A Cautionary Tale on Limit-Setting

Dessert, such as a Hawaiian shaved ice, is just one reason your child may have a tantrum.

Dessert, such as this Hawaiian Shave Ice, is just one reason your child may have a tantrum.


On a warm July evening at a SE Portland foodcart pod, a 4-year-old is throwing a tantrum. Tired Mom holds a red and green Hawaiian Shave Ice in one hand, and an ice cream cone in the other. “I don’t want green,” screams the 4-year-old.

Tired Mom sighs. “What happened?” asks Dad.

“Some woman said he was spoiled,” says Tired Mom.

“What the f–k!?” says Angry Dad.

“I told her, ‘he might be a little spoiled, but he’s also tired. He didn’t get his nap.”

“I don’t want green!” screams Spoiled Child.

“Let’s just go home,” says Tired Mom. “He’s having a meltdown. I just spent $4 on an ice cream cone he didn’t want, then $3 on a shaved ice he doesn’t want.”

Dad stands up.

“Are you going to find that woman who called him spoiled?!” says Mom.

“I don’t want green!” the mantra continues.

“I’m going to get him another shaved ice. He doesn’t want a green one,” says Dad.

Family exits stage left. End scene.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/thegirlsny/3536983155/”>TheGirlsNY</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;


  1. Alice said:

    Great story!

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