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  • Nona

How to manage public temper tantrums.

There comes a time in every parent’s life when their beloved child turns into a monster. Unfortunately, it generally happens in public and at the worst possible moment. Oh, those public temper tantrums. Embarrassing, frustrating and so painful to watch, these outbursts don’t have to ruin your day. Here’s how to manage public temper tantrums. #1 Don’t overreact. Public temper tantrums pull the spotlight on you and your parenting skills. At least that’s how it seems. However, reacting to the spotlight and the pressure to get your child under control can make things worse. Focus on helping your child and ignore the other shoppers or restaurant customers. #2 Speak in a calm, quiet voice. Raising your voice accomplishes two unproductive things. It draws more attention from people around you. Additionally, it may trigger your child to dig in even deeper into their temper tantrum. Your reaction is exactly what they’re trying to get. Speaking in a calm, quiet voice forces them to calm down to listen to you. It helps get the message through to them and your words stay private between you and your toddler. #3 Don’t give in. It’s tempting to buy your child the item they’re having a fit over just to quieten them down. However, taking this action will only reinforce the behavior and turn every public outing into a debacle. #4 Avoid the tantrums in the first place. Children are prone to temper tantrums when they’re feeling out of sorts. They might be hungry, tired, overstimulated or bored. If you can avoid it, don’t take your child shopping when they’re tired or hungry. If they’re overstimulated, find a way to engage them in one focused activity - singing for example. #5 Give your child choices. One way to avoid public temper tantrums is to involve your child in the decision-making process. Give them decisions to make. For example, what color Jello do you want to make tomorrow? What kind of soup should we buy? Do you want hamburgers or chicken fingers for dinner tonight? Giving them decisions helps them feel like they’re part of the process. They’ll be less inclined to have a breakdown. #6 Plan ahead. Before you get to the store, explain your expectations clearly. Let them know that you’re not buying any extras today and to not ask. However, they can choose their breakfast cereal if they behave. Always bring a snack, sippy cup, small toy , book or lovey to distract during your outing. #7 Just say no. Children like to test your limits. They’ll ask for something from the store even if you’ve told them in advance that you’re not going to buy anything today. Stick to your guns and tell them no. Remind them of your expectations and the choice or reward they get if they behave. Public temper tantrums are embarrassing and pure torture when they’re happening. If you cannot get your child to calm down in the store, don’t hesitate to leave your cart behind, pick up the child and remove them from the environment. It sends a strong and powerful signal to your child that you’re not affected by their behavior and it’s not going to be tolerated.

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