How to tackle temper tantrums in public

Bundoo Child Psychologist
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How to tackle temper tantrums in public

Let’s talk about the nitty gritty on temper tantrums in public. I’ll provide you with a game plan, tips on how to deal when you feel the tantrum escalate into full blown meltdown, and ways to get it together. Outings with your little one don’t need to be dreadful. Let’s talk about it and change your outlook on dealing with those tantrums!

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  1. My LO, who is 2.5 gets so angry when we have to leave the park or he doesn’t get his way. I tried Dr. Karp’s method to relate to the toddler and say ” Ryan doesn’t want to go..etc” It does’t seem to work for my boy. What do you suggest?

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    1. Hi, that’s really frustrating for the both of you. My first suggestion (and I don’t know if you’re doing this already) but give him a fair warning. Even though he does not know how to tell time, if you let him know 15 minutes in advance that soon you will be leaving, and then at 10 minutes, 5 minutes and go time, he won’t be as shocked when its time to go. He may still be upset, but at least not caught off guard. Next, when it’s time to go, get down to his eye level and say it’s time to go,in a confident tone of voice. If you sound like you’re wavering or if there’s a chance you might change your mind, he may try to get his way (who wouldn’t). He may be upset, and it’s great that you are empathizing with him that he’s upset about going and you understand but you have to go. Empathizing doesn’t mean that he’s going to automatically stop crying, but it means you are connecting with him on an emotional level. Sometimes, it helps to recap the fun times you had and what’s going to happen next to help make the transition more fluid. Hope that helps, I am here for what’s left of the hour for any questions or comments!

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  2. Hello! Lets talk about tantrums and how we can make those pesky behaviors go away!

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  3. My 3-year-old has never really thrown tantrums before, but he gets very testy and whiney. And he’ll cry if something doesn’t go his way, but he doesn’t throw a full blown tantrum usually. He’s extremely bossy and stubborn (he gets both traits honestly…). A lot of times, we do whatever he’s asking because either 1) he asks nicely or 2) it’s easier to just do whatever it is instead of dealing with the whine fest that will follow a “no.” And several times I’ve found myself uttering the dreaded words I said I’d never say…”Because I said so!” So my question is, how much explanation should I give when telling him he can’t do something or I won’t do something? Do I need to explain myself? Sometimes it seems to help, but sometimes he just has his mind set and we end up in a compromise. Is that okay? Am I still giving in that way? Is it making it worse or making this phase last longer?

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    1. Testy is such a good word to describe it! He’s testing you because as you’re putting it- you’re sending inconsistent messages. I’m not suggesting you act robotic and give the same response to every circumstance, because sometimes we can change our minds, but it sounds like you’re changing your mind not for the direct reasons but more out of convenience and also to just end the conversation by saying ” I said so”. I think you should explain yourself but in a matter of fact tone. Keep your child in the loop, if he benefits from knowing, but keep it short and to his age level. The fact that he’s determined to get something done is amazing, you don’t want a pushover, but at the same time, he needs to respect your words. Sometimes, it’s okay for us to pay attention and to analyze the situation- is what he’s asking for so bad that we have to say no? Can we allow it? So reconsider. But, if it’s a clear no or saying yes makes you feel uneasy, then stick to it. He doesn’t have to like it. And as parents, we can’t expect our kids to like everything we have to say, either. Also, by wavering, compromising, reverting what we said, we are disrespecting our authority- how can we expect them to respect our authority and trust in our words? Let me know what you think!

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  4. I just remember in my pre-kids life how I swore *my* kids would never have tantrums in public. HA! Now when I see another mom going through one I try to smile and give her a “been there, done that!” look so she knows it is so totally normal…

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  5. Lately I have just been leaving the store as soon as the meltdown starts. I have four boys, so I ALWAYS have a slew of kids with me. The 4 year old is my ticking time bomb. I can always tell when he’s about to melt. I try to defuse and distract – but if neither of those work then I RUN FOR THE HILLS! – and then we go home and we don’t do anything fun for a little while – so he doesn’t associate it with “getting his way”… and as a result – I am saving money and doing LOTS of online shopping – because going to the mall and those places are just not working right now. This too shall pass! (I hope!)

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