Olivia Wilde thanks strangers for helping when her son had a tantrum at a restaurant

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Olivia Wilde recently tweeted about an incident that so many parents can relate to. She wrote that her son, Otis, five, was having a meltdown at a restaurant. She had bags in her hands and had her two-year-old daughter, Daisy, with her and felt overwhelmed. Two people asked if they could help and she let them put the bags in her car and help put Daisy in her carseat which made all the difference. [via People]

 

That was so nice of those people to offer to help! I might have been too embarrassed to accept the offer, so kudos to Wilde. I’ve had a couple of different incidents like this. Once, when my son was around this age and acting similarly I ran into someone I knew and she told me her kids did the same thing and that she remembered it so well. It was reassuring and made me feel better. Another time, when my son was just a toddler, an elderly Swiss lady chewed me out for not controlling him well enough so I yelled back at her in English. In retrospect I know this wasn’t the best way to handle it when my three-year-old wanted to go up the down escalator, but it felt right at the time. Kids have issues and sometimes there’s nothing we can do. It’s nice when people recognize that and it’s even nicer when they help!

Also I wanted to say that I didn’t like the film Wilde directed, Booksmart, and left at about 40 minutes in. I’m sorry! As background I was at the discount theater so my investment was low. Also I’m a busy person and can be stingy with my time. It was too fast-paced and I found the characters exaggerated and unlikable. It’s for people younger than me. I know that it’s beloved and I wanted to give it a chance. When it’s streaming I’ll watch the rest.

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48 Responses to “Olivia Wilde thanks strangers for helping when her son had a tantrum at a restaurant”

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  1. marjorie says:

    Nice thing to do. I wonder if they recognized her…

  2. Jane says:

    After reading this, I still have a little faith in humanity. Lovely couple for helping her.

  3. Ronaldinhio says:

    I always offer help when physically able and say it was worse with my three – because it probably was.
    I had 3 in 3 yrs and at time I was so in need of a hand or friendly smile.
    Glad she got one and acknowledged it

  4. Léna says:

    Once in a plane, a mom came with her newborn (probably not even 2 months old, but I don’t know much about babies) and she could not figure how to put the luggage up in the cabin with the baby in the arms.

    I told her “do you need help?” And she said yes and handed me the BABY !! I expected tje luggage so I was not ready. Poor baby was sleeping and the moment he arrived in my arms he probably felt my disconfort and stress and immediately started crying. Lol

    • ChillyWilly says:

      Lol! That’s hilarious! I try not to judge moms with melting down kids. Even the most well behaved of kids have their moments and there is no reasoning with them.

    • tealily says:

      Hahaha! I love babies but I have a bit of a baby-holding phobia, like I’m going to drop them or something. Not sure what I’d do if a stranger handed me their baby!

  5. Anitas says:

    My son and I had a day like this recently and two different people helped us at two different locations. First meltdown happened in the supermarket at the checkouts, and a kind employee helped me scan and pay for the shopping. Second meltdown was a few minutes from home, and a lovely neighbour pushed the buggy for us while I carried him home. It meant the world to me. Such lovely people.

  6. Millennial says:

    I love when people are compassionate. I find that a lot to folks – either without kids or with really well behaved kids – look down on parents with a kid going out of control. You really don’t know their situation. A lot of us are living with kids with ADHD, special needs, or just all around crazy kids. We didn’t do anything wrong, they just came out that way. And there’s so much lack of empathy or even just an acknowledgement that maybe you don’t know what their life is like.

    Just this last weekend I was watching both my kids at a wedding – husband was in the wedding party, and by the end of the night, I was so mentally exhausted from keeping two kids quiet during an hour long ceremony, keeping them semi-behaved at dinner, that I just let my four year old go nuts of the dance floor. I was busy with the baby and I just was out of f’s to give, considering the bride insisted (really insisted) we bring our kids when we offered to leave them with my mom. So. It was what it was, but I could tell people were looking at me to contain him and I just wasn’t going to do it anymore.

    • Lucky Charm says:

      When my son was four he was ring bearer in my brother-in-laws wedding. Since it was out of town (where the bride’s family lived) we couldn’t bring just him and leave the other three at home, so we brought along my teenage cousin to babysit them during the reception. I didn’t have to spend the entire time watching four young kids, which made it more enjoyable.

    • tealily says:

      If she was that insistent, she probably loved it! I have awesome pictures of my friends’ kids yukking it up at my wedding reception. So much fun. A lot of people commented to me afterwards that they were glad we allowed kids because it really added to the family atmosphere.

    • Beyonce_PadThai says:

      I just had my wedding in June and I didn’t have a wedding party but instead including some children from key married couples we look up to. I ALSO made it clear that children were welcome, had glow sticks, coloring books and UNO cards on their tables. Growing up and attending all the Mexican weddings it was normal to have children running around and dancing. I loved the chaos!

      • paranormalgirl says:

        We had a “bring the kids” thing at my second wedding and it was a blast. I have the best best pictures of kids just having a wonderful time!

    • Kate says:

      It sucks when others don’t understand how hard it can be to manage little kids and that you probably did it right 300 times that day but now they’re seeing the end of your or their rope. I remember one summer day when my daughter was 2 and we went to Sesame Place for the day – so a long, hot day outside, saying “no” or “stop” what feels like 600 times. We stopped at the grocery store on the way home and there was an escalator and my daughter and I were at the top waiting for my husband to come up and she was touching the moving railing and letting it move her hand and then taking it off and repeating. If it were the beginning of a fresh day I would have moved her away and distracted her with something but I was EXHAUSTED and she seemed to be safe and not endangering herself. Some woman came over to me and said she was uncomfortable with my daughter doing that and I said “okay” (in an ‘ok thanks for the info, bye’ kind of way) and stared back at her which is about as confrontational as I get and she huffed off. I then prayed for the next 2 minutes that my daughter wouldn’t get hurt and prove that woman right lol. (she didn’t).

  7. Margo Smith says:

    I’ve been there too. And during the meltdowns, it’s not only embarrassing but also scary because your kid contorts their bodies and makes noises in a way you didn’t think was possible for a human being!

    • ChillyWilly says:

      Lol! They really can look possessed during bad tantrums! I don’t have kids but I was a nanny in my 20′s so I got a taste of how hard being a parent can be.

  8. Vizia says:

    Good and bad exist side-by-side, and don’t cancel each other out. There’s a lot of hate, horror and suffering in the world, and there’s also a tremendous amount of love, kindness and beauty. When the bad is so if-our-faces it’s really helpful and important to actively notice the good, or we start believing that everything is bad.

  9. xo says:

    Otis.
    I like that name.
    . . .for a kid, yes. Hard to grow into, maybe?

    Daisy, same.
    At 30, Daisy might feel a little . . youthful.

    Just my two cents.

    Nice about the strangers.

  10. tealily says:

    I really like her stripy outfit here (can’t tell if it’s a dress or jumpsuit).

  11. Doodle says:

    If you want to know where the best people are, try single parenting at an airport. I remember traveling with two small kids and one went down an escalator while the other refused to get on it. I was in the middle of the escalator running on it with our bags trying to figure out which kid to go to and becoming exhausted and stressed while a crowd gathered to watch. Out of nowhere a huge, I mean HUGE heavily muscled African American guy came running out of nowhere shouting “don’t worry ma’am!!” He grabbed my son at the top of the escalator under one arm, barreled past me picking up my heaviest suitcase and then picked up my daughter and started singing to them. By the time I got to the bottom of the escalator a minute later my kids were happy and safe and he even carried my bag for me to the next line.

    I have never forgotten that man – he saved the most horrible situation and the day. Best person in the world. And actually, people in general tend to trip over themselves to help a single woman with kids at an airport.

    • Kcat says:

      Meh, once I was heavily pregnant and traveling with my three kids under 4 (seemed like a good idea at the time). I was boarding the plane and trying to get 2 car seats on plane seats and lift luggage overhead and I remember being amazed that not one person offered to help. They were just annoyed that I was blocking the aisle even though I did early boarding to give myself more time. And a flight attendant said he couldn’t help with the car seat because of liability reasons. I ALWAYS offer to help parents now.

    • LAR says:

      Yes, I have often traveled solo with my two, and there’s always someone helpful, and it’s often not the person you expect. I had a middle aged businessman sit next to me and my oldest when he was little and I thought he’d hate us. However, he was most concerned about how I was going to manage getting off the plane with my son and his ginormous car seat. He was apparently visualizing his wife struggling with their kids and he very kindly bagged up the seat and carried it for me. I’ve had college bros make faces delightedly with my little ones. People can be so kind sometimes.

  12. Phat girl says:

    One of my favorite memories with my sons was the day we went to Wal-mart and my middle boy had a huge melt down because I wouldn’t buy him some $30.00 transformer toy (we were so young and broke back then we were just a few bills away from public assistance) . I told him in no uncertain terms ( and in a very very stern voice) to stop it and get up now or I would leave him there. A total stranger came up to me and decided to scold me for “threatening” a small child in front of others. “It could hurt his self esteem” she said. I took about a minute to remind her that he was screaming that he hated me and that I was a mean mom and that was not something I was going to let him think was OK to do to others no matter how upset he was. She then proceeded to ask my four year old if he was OK or did he want her to help him. I said alright and started walking away. When they realized I was leaving she hollered at me and I turned around and said “bye honey, this nice lady is your new mom now.” He shut right up, she shut right up and I bought my band-aids and we went home. Parenting is a skill, not a science.

    • TQB says:

      Wouldn’t it be great if all the busybodies of the world who feel so comfortable hopping in to situations they know nothing about with their judgements instead offered actual assistance?

      I never understand this. If my kids are annoying you in a public space, the best thing you can do for yourself is whatever it takes to help us accomplish our purpose quicker. I don’t like listening to a tantruming toddler any more than anyone else.

    • holly hobby says:

      Ugh that lady’s mentality is why schools are overrun by overly loved entitled kids. I’m not judging but stating a fact. For instance, at my kids’ school, they had a raffle at Halloween every year. About the time when my oldest was in 6th grade, the new parents at the PTA cancelled the raffle (even though it was hugely popular with the kids) because their babies were butt hurt when they didn’t win anything. They don’t want to cause their kids distress so they cancelled it altogether. It was a very WTF thing akin to giving everybody a trophy.

      I’ve always taught my kids that things don’t always go your way and I’ve used “no” too. My kids don’t have self esteem issues. This is called how to raise kids who won’t turn out to be self involved navel gazing douches.

    • ab says:

      it’s frustrating when people assume your kid is melting down because of bad parenting. my kids usually only pull the public tantrum situation when I’m denying them something they want, be it candy or a toy or whatever. there was a time in the grocery store when my daughter threw herself on the floor because I told her she couldn’t have lucky charms, and an older man passing through the aisle said “you shouldn’t be so hard on her, she’s a kid, just give her the cereal” or something like that (I don’t remember his exact words). I just turned around and shot fire out of my eyes at him, it was so bad that he raised his hands and backed away lol.

  13. ojulia123 says:

    I remember grabbing my toddler son (who was in full meltdown mode) seconds before he ran into a stroller with a very small baby in it. I fully expected the baby’s mother to tell me to control my kid, or at the very least give me a dirty look. My son could have easily knocked her stroller over and really hurt her baby. Instead, she looked me in the eye, smiled, and asked if she could help.

    I was so stunned by her kindness that I still tear up when I think about it.

  14. TQB says:

    It’s so hard to swallow your pride and accept help! I try and remind myself that when I offer to help a stranger, I mean it, I really want to, and I feel good to do it. Thus, if someone is offering help me, I can give them that sense of good by accepting the offer.

    • Some chick says:

      I was raised never to ask for help, and never accept help when it is offered. What a stupid thing to teach a kid!

      This is very wise and I try to tell myself something similar. I have learned to accept offered help. Asking can be a bit harder, even still. Think of Mr Rogers… there are always people helping. <3

  15. Dani says:

    This is nice to read. I have two kids. We were away last January and on the flight back my LO who was 1 and change wasn’t feeling well, hysterically crying. Nothing my husband and I were doing could soothe her. There was a real nasty piece of work sitting beside us who kept loudly huffing and puffing, saying how kids shouldn’t be on an airplane. I was already extremely stressed and I don’t mind confrontation (yikes) but kept my cool. At one point she said something along the lines of make your kid shut up and the woman behind her EXPLODED. She told her to keep her mouth shut, how rude can she be, doesn’t she see we’re already struggling. She then offered to help us, went to get us water and a snack from the front. The fact that she stood up for my kid made me feel infinitely better, and I’ve done the same for parents who are being berated for being unable to control their kids tantrum.

    • Caela says:

      I love that did this. It makes me tear up to read it!
      Nowhere near the same but I was on a packed commuter train and a woman came on with her 7 month old, first baby. Everyone was already tutting because of the folded pram. And then the baby started crying and you could FEEL the judgement it was horrible, and see the panic in this poor mum’s eyes. I don’t have kids so have never experienced that animosity. So I showed her baby catnip which is the Happy Baby Song video (I think it’s not on YouTube anymore sadly) and it made her baby smile, her smile and me smile. And I thought just by interacting and helping so many people’s journies were better. It was such a small thing to do and so simple. I don’t understand why people don’t help.

  16. Amy Too says:

    I always try to make eye contact with the moms who are dealing with a tantrum and give them a smile that I hope comes off as, “I know what you’re going through, I am not judging you at all, and this is not your fault.” Sometimes the mom will smile or laugh, and we’ll chuckle over how silly kids can be and what an absolute Mean Mommy CRISIS their toddler thinks they’re having at the moment because mom wouldn’t let them hang upside down from the shopping cart, or buy them the cereal with the car on the box, or whatever. I remember being out in public with my son when he’d be crying or throwing a tantrum and feeling so embarrassed. You start to sweat, and you feel like everyone’s judging you, and you could just cry yourself due to how overwhelming it is to try to wrangle a large and heavy toddler who is screaming in your face, and getting snot on your coat, and pushing you away while at the same time arching his back so that if you lost your grip he would slam into the floor. And all the while you’re trying to push a shopping cart; or carry your purse, plus diaper bag, plus his coat and hat and mittens, plus your coat and hat and mittens; or pay for something; or get them into the car seat.

  17. Caty Page says:

    I don’t have kids and I’ve never been annoyed by tantrums, but this makes me realize how stressed the parents must be. I’ll try to help more in the future. Thank you for informing me.

  18. Milkweed says:

    Been there, Olivia!

  19. BayTampaBay says:

    Never liked anything Olivia Wilde did (work wise) except House.

  20. RedWeatherTiger says:

    I just want to say that I love this thread, and it has made me want to offer to help people who seem to be struggling. I always hesitate, because that is just who I am, i guess, but I should and will do it more often. It can mean the world to someone.

  21. Lisa says:

    That was really kind.

  22. Sammi says:

    I do remember when I started working again. I just got off work and picked up my three year old from the daycare. I had to go back to my store to get supper and she had a full blown meltdown at checkout. I had been up since 5am and I was trying to soothe her. It just wasn’t working at all. A new employee that just started in my dept that day stopped what she was doing and came over. She handed my daughter a sucker out of her pocket, winked at me and said “that’ll last until you get home lol”. She quieted down and ended up falling asleep in the car.

  23. FilmTurtle says:

    I’ve offered to help a mother with a kid in full meltdown couple of times in an airport, and once in a Whole Foods and all three times I was told, in no uncertain terms, to bugger off and leave them alone. I can’t imagine the level of embarrassment and frustration. I felt bad for causing embarrassment in a difficult situation like that, but what can you do.

  24. Laura says:

    I bartend at a sports cafe and go out in public occasionally (though I try to avoid it-after being ‘on’ for people all day at the bar usually I just want to cuddle my cats and husband), and some people are wayyyy too harsh on parents. Like, yes, the sound of a baby’s cry is horrible. Nature designed it that way so someone would help the baby. It’s a baby. It can’t say ‘Excuse me, I need this.’ Duh.
    Toddlers. They have tantrums. Their minds are not developed enough to react in logical ways when things don’t go their way. Even the most delightful toddler is going to have a meltdown. It’s part of learning and growing for them.
    That being said, when parent come in with children old enough to use reason and know manners (8/9 and up in my opinion) and let the children act like animals, I do do a little quiet judging. If your twelve year old is slamming his fists on the counter and yelling “HEY LADY! HEY LADY! I WANT QUARTERS!!!” at me while I’m trying to count my drawer, maybe you could put down your beer, drag your eyes away from the football game, and have a teachable moment.

  25. Jack says:

    I adopted my daughter from Russia when she was 4. She had a huge (45 minute) melt down at the US Embassy in Moscow. It started outside the embassy when we needed to go through security. The guy at the front door (Russian) gave up trying to check me through security and just asked me if i had any weapons. Once we got in, she sat in the middle of the room screaming and crying while i went to the windows taking care of all of the paperwork. I’m a single mom, so was there on my own. Another single mom came and sat with us, but it took awhile for her to calm down.

    After that, it was all down hill…

  26. Doodle says:

    I was out one time when my son was a toddler and he was misbehaving. I put him in a time out in the store out of desperation. I felt so embarrassed and at the end of my rope, and another mom came over and said “stay strong Mama, you’re doing a great job!” I never forgot it and it meant the world to me at the time. My son just turned 9 on Sunday and when I see other moms in the same situation with a frazzled look on their face I do the same thing. The relief that washes over them is the same look I must have given that sweet woman that day so long ago. I’m so happy I get to pass it forward. Momming is haaaaaaaard.

  27. serena says:

    Things like this are really nice and kinda restore my faith in humanity (just a little).