When Her Kids Had A Meltdown In Target, A Stranger Stepped In And Did THIS

Missing The Target


If you've ever gone to the store with a child, you know it can be an adventure, to say the least. There is so much external stimulation — lights, sounds, smells, people — that they can sometimes get overwhelmed. This is especially true when they see snacks and toys that they want. Add in teething, a missed nap, etc. and you have the perfect storm for a public meltdown. As Rebecca Paterson found out in a Target store, this can be the recipe for disaster — or an unexpected gift.


The Meltdown

YouTube / ABC13 Houston

Paterson was in Target with her sons, two-year-old Jacob and two-month-old Aiden, when they both had meltdowns — at the same time. First of all, props for even bringing a two-year-old and two-month-old baby out to the store together. Throw some wine in that cart. Speaking of which, she was starting to put her groceries back on the shelf and probably trying to get out as fast as she could when a stranger, and mom of two herself, stepped in.

A Simple Gesture

YouTube / ABC13 Houston

That mom was Tiffany Jones-Guillory, and she came up to Paterson and offered to walk with her and hold little Jacob so she could finish her shopping. While the little boy was still kind of freaking out, Jones-Guillory wasn't deterred and began showing him photos of her own kids on her phone to distract him and help calm him down. Paterson was so shocked — and relieved — that she took out her own phone and took a picture that quickly went viral.

Worth 1,000 Words

YouTube / ABC13 Houston

“She walked with me while I got the essentials needed for the day and kept hold of my toddler while he calmed down,” Paterson said. “She saved me today moms! I am so sleep deprived and was running on empty. A little kindness and understanding goes a long way.” Can you even imagine how tired and exhausted she was? Not to mention the fact that people were probably giving her dirty looks — except for Jones-Guillory.

Her Angel

Twitter / Rekha Muddaraj

“I know how it is. I've been there," Jones-Guillory said. "I have two kids, it's frustrating, and that baby is two months,” she said. “You have hormones going…and people are looking at you crazy, and I just wanted to help. God sent me there to help her.” It makes you think — how many times have you seen a kid melting down and wondered why the parent wasn't doing anything about it? Maybe they're doing the best that they can, and they just need a little compassion. Compassion is exactly what another mom urges people to have when they see that situation.


Grocery Run

Facebook / Aly Brothers

Aly Brothers had her own meltdown after taking her two young boys to the grocery store to grab some milk. While that sounds simple enough, her boys had other plans, which caused Brothers to lose it a little bit and customers to thrown some shade. “This is motherhood. No fancy filters, no good lighting, no new lipstick," she wrote in a viral Facebook post. "It's messy hair that's wet from the rain, yesterday's makeup that I was too tired to wash off, and tears. Motherhood is HARD. Single-motherhood is HARD."

The Breakdown

Facebook / Aly Brothers

"These tears started as the cashier of Giant Eagle handed me my receipt and continued for the entire drive home,” she wrote. She went on to explain how her younger son, 20-month-old Levi, was fussy from pretty much the second they walked into the store. Not willing to cooperate, he didn’t want to be buckled into the shopping cart, from which he started throwing things — a shoe, groceries, his mom’s wallet. “And he cried. And people stared. That was fine, I could handle that,” Brothers wrote. As if that wasn't enough, her energetic 3-year-old son Bentley wanted to play Superman by standing on the front edge of the cart.

Double Trouble

Facebook / Aly Brothers

“I told him to hold on and stand straight. He did not. He fell off, he leaned backwards and knocked things off their displays. He leaned back and bumped a stranger,” she said. “Then I made him get down and he walked too far ahead of me and opened all the freezer section doors telling me all the things he wanted to get. I tried to handle that. I stopped multiple times and composed myself and my children. The people in line behind me glared. The cashier glared. Everyone's eyes were on me as if to say ‘can't you control your own children.’ One older gentleman whispered, ‘she's pretty young for two kids’ and I lost it."

Don't Rush To Judge

Facebook / Aly Brothers

In her Facebook post, she went on to explain just what was going on. "I handle my kids very well. Normally, they're great kids and I wanted to tell that guy, 'You’ve seen them for 15 minutes in a grocery store. I’ve seen Bentley for 3 1/2 years. So I know him way better than you. Don’t judge me, don't judge my kids. We’ve all been here. You acted like this when you were three. Be compassionate. Show kindness."


A Little Goes A Long Way

Facebook / Aly Brothers

"If you see a kid throwing a tantrum, if you see a mom on the verge of tears...please say something nice. Please don't glare with judgement (sic),” she wrote. “And to all moms out there having a day like mine...I see you, I know you, I love you. You are strong and you are doing just fine." Clearly it struck a chord, as her post received more than 65,000 reactions, with other parents sharing their own stories — and how a little bit of kindness can go a long way. But what if you're a parent in the middle of a kid meltdown?

It's Going To Happen

Left MN

In a perfect world, your kids would all behave like angels every single time you go to the store. There would be no tantrums, there would be no diaper blowouts, there would be no grabbing things off the shelf like they're doing a "Supermarket Sweep" audition. But as every parent knows, it's going to happen. The only thing you can do is be a little more prepared than you normally are, and it's easier than you think.

Bring Crayons


If you snag a few extra little packets from a restaurant, that will work fine. Or if you're fancy, you can buy Crayola and stuff them in your big bag. But have a little notebook of paper and when they start to freak out in a public place, give them the crayons and the paper. This is easier if you're at the doctor's office or a restaurant, but it can also be done in a store. If there's a will, there's a way. At least add a little color to the mix.

Bribery Works


This should not be used all the time or for little whimpers and whines, but the big "the world is going to end because they can't have that toy" breakdowns. Bribe them. Bring fun-sized candy in your purse and when you realize you're at a Red Alert stage of screaming, stuff a sucker in their mouth. Unwrap a tiny Snickers and stick it in their flailing hands. The sugar rush might give them a little more energy, but it might also buy you a little more time until you can get the heck out of the store.


The Wish List

Petra Academy

When you're going up and down the aisles just looking for the ONE THING you went to the store for that it has somehow taken you an hour to get to and hear, “Mom! I want that! Did you hear me? I NEED THAT RIGHT NOW!" Instead of telling them flat-out "no," even though that's probably the case, tell them they can put it on their "Wish List." If you have that pad of paper with you, you can actually write it down for them and explain that they can keep all the things they want on their Wish List. Make it like a game, and hopefully they'll forget by the time that you get home.

The Final Word

David Wolfe

As we saw from Rebecca Peterson and Aly Brothers, most moms are doing the very best they can. Going to the store with little kids is like trying to put a fish on a bicycle — it's not easy. If you see a kid having a meltdown, instead of glaring and shooting them dirty looks of judgement, maybe walk up and ask if there's anything that you can do. Simply showing some compassion might just change that parent's day.