Writing Prompts: Tantrum

This prompt comes from an old WordPress Daily Post idea, and I thought it might be interesting to explore.

When we hear the word ‘tantrum’, I’d wager most of us think of an angry, stroppy child, throwing their toys out of the pram, or rolling on the floor of a shop, beating their tiny fists against the floor in frustration at some perceived, world-ending slight. However, adults are fully capable of having tantrums too. The petulant MGTOW who plagued the other site I run has thrown many tantrums at me, and still does so from time to time, despite his behaviour having absolutely no effect on me. I’ve had a number of religious fundamentalists become rude and insulting, once it be became clear I would not fall for their charlatan antics. I’ve seen various posts on social media of grown men behaving like absolute jokes, because a woman dared reject their advances. Adults are probably worse than kids for having tantrums.

What I don’t get is why. When has a tantrum worked for an adult? Sometimes it works with exhausted, tired parents, who are desperate for their kid to behave. For the sake of expediency, we might relent, and buy them the sweets/toy they want. It’s not a good idea to keep doing so, because you’re ultimately rewarding that negative behaviour, and kids soon learn it works. Perhaps the foot-stamping, whinging, entitled adults are the kids whose parents never said no? Or perhaps they learned lessons from outside of their parents that weren’t healthy? Who knows, all I do know is, throwing a tantrum at me is not going to work. I’m not impressed by it.

You need only look at all the footage of grown men and women acting up in supermarkets and stores to see what happens if you throw a hissy fit in public. The odds are you’ll be ejected from the store, forbidden from returning, and quite possibly end up getting arrested too. How often do these truly difficult, socially inept customers get what they want? Will the embarrassing process of getting arrested make them understand their behaviour will not serve them well in life?

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