Tantrums! What do you do?

Tantrums! What do you do?

My children are not big time temper tantrum kiddos when it comes to being out in public, but every once in a while they throw the world biggest whopper of a tantrum {full on meltdown} and all the redirecting in the world does not help. I just have to put down whatever we were out to get and leave the store. I am curious as to what other mothers do when their children throw temper tantrums?

Comments

  1. I normally take a deep breath and deal with the embarrassment, unless my daughter is sick. If redirecting her to something else doesn’t work, I am kind but ignore the behavior. I get what I need to get done ASAP and then get out! I always wonder if leaving reinforces the negative behavior. I don’t know if that’s true, but I feel like she wins if I stop what I’m doing to avoid the tantrum.

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    1. Totally agree here with you Stephanie, and I also make it a point not to run errands when I know it’s right before naps or bedtime.

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  2. Hi Laura and Stephanie,
    I think you are both right. There are times when you need to be brave enough to pack up and leave what you are doing to send a message you won’t tolerate a behavior. At times kids will test us, especially in a public setting because they don’t think we will do anything about it and they can in essence get away with something. In that case, walking out is the right thing to do. On the other hand sometimes they would be more than happy to leave the store to begin with and they don’t care about your convenience. In this case, don’t let them manipulate you into leaving because it will reward them. The trick is to know when to stay with the screaming child and when to go. Either one takes a lot of courage and sticktoitiveness! There’s little more embarrassing than walking through the store with a screaming child. And nothing more inconvenient than having to postpone an errand due to a temper tantrum. Yet at times either are perfectly appropriate, just not very pleasant.

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  3. I read a really good article recently that started quite the debate in my moms group. I usually handle tantrums just like the mom is this post did: http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/09/15/dear-parents-you-need-to-control-your-kids-sincerely-non-parents/

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    1. Love this article! Children’s behavior in public is quite the controversy… especially when it comes to the opinions of those who don’t have kids. But high-five to this guy. I try to remember that no matter how annoying another child’s behavior is, it is normally 100x more annoying (and humiliating, and guilt-ridden) to the child’s parent, who is likely desperate to do the right thing and make their child behave at the same time.

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    2. I love how this mom handled things and try to do the same with my kids. With a busy schedule it is often impossible to rearrange errands to fit the moods of my children, so I usually try to stick it out despite the embarrassment and judgmental looks. I have found that my reaction to the bad behavior is the key to keeping things under control…the more I feed into it, the worse it gets. But it must not be so fun to continue a tantrum without an audience because when I stay calm and choose to ignore the behavior as I am hurrying to finish, it is easier to deal with. And I just smile sweetly at those people who give me dirty looks and walk right on by!

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  4. I totally do the ignoring thing and if that fails I try to bribe them (I know but sometimes I just need to get something done and it’s easier for me to offer them something to stay quiet)

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    1. I’ve also done the bribing thing as well because sometimes you just gotta give!

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  5. The little boy I kept last summer was notorious for knock down drag out, embarrassing temper tantrums. After trying several methods– reasoning, time out, leaving– I found the best way to deal with his tantrums was to take him to a bathroom or somewhere away from people so that he could calm down. I would ignore his screaming until he was calm enough to take deep breaths, and then we would talk about why he was so upset. Until he was calm, we made no progress!

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    1. Smart point, Kim. It’s difficult to reason with a child during the tantrum!

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