How to Deal With a Tantrum in Public
Public tantrums - A common toddler syndrome that parents dread but have to experience.
Imagine that you are out shopping at Suntec City and suddenly your little one starts throwing a hissy fit for no reason whatsoever!
You’ve tried to shush him and even distract him with the multitude of toys around, but he just won’t stop. You stand right next to your kid, helpless and feeling very embarrassed. Everyone around you is staring at you and you know that they are judging your parental ability.
Do you just run away to the darkest corners of the earth where no one recognises you or do you flex your parenting muscles and discipline, maybe even smack your kid on the spot?
Don’t feel embarrassed about public tantrums
The first step towards dealing with tantrums in public is never to feel embarrassed by it. Remember that your child is not throwing a tantrum to embarrass you – your child probably does not even grasp the fact that his behaviour is embarrassing for you. You need to also remember that at some point or another, every single parent has gone through the exact same thing that you are experiencing.
I have been in such situations, having to witness my stubborn two-year-old stomp her way and cry like crazy when I was standing at a queue in a mall. And it is because of my experience of dealing with a public tantrum that I can safely tell you that while public hissy fits are something that all parents dread but have to experience.
For those who are not parents, well – you should not care about what they think, as they have not experienced what you are going through. So, stop feeling embarrassed and handle the issue in the best possible way.
Don’t scream at her in public
One of the most common mistakes that parents make is to admonish their child when she acts out in public. Nothing could be more wrong than screaming or spanking your child on the spot for their public temper tantrum. When you do that, you are acting out exactly the way your child is – publicly! So breathe, count to five and remember that your children are very insecure at the toddler age, and need support as well as attention from you.
Instead of admonishing her, it would do you well to understand her exact need at the moment, which incidentally would be the reason for the tantrum. It is possible that you chose to go to the mall at the wrong time, when she is hungry. If that is the case, then you should take care to understand the symptoms and reschedule your activity, where possible.
Communication is key
Calm and rational behaviour from the parent is the best way to handle a toddler tantrum.
You should try soothing the child and prevent him or her from displaying such behaviour with soft words. However, if that does not work, then the last option is to take him or her away to some private place, either your car or some secluded spot away from the prying eyes of the onlookers, and reason with the child.
It is essential to explain that you dislike the behaviour immediately so that the child can relate the two and not repeat it. Most importantly, never laugh or call the behaviour cute as this could give mixed signals to your toddler, who is then likely to repeat it every other time you are in a similar situation!
Lastly, it is essential to reassure your child after the entire tantrum is over that while you did not like his behaviour, you do love him because such episodes can actually frighten your toddler and he would need your reassurance.
However, this should be done without giving in to the tantrum as it is important to set limits while disciplining your child.
Do you know any other ways on dealing with tantrums in public? Share with us by leaving a comment below.
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