Picture this- You are out shopping with a girlfriend and her kids, plus of course my two girls (not that this has ever happened… i wish that were true). Walking around the mall, shopping, enjoyed yourselves, when suddenly your two-year old toddler sees a gigantic, colorful candy store that is just calling her name. It’s pretty close to dinner time so of course, I say “no, we are not getting any candy right now.” Now, she has gone without a nap that day, so the emotions are running pretty crazy in that mind of hers. The instant I say no, the waterworks begin. Then, it’s on to throwing herself on the ground, laying in front of the candy store like she is a “save the trees” protestor at two years old. Oh, the drama. Then she moves on to screaming “Candy, Mommy, Candy. No like it say “no”! So of course, I pick her up and discipline her.
That is pretty much how a public display of tantrum throwing goes. It’s embarrassing, its frustrating, it can be somewhat humorous because it is just so unbelievable, and its hard to know what to do in the situation as a parent.
Tips for Dealing with Temper Tantrums
- If you are out with a friend or spouse or another adult, ask them to watch your things and maybe other children while you go somewhere private to deal with the situation. I would take my daughter into the family restroom or any restroom really, let them calm down and discipline her in the way that you choose if you feel that this is needed. Their reasoning skills will vary depending on the age of your child, so trying to talk to them about it really is going to be on an age-by-age basis.
- If you are somewhere that you can leave, do it! It is almost better to leave wherever you are and deal with them in a place that they are familiar, like the car, because they will know that you mean business.
- Do not give in! I know that I am a young mom, but from my own experience as well as personal observation and growing up in a family of many siblings, don’t give them their way when they pitch a fit. It will only make them do it again and think they can get away with it. Be strong mama! It will be hard, because we just want the embarrassment of our screaming child to stop, but you can do it!
- Also, do not just let the situation continue. An article on KidsHealth.org stated that “Although this is hard to imagine, to a child, negative attention (a parent’s response to a tantrum) is better than no attention at all. Many studies show that any attention, including negative attention, results in an increase in that behavior!” We are the parents, it is our job to handle the situation appropriately and not just let our children have free reign over us.
- Ignore the judgmental eyes of comments from people. They are not your child’s parent, they do not have to deal with the situation, and their opinion is just that, THEIRS. It will be hard enough to maintain a strong mama mentality when dealing with a temper tantrum, so don’t let the misplaced judgements of others get to you. YOU ARE HANDLING IT THE BEST YOU CAN!
- Do not bend or change the rules because you are out in public. Make sure that whatever rules you have set at home stand strong when you are out in public. This is crucial to maintaining respect and discipline so that they don’t get mixed signals from you in terms of what is okay and what isn’t.
- After the tantrum and situation is all said and done, make sure to love on your kiddo. They are emotional and vulnerable after ordeals like this and what they really need is some comfort and loving from us! It can be hard to do, seeing that we are probably seething with frustration or beet red due to the embarrassment. Just remember, they are our kids not matter what and we love them through their faults!
*Cheers to our kids, the good, the bad, and the fit throwers*