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What to do when your child throws a tantrum in public

from Hand in Hand Parenting‘s Parent Rescue Service

[One of the most common aggravations parents experience] is when your child throws tantrums, especially in public!

There are certain common situations in which young children can become emotionally charged. Here are just a few of them.

  • Being with several people: being with the whole family at dinner, at a family gathering, a meeting, a birthday party, the grocery store, church, or temple.
  • Moving from one activity to another: leaving home for day care; leaving day care for home; stopping play for dinner; and going to bed.
  • Being with a parent who is under stress: the parent is cooking, cleaning, shopping, trying to finish a task on time, or is upset because there’s so little help.
  • At the end of any especially close or fun-filled time: after a trip to the park; after a good friend leaves; after wrestling, chasing, or laughing with Mom or Dad.
  • When your child bursts out with feelings, slow down the action, and listen. Listen until he is done. Because of this cry, your whole day and his will improve.

Here’s what we encourage you to try.

When your child bursts out with feelings, slow the action down and listen. His tantrum is an important and useful outlet.

  • Don’t give in if you’ve set a limit.
  • Don’t give up – he will finish. We guarantee it.
  • Give him you – your caring attention is what he needs.

Because of your caring through his emotional storm, your whole day and his will improve.

You may be able to prevent some public outbursts:

  • Spend one-on-one time with your child before going out in public.
  • Stay connected, using eye contact, touch, your voice, your attention.
  • When you see upset brewing, make contact right away.
  • See if you can find a way to play so that your child can laugh. Laughter loosens your child’s tension, and allows him to feel more connected to you.
  • And finally, if your prevention strategies don’t work, Staylisten. Let your child offload his frustration or disappointment. Your listening will work its magic. It’s all he needs.

Go ahead and use these ideas right away, the very next time you notice your child’s tantrum bubbling up.

As one parent put it:

I’ve finally figured out that it’s my job to set a limit when he’s going “nuts,” and it’s his job to get the bad feelings out. As I listen to him, people might not be able to tell that I’m doing my job and he’s doing his, but at least Iknow that’s what’s going on.

Together, we can build the strength to tackle tantrums in public!
— The Parent Rescue Service

P.S. The three most prevalent parent challenges highlight just how hard it is to feel 100% comfortable parenting in every area of your child’s life. It is not easy work.
If you want to become more confident and more comfortable with your parenting, now could be the right time to join our membership program. Sign up now before we close registration. We only have 12 spaces left and will likely fill by the end of this weekend.

You are in charge of parenting the way you want to. But it’s a hard job to do alone. It’s smart to join forces with an excellent team of certified instructors and like-minded parents to grow with, wherever you can find them.

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