We all needed this viral post to remind us that one comment is all it takes to break someone down, while a single kind act can build us up.
Taylor Myers' heartfelt post has received over 518,000 reactions since she shared her experience, writing, "It finally happened. As I stood in the customer service line of Walmart to cash my paycheck with a cart of groceries (and some wine), Sophie sat/stood/did heads stands in the cart, whining over a bag of chips I took away and because she called me a butthole in line. She's relentless. I know this. I live with it."
"Her ADHD and obsessive little heart gets on these subjects of things she finds unjust and wrong and it doesn't stop until she eventually falls asleep or something very dramatic happens to snatch the attention off the obsessed-about subject," Myers continues, going on to explain that they stood on line for several minutes, and the mama ignored her daughter's tantrum. "What's giving in to bad behavior going to do but reinforce the bad behavior?"
She confesses, "I've walked out of stores hundreds of times because of her. Almost every time, actually, I end up leaving with nothing I came for." But this time, she was determined to stand her ground. "The next thing I hear is a woman behind me in line saying, 'oh, for Christ's sake give her a cookie so she'll shut up!'"
I don't blame Myers at all for how she responded: "She's four years old and you need to mind your own f***ing business." The frustrated mom admits she could have responded in a nicer way, or explained that her daughter has ADHD. But understandably, the angrier response won out.
"I kept my composure until I finished what I was doing and walked to self checkout so I could avoid facing anyone else as 'that person,'" the mom writes, explaining "that person" is the one with the "misbehaving child," "who seems lazy because they're ignoring the behavior" because doing otherwise would only make it worse.
But soon, the tears came. Myers writes, "I've lost it. I'm angry, my feelings are hurt, I'm offended, and I'm just freakin sad that I can't have one good experience in a store with my children." As she scanned her items, the mom shares that another woman began talking to Sophie, and even backed her up about denying her the chips.
The woman said, "No, you can't have those today. You have to be good for your mommy. She needs you to be good for her. I have a little girl just like you. How old are you? How old is brother?" Her kindness went a long way in helping Myers feel better.
She ends her post, writing, "It only takes one comment to break someone down. You never know what someone's going through. You never know the problems a child has that causes them to misbehave and unless you know the struggle of being a parent to a child like mine, you cannot judge me. But It also takes one small act of kindness to make a mama feel comfort and validation."
First, I want this mama to know we've all been "that person." We have not faced the exact same challenges with our family, but we've been there, managing a tantrum in a store.
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I also could not agree more that you never know what someone is going through, so it's always better to show kindness instead of judgment. I recently lost a pregnancy late in my second trimester, and I can attest to the fact that given how fragile I feel as I go through the day lately, any little comment can level me. An act of kindness can also go a long way in helping me make it just one more minute without falling apart.
So let's just be kind, okay?