Help Me Grow | United Way of Utah County

How to Prevent a Public Temper Tantrum

Every parent has witnessed a temper tantrum at one time or another. Your child is screaming while you stand there trying to decide what to do. It can be even more daunting when you have an audience watching. Public temper tantrums can be difficult, but below you will find some positive parenting strategies to ease the stress when there’s a crowd watching.

  1. Setting Your Child Up for SuccessOne of the best ways to avoid a temper tantrum is to give your child the tools to succeed. This means you should consider your child’s needs prior to going out in public. For example, if your child usually naps around 11 am, it might not be the best idea to go out at that time. If you can’t avoid going out during that time and you know where you’re going isn’t a child-friendly place, bring items along that will help entertain your child like snacks, a toy, etc.
  2. The Game Plan: Another preventative measure is something called the game plan. To do this you want to go over with your child what they can expect during the outing such as, where you are going, how long it will take, and what rewards they can expect afterward. Letting your child in on the game plan will also make them feel like they are a part of something important. It will also help them understand what to expect so they can pace themselves throughout the outing. One of the best ways you can encourage good behavior in public is by offering to play with your child after you run errands. Specifically through special time. Check out what special time is here to get started!
  3. Acknowledgment: You can take all of the preventative measures in the world but even with all of that preparation there is still a chance a tantrum will happen. In this case, one of the first things you can do as a parent that will help the most is to stay calm. Anger and harsh language puts fuel on the fire. A child who is upset needs to know you are someone that is going to help them reach a state of calm again. Often times children will match your temperament. One of the best things you can do is make it known that you understand that they are mad, why they are mad and that you are going to help them through it.

In the end, you are doing the best you can! Your child is going to have hard days and hopefully, after reading this you have new strategies to positively help your child prevent temper tantrums as well as strategies to use when temper tantrums are inevitable.

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