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Video: Tantrums? Just Walk Away

Morgan Burke
June 8, 2017

See how Jill Smokler keeps it scary as part of the Care.com Interview Series.


Jill Smokler has never been afraid of confessing her deepest and darkest parenting blunders (and triumphs for that matter!). As part of the Care.com Interview Series, we caught up with the Scary Mommy herself and got the low down on just how "scary" she really is when it comes to disciplining her three kids. 

What is the biggest discipline mistake you feel you've made?

I don't make mistakes, I'm perfect! Oh goodness. I think sending the kids to their room as punishment sort of backfired because they have all their toys in their room, it's the best place they can be, they're alone playing with all their stuff and I think that was pretty ineffective as a consequence to doing something wrong. I do make mistakes daily.

Consistent punishments are also key, so make sure everybody, from family members to babysitters, know what the rules are and the consequences for breaking them.

How do you handle tantrums, you know the times when they aren't working it out. What's your go-to move?

I usually just ignore it. I have this very funny video of Evan, my youngest, throwing a tantrum and he's thrusting, shaking around and screaming and I leave the room and it stops and he like peaks around, sees me and starts it again. So that is really effective to just walk away from it because it is all for show and once you stop paying attention it generally stops.

You talk a lot about having flexible kids, so how do you run your home? How would you say your real stance is on discipline in general?

Discipline is hard. It's hard to be consistent and it's especially hard when some of their punishments punish me just as much as them. If I take away their hour of TV a day, that's an hour that I don't have to shower in peace, that I can't be talking on the phone, that I can't be doing a conference call so I have to really gauge what punishments don't penalize me just as much.

Check out the rest of our Care.com Interview Series: The Discipline Mistakes I've Made.

Jill Smokler is a wife, a mother of three and the author of the immensely popular blog, Scary Mommy. Averaging over 1.5 million views a month, the site has become a community of parents where there's a belief (and relief) that parenting doesn't have to be perfect. Her first book, Confessions of a Scary Mommy, debuted in April 2012, making it on The New York Times bestseller's list in its first week. Get more of Jill on Facebook and Twitter.

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