The dreaded tantrum. In the store, on the plane, at a restaurant, at drop off, at a friends house, or the best one yet, at the movies.
You would like to think that our children love us enough to have tantrums at home or in the car on the way to the public area, but no, that does not give them the attention they so desperately need.
Is it unfair to think that our children have us wrapped around their little fingers at least 80% of the time? I mean there are some parents who would say 99% of the time and then there are our parents of the year who would say only 10% of the time.
Well, hello, I am that 80% of the time parent. I mean I would like to think that I have the upper hand, but my child has strategically planned when to have those moments of
I need attention, I don’t care if it’s good or bad attention, just give it to me now.
Realistically that’s all a tantrum is, the ability to have the upper hand and get what you want at the exact moment you want it.
Well I have mastered
5 ways to put an end to tantrums in public
This will take some bravery on the parents part, but together we can defeat those big tears, that loud screaming, and those fits of rage.
Teach your child the correct way to behave in public. Sometimes our children, bless their little hearts, don’t understand how to communicate with us. Let me correct myself, they don’t care to understand how to communicate with us, they demand what they want with the most dramatic actions possible. I have imitated to my child what that looks like. Yes, I have laid down on the floor screaming and crying, which by the way she thought was funny. I then showed her a video, I had taken of her having a tantrum. She did not think that was funny. She was, believe it or not, embarrassed. I then took that opportunity to show her the correct way of asking for something and the correct way of showing or communicating with me that she is not happy with my choice. I explained to her, if she remains calm and chooses nice words, we can ALWAYS work something out. The minute her attitude becomes negative, all negotiations are off. I demonstrate what a positive reaction looks like and then what a negative reaction looks like.
- Have the talk right before entering the space you plan to occupy. Not in the car and not while walking toward the place. As you step through the door with your child or children have the talk right there. Get on their level, use a calm voice, look them eye to eye, and tell them what you expect while in the space. Let them know that you will not respond to their cries or screams. Be firm!
- Do not respond to their cries and screams. Let them act it out, and completely ignore there fit. This may take a couple of moments in different spaces, but if you can work through it, ignoring all the stares from others and the voice in your head telling you to give in to save others from having to listen to your child act out, it will be well worth it. Most times children will try what works, if throwing a tantrum loses it effect, they will move on.
- Bring something that you know your child enjoys. This is not an item that they play with at home or in the car. This is an item specifically for when you are out in public and you know your child will have a meltdown. Build this item up. Make it special and meaningful. Give it some power, so that your child will look forward to enjoying it, missing the opportunity to have moments of meltdown.
- Limit your time in places. If it’s the grocery store, have a list. Some places you may not be as lucky. On a plane, you need to have activities to occupy the amount of time spent confined in that space. iPads or tablets with games and movies work wonders. Places like restaurants and movies, take the privilege away if they can’t learn to behave then they don’t deserve privileges. Ease into rewarding them in public places like going out to eat, maybe at a fast food restaurant first or going for donuts, something that allows you to show your child how to behave in public places. Movies are always a hit or run. Not all children like the idea of spending time in a dark theater with no freedom to move around. Ask yourself, is it that important that they see the movie the first day it debuts. Make movie night at home just as special and save movie theaters for when they older.
Do you have any tantrum stories you would like to share, or maybe something that has worked for you and your child? Please share in comments.