You and your child are walking down the road, you pass by a shop which sells your child’s favourite candy and the very next moment you see your child laying on the ground flaying his/her arms and legs around crying on top his/her voice for that candy! We believe that most parents would have endured similar circumstances with their kids at a certain point of time.
Children and tantrums go hand in hand. Children cannot control their temptations as well as the adults and hence, the tantrums. And when this happens out in the public, it’s sort of an embarrassment for the parents. Most of us live in mortal fear of not just the tantrum but also the act of parenting in full public scrutiny. Here are some handy tips to be able to diffuse your child’s tantrums under full public gaze!
1) Keep Calm & Parent On:
Staying calm is indeed a superpower. Keeping your calm while your child is out wailing on top of his /her lungs is a big task, but doing so can help defuse the situation a lot faster and easily. Even after giving into his/her tantrums and giving him/her what he/she needs only reinforces the idea that tantrums will get the job done. Instead, stay calm and create a ground rule that tantrums won’t be tolerated in a public place!
Distracting your child’s attention often helps. These distractions help the child channelize his/her energy to someplace else. Ask your child to count the number of groceries bought, or help you in choosing the items you’re buying at the supermarket etc. These activities will keep your child engrossed and will keep tantrums at bay.
3) Delay the No:
These are for situations which go out of hand. You can say yes, but that does not mean you give in to his/her demands. We just want you to accept their demands till they end his/her tantrum. Delay the no, for example, that candy for which he is bawling his heart out could come to him after dinner tonight! Studies have shown that children who can withstand this delayed gratification turn out to be more successful as adults.
4) Call it a Day:
When nothing works, call it a day. When the tantrum does not show any sign of relenting, it will be a good idea to end the outing. This will pass a message to the child that such behaviour will lead to cancelling of outings. A strict action always helps keep tantrums in check.
Remember to strike a balance between setting reasonable limits and connecting with the child. Also remember that humiliating a child in public is unlikely to elicit good behaviour. Pro tip – do not forget to give yourself some me-time after a typically hard day!