Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

How do you deal with toddler tantrums in public?

We go to a playgroup 3 days a week, on Wednesday's there seems to be more kids there. (tuesday's are super quiet, and Friday's are a small group too) we have toys that kids can ride on like tricycles, cars, etc. My so LOVES to ride the tricycle. and when he leaves it, and someone takes it to ride on, he throws the biggest tantrum. He did it again today, and I told him that if he didn't calm down and try to play with something else, that we would leave. Then the hitting and pushing began. so I grabbed him and we left, we got home and he sat in time out. He's 2 and a half. We are working on the whole sharing thing, but gosh it's hard when he throws a tantrum in public...I get embarrassed. Could use some advice :) Thanks

Answer Question

Asked by mkbugs at 2:36 PM on Jan. 28, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 1 (0 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • I feel your pain! Oh my son does that stuff, but I try an remember that he is just 2 and he doenst know better YET, and that we are working on it. I try and let him throw a little fit and then tell him you have to share, or we will leave, if he keeps it up we leave. I like to think I am teaching him to behave or we don't get to play...I kinda works, but as he gets older I'm sure it will have a bigger impacted.

    Answer by CorCorsmomma at 2:40 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • You need to show your child that you are in control. You tell him before you go what the rules are and you tell him that if he doesn't follow those rules he will have to go home. He is old enough to understand and he will test you and you must follow through. He will learn quickly that you mean what you say and his behavior will improve!


    Answer by NannyMiranda at 2:41 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • When my kids acted up I removed them from the situation. So in this case Id pack him up and go home.

    Answer by gemgem at 2:42 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • Ok..this worked for my daugher. When she was 2 we were in the grocery store & she started throwing a fit about cereal or something. I promptly stopped the cart, looked at her & said, "I can't believe you are acting this way, where is your mother?" She stopped her tantrum, looked at me and said, but you're my mommy! I don't know if it will work with your son, but it did for me. The look on my daughter's face was priceless! Good Luck. I have a 13 month old, so I know the toddler tantrums are coming again!

    Answer by themacs4 at 2:43 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • By the time you get home, it's too late. He doesn't really remember what he did. You need to deal with it right then and there. I know it's hard because you feel embarassed but truly - every other mother there is thinking one of two things: (1) I hope my child doesn't pitch a fit this time OR (2) At least it's not me this time.

    First, you need to lay out the ground rules before you get there. Remind that he is not to hit and he is not to take toys out of someones hands. Then remind him that if someone is playing with a toy that he wants, he has to wait until they stop using it. THEN it is his turn. When someone takes the trike and he pitches a fit, remind him of this rule.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 3:10 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • Next, deal with the tantrum then and there. I take an old baby blanket with us in my bag. If my daughter starts to throw a fit, I will pull it out, put it on the ground, and use it as our "time-out corner". If we are in a store, I'll plop her right there in the aisle. I've found that if I try to take her somewhere quiet (like a bathroom) or even leave the store, it makes things worse. When I've done that in the past, she quickly learned that by throwing a fit, she could end up at home with all of her toys or someplace more interesting than where we were (public bathrooms are exciting and new to toddlers). By staying put, she quickly learned that throwing a fit got her nothing - no change of scene, no trip home, and certainly not what she wanted. Yes, it annoys other people. Too bad. I've actually had someone come up to me twice and congratulate me for being willing to deal with a tantrumt.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 3:10 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • themacs, that is hilarious!! I am sure I will have to deal with this one day and I think I will say the same thing!

    Answer by Glowing4Caleb at 3:26 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • kaycee- good idea, and annoyed people will get over it, lol

    I always removed the from the situation. we wouldn't go home persay but I'd get them in their car seat and we would sit there until she'd calm down

    honestly though I would avoid the situation altogether if I could, there was a brief time period for both of mine when I would just not leave the house with them. I'd have my mom watch them so I could grocery shop because that is where the worst tantrums hit.

    also saved a lot of money because I wouldn't take them out to eat either.

    I know- I'm a chicken

    Answer by LuckyClown at 3:36 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • Putting him in time out after you get home isn't doing any good. It's too late for a toddler.

    What do you do at home when he has a tantrum? Do it in public, too. My kids have each sat in time out in the middle of a store at least works wonders.

    You have to be consistent. Otherwise it does no good.

    Park his butt on the ground right where he's throwing his fit....

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 4:50 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • Sometimes just ignoring kids works. My daughter started to throw tantrums when we went shopping and after about three times of ignoring her she stopped. It takes patience but can work out.

    Answer by blackrain2784 at 9:11 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.