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Parenting has its fair share of horrors. Few compare to the prospect of dealing with a full-blown temper tantrum in public. For one, seeing your child erupting in emotion is enough to make any parent worried and anxious. Add to that the pressure of being stared at and possibly judged by strangers, and you have a nightmarish experience for a parent.
Although it is impossible to prevent temper tantrums forever, you can still effectively and efficiently deal with the situation. All you need is to follow a few rules and what was once a dreaded experience becomes much more manageable.
Kids often throw tantrums for foreseeable reasons. If your baby is famished, he will be irritable and likely throw a tantrum at the grocery store. Or if he is too tired and sleepy, even the slightest inconvenience will spark an outburst of rage or a well of tears. If you spend too long at the museum and your daughter gets bored. She might go into a frenzy to express her boredom.
Therefore, before you head out with your toddler, make sure that he is well-fed and well-rested. Also, consider that your child has a short attention span, and forcing them to concentrate on a task for hours will likely make them frustrated. This should guide your choice of what you can and can’t do while you are out with your child.
Nip the Tantrum in the Bud
If you notice the start of a tantrum, try your best to deal with it as soon as possible. Some tell-tale signs of a looming tantrum include whining, making sad faces, and a refusal to cooperate.
An excellent way to forestall a fit of temper from your adorable two-year-old is to distract them. A silly joke that sends your child into fits of laughter might be the perfect solution to your problem. Or you might make funny noises that help your baby to forget their current problems and hopefully avoid a public meltdown.
Another tactic that will diffuse the situation is engaging your child in some activity. If you are out to get groceries, for instance, ask your child to help you identify the things you need. You can also ask for their help in putting items in the cart. They could also help you send flowers to your family and friends. Engagement helps kill boredom, and it also gives your child a spike of positivity, knowing that they helped mom in her moment of need.
Calm Your Child
What happens if, despite your prior preparations and your attempts to distract your child. They still erupt in a fit of temper? Your best strategy is to remain calm and help your child do the same. You may need to move your baby to a private place where they can ride the wave of the tantrum and where you will be mercifully spared the stares of your fellow shoppers.
Take deep breaths, and encourage your child to do the same. If they are too little to do this, pretend that your thumb is a birthday candle and ask them to blow it out. The important thing is to ensure your baby feels safe as they deal with their big emotions and to know you are there for them no matter what.
When dealing with a public tantrum from your child, you might feel like everything is spiraling out of control. The antidote to this issue is to relax, take deep breaths, and guide your child to a place of calm and quiet. The wave of anger and frustration will pass, and your little angel will resurface.
This is a collaborative post.