are trying to communicate to you, them not understanding you, or being upset about something that has happened. It is their way of releasing their anger and fustration. We do it in other ways.


  • Yes they are normal but I don’t think that any parent embraces them!


  • It happened few times with my toddler What can we do have to be patient it’s part of growing up


  • Even tho tantrums are normal it doesn’t really make it much easier to deal with.


  • I agree tantrums are part of the personality development and totally normal.


  • Not so much in public that I can recall, but certainly in the backyard at home where all the neighbours could hear. It’s all part of it, I guess.


  • Mine does I’m not embarrassed though I’m more worried about dealing with the issue than what other people think. It’s hard work rationalizing with someone throwing themselves on the ground.


  • My eldest once literally lay down on a road. Thankfully another mum sprinted out and took my youngest from my arms so I could haul the little monster o safety.


  • It might be an important part of growing up, but it sure is difficult to deal with. No, my kids never had tantrums in public. They had plenty at home to make up for it though


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