This Is Exactly How You Handle a Toddler Tantrum in Public

Toddlers are not exactly known for being reasonable. So it should come as no surprise that when Ohio-based dad Terrel Crawford told his 3-year-old daughter, Ari, “no” while they were shopping at a Walmart, she proceeded to pitch a fit.

That’s when Crawford, 29, guided Ari to the parking lot, placed her on the hood of their car and began filming her meltdown on Facebook Live. The video, posted earlier this month, has more than 21 million views and nearly 317,000 shares. Here’s why: Crawford handled the tantrum like a total pro — no yelling, bribes or hitting. And his method is inspiring thousands of parents.

Terrel Crawford and his 3-year-old daughter Ari
Terrel Crawford and his 3-year-old daughter Ari

The 6-minute clip begins with Ari whining loudly on top of Crawford’s vehicle. Crawford, a licensed massage therapist, calmly explains to Ari that he won’t allow her back in the store until she pulls it together. And she actually listens.

“When you spoil the hell out of your kids, this is what happens,” Crawford tells the camera. “That’s our fault for being raised as ghetto kids and never having anything.” He adds: “When you have to be stern and they don’t like it it, this is how they act.”

Crawford goes on to reveal that growing up, his mother “beat the hell” out of him. “I don’t beat my kids,” he says. “I take stuff from them. I make them sit down.”

By the end of the video, Ari is happy and ready to rejoin her mother in the Walmart. “If your children don’t learn by you teaching, then who are they going to learn by?” muses Crawford. “We buy the stuff they get. We take it away from them when they don’t deserve it.”

In a interview with News Journal, Crawford — who is also dad of Dominick, 13, and Jaxon, 9 — said he feared his parents when he was a child. “I didn’t wanna yell at or whoop my kids, like at all,” he told the paper. “I didn’t want my kids to be scared like I was . . . I don’t want my kids to be scared of me.”

And Crawford doesn’t want them to resort to violence either. “They know that we’re black, white, Mexican,” he said. “They’re gonna face something eventually where somebody’s gonna be so evil and negative towards them that they’re gonna want to lash back. I teach them all the time that you always have a choice to not do it. Remember that.”

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!