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MY 20 month old throws tantrums in public. mostly in waiting rooms

what do i do? she will not listen to me, i do smack her hand and tell her no, she gets it most of the time, but in public she pushes my buttons. her doctor says i ignore her when she throws tantrums. but what do i do when she stops? does anyone know how long these can last? what i can do to nip it in the butt so i wouldnt have to deal with it. im sure she'll have her days like everyone else, but this often? id like to change it, but not sure how to go on about it. any info would be great.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 6:46 PM on May. 20, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (4)
  • The best thing I've found is to keep the child entertained. I always bring a snack (dried fruit, cheerios) for her, and make sure to schedule my appts during her awake hours. Bring small toys or have her sit on your lap and read a book. The more I interact with DD the better she behaves.

    If none of that works, your pedi is right. Let her throw her tantrum.

    Answer by epoh at 8:02 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • You need to deal with it the same way no matter where you are. She has learned that the rules are different when you are out. She isn't sure why, she doesn't understand that you are embarassed and feel that everyone is judging you. She only knows that she can do what she wants out in public.
    Don't wait until you are at home or cut trips short due to tantrums. By the time you get home, she will have forgotten and any punishment is meaningless. Going home early simply teaches that throwing fits is a great way to get out of boring shopping and back to her toys.
    Simply put her in time out right there - the middle of the aisle, a corner of the waiting room, whereever.
    Don't try to talk her out of it. Just stay nearby, pretending to do something else.
    Yes, people will stare. So what? I've actually found that most are thinking either (1) I hope my child doesn't act up this time or (2) Yeah for the MOM!

    Answer by kaycee14 at 8:07 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • It's a fact of life that waiting rooms of any kind are torture to toddlers! "Waiting" is NOT in their vocabularies! LOL! When our foster son was around that age, (foster son, so no hitting, smacking, no physical discipline, etc.) I got embarrassed at first, but then decided that at his age and maturity level, he couldn't express his frustration any other way. I also took snacks, drinks, toys, books, pen/paper to draw, and tried to distract him as much as possible. Sometimes I did get some stares, but people aren't going to follow me home to tell me that our child is terrible. Take her to the bathroom, change a diaper, wash her hands (for a change of scenery.) If she does throw a tantrum, don't just ignore her, also walk away from her to get a paper, a book, verify the office has your correct phone #, whatever. You are still there, but she will only continue while YOU are watching. Otherwise, they feel silly.

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 10:18 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • It's normal

    Answer by lattemom1 at 12:07 PM on May. 21, 2009

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