What To Do When Your Child Throws A Temper Tantrum In Public

Knowing what to do when your child throws a temper tantrum in public will save you from making a parenting mistake that actually encourages bad behavior. Don’t dread taking your child places with you. Your child is great and with a little intention, most (if not all) your shopping trips and outings can be pleasant!

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crying little girl throwing a tantrum in public. her mom needs to know what to do when her child throws a tantrum in public

JCPenney Temper Tantrum

I remember being in JC Penney at some point in 2008 when my then 2-year-old decided he wasn’t done looking at the toys and wasn’t ready to go. I had been intentionally training him on good behavior at home, but this was one of the first times (I remember) needing to do it in public.

I was actually excited. So weird, yes I know. But… I was just so grateful to be his mommy and to have a chance to teach him the difference between behaviors that bring about a blessing and the ones that do not!

So we set about our child training and one thing I remember most of all is that I didn’t care one tiny bit what other people thought. I didn’t even consider it to be honest. This was my child and his well being far surpassed any stares or judgment.

We made it through that trip, and frankly, it really wasn’t that bad. Because I knew how to respond and what NOT to do, he only got upset for a couple of minutes, then we were on our way.

What To Do When Your Child Throws A Temper Tantrum In Public.

Healthy parental responses.

  • 1. Ignore him. I don’t hear anything. Do you hear something? Your child is hoping to accomplish something with his tantrum. Often times all he wants is a reaction from you. Don’t give him one and you’ve just made his tantrum efforts pointless.
  • 2. Put your things away – leave the store – go home – and put him in bed. Now, I do not recommend you leave just because you can’t deal and want to get out of there ASAP. I am talking about leaving with a purpose. A purpose that sounds like this, “We are going home because your behavior is unacceptable. You will go in your bed, and will not be allowed to have any toys or do anything fun for 30 mins (or an hour, whatever seems reasonable for the circumstance,) next time we are at the store you will not act like that.”
  • 3. Be proactive by offering a treat or reward AHEAD OF TIME, for good behavior. Deliver on your treat or reward ONLY if the trip is great! Do not provide any good thing if the trip is not great.

What NOT To Do When Your Child Throws A Temper Tantrum In Public.

Unhealthy parental responses.

  • 1. Giving your child something (like a treat) to get him to quiet down.
  • 2. Yelling. You’ll be perpetuating the behavior, making yourself even more stressed and looking like a ninny in the process
  • 3. Threatening. Don’t tell him you are going to do something or take something away if you don’t FULLY expect to follow through. I see this often and it is the quickest way to keep the temper tantrums coming.

Tantrums are obnoxious, but truly… that’s all they are. They are one tiny little battle in your call to raising a well-behaved child. They seem like such a big hurdle because moms, more times than not, unknowingly perpetuate the bad behavior.

You have to win the war for the good of your child’s life and the betterment of your family. Winning the temper tantrum battle means teaching your child, she doesn’t ever want to tantrum again.

Great child training takes time and effort. If you make stopping tantrums right then and there, the goal, you’ll likely be asking for more! However, when your goal is to raise a well-behaved child, you’ll get great long-term results.

Determined To End Temper Tantrums

Being determined to train a child to be well-behaved child is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a mom. Because, here’s the truth… you are training her something! Whether intentionally or by accident, you are training her.

Do you want to be able to take your child out and about with you without dreading it? Yes, of course, who wouldn’t?

That means you’ll have to put some effort in. Fortunately, the steps are pretty simple, once you make up your mind to win the war instead of being embarrassed by the battle.

No More Public Temper Tantrums.

Every decision you make is training your child something, including what to do when your child throws a tantrum in public. Are you training her to keep throwing tantrums or to stop? Be very intentional to not respond the wrong way, choose an appropriate response instead, and whatever you do… follow through!

Pleasant shopping trips with a sweet kid playing happily in the cart are not ideal or a fairy tale. It’s completely possible.

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