“The Tantrum Princess” 

This is a true story. Only the names have been changed.

My friends, Mort and Zelda, have a nineteen year-old son, Brent, and a seventeen year-old daughter, Missy. After Missy turned four years of age, she began having tantrums. When she didn’t get her way, she’d scream like a banshee, drop to the floor, flailing her arms and kicking wildly. Mom and dad tried everything. Spanking, time-outs, yelling, but nothing worked.

One day as they were strolling through a shopping mall, little Missy said she wanted to go to the toy store. Her parents said they could do that after they finished with the other shopping they’d come to do. She objected, they stood firm, and right there in the middle of the wide, brightly-lit mall walkway, she lost it. On the floor, screaming, crying, throwing her tiny body around.

This time Mort and Zelda decided to do something different. Ignoring the stares of the passers-by, they stood above her and patiently watched her wail and thrash. Onlookers stared in amazement.

Eventually Missy calmed down – after all, a person has just so much energy and no more – and Mort knelt down beside her and said quietly, “Well, Missy, are you done?” She sniffled, “Uh-huh”. He said, “Okay, that’s fine. Can we continue shopping, now?” “Uh-huh.” He held out his hand, she took it, gave him a hug and a kiss. And the family went on shopping.

Curiously, that was her last tantrum.