What should we do when our child throws a tantrum in public?

2016.06.30

Many parents have experienced dealing with children who throw huge tantrums at the store, in the park (yelling and crying and even rolling on the floor). In this article, we will discuss the reasons behind these tantrums and how to handle them.

Why do children have tantrums?

Tantrums often start during the first rebellious phase when children are between 1.5 and 3 years old.
They are often at their worst during the “terrible twos”.

Children throw tantrums when they want something, don’t want to do something or want to do something their parent is saying they cannot do.

To a parent, tantrums are just troublesome acts.
However, for children, they are actually an important way to learn independence and how to express themselves.
Children who throw tantrums once in a while are nothing to worry about but if the frequency increases parents should look for the specific reasons behind them.

The first reason may be because the child is not certain whether his parents loves him/her so he wants to anger his parents to test their love.
This is often the case for children who are not usually not given too much attention or who have a new sibling.
If you think that this is the reason for your child’s tantrums, holding them tightly and spending quality time with them may stop the tantrums.

The second reason may be that their parent’s discipline lacks coherence.
Children who are scolded sometimes and ignored at other times for performing the same activity become ambivalent.
If parents, change their discipline style depending on whether they are at home or in public, when a child thinks that there parent won’t get angry if they have a tantrum in public, they will throw more tantrums.

How can parents form better relationships with children who throw tantrums?

When your child starts bawling and gets emotional, it is a good idea to step away.
By leaving some space between you and your child, you will both begin to calm down.
If your child throws a tantrum in the middle of shopping, it may be a good idea to stop and go home right away.

If you know the reason why your child threw a tantrum you should let them know that you are aware that they did not like what just happened.
After letting them know that you understand their feelings, it is important for parents to explain why you cannot give into their demands and your feelings as well.
If you bribe them with toys or food, children will learn that they can get what they want if they have a tantrum.

Even if you buy them what they want when you go shopping, there is a chance that your child will say that they actually wanted another object instead, which will add fuel to the fire.

When this happens, it is a good idea to promise them that you will buy just one treat.
It is important to keep this promise even if your child throws a tantrum.
This way, your child will learn that he/she will not receive more treats if they throw a tantrum.

If your child keeps his/her promise and doesn’t make a fuss after receiving one treat, please praise them. Children will begin to realize that they will be praised if they follow their promises and there number of tantrums will begin to decrease.

Children who throw a tantrum and say “I want that” or “I want to play more” have a strong desire to accomplish what they want.
It is best if parents can skillfully pull out this strong desire but also teach them that we cannot always have what we want and sometimes we need to have patience.
Children do not throw tantrums forever as the peak usually passes between 6 months to one year.

Please take the suggestions we made in this article into consideration and protect and show respect for your children.

  • GYMBO friends