When I am out in public, I always have great compassion for parents who are having a difficult time with children who are having a meltdown. I’ve been there, and I don’t know any parent who hasn’t! (Of course I’m not referring to situations where a child is being mistreated or physically abused.)
On top of the challenge of how to best help the child, parent often seem to be embarrassed by the situation, and that can make it even harder for them to respond lovingly to the distressed child.
Parenting is one of life’s most challenging (and rewarding) activities, and I think parents need all the support and understanding we can give them. You can’t always offer to help when you come upon such a situation, but you can smile and let the challenged parents know you’ve been there, as opposed to casting a critical and judgmental eye on them. What a difference that can make for those who are temporarily struggling!
Parents of children with ADHD may be in this situation more often than most, and if they have ADHD themselves it’s even harder to keep from escalating the emotions.
Practicing loving-kindness and self-compassion regularly might just be the best preparation we can have for when we are involved in or encounter such situations.
There are some videos on our ADHD Hints YouTube channel that address those topics. You might want to check them out.