Dealing with Tantrums in Public

Having to deal with a toddler’s temper tantrum is never pleasurable and dealing with tantrums in public can be even more distasteful. At some point every parent will have to deal with their toddler throwing a kicking, screaming and floor-thumping temper tantrum. At home this can be frustrating but in public it can be unexpected, angering and embarrassing.

Toddlers aren’t equipped yet with the proper tools to communicate their feelings and emotions. When they are tired, hungry, angry, frustrated and unable to express themselves they may throw a tantrum. This can happen anywhere and at anytime but there are things you can do to both prevent and stop tantrums.

Tips for Dealing with Tantrums in Public

  • Prevention is typically preferred and requires consistency in your toddlers life. Don’t let them get too hungry, tired, uncomfortable or over-stimulated. For example; make sure you give your child a nap when he is tired or if there is too much activity he may need a break. If you plan on running errands during typical feeding times you should bring a snack.
  • Encourage your child to express their feelings by using words.
  • Distract your child’s attention to something else by using humor. This may help you manage the situation as well.
  • Reward your child when he requests things without throwing a tantrum in public.
  • When dealing with tantrums in public you want to stay calm and not have a tantrum of your own. Model calm and controlled behavior.
  • Remove the child from whatever is causing the tantrum by putting them in a “time out”. Give them time to calm down, it may take a few minutes but eventually they will calm.
  • For younger children, holding and hugging them until they calm down may be helpful.
  • Don’t give in and reward you child for throwing a fit or else they may learn tantrums are an effective way of getting what they want.
  • Older children may resort to tantrums to get attention. Try ignoring them until the tantrum is over.

Children will eventually grow out of temper tantrums. Until then talk to your child afterwards about acceptable behavior. Help your child identify their feeling with words. Remaining calm during these trying times provides your child with a great role model.