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Do you spank your kids for having temper tantrums?

My 15 month old is starting to throw bad tantrums. She had a full-blown tantrum in the store the other day. I was standing in line in customer service to pay the og&e bill & she kept wiggling, struggling & crying to get down. So i let her down. Big Mistake! Of course as soon as she was on the ground, she went straight to the first thing she could play with which happened to be the candie on display. She started grabbing everything off the shelves & putting it in her mouth & the whole nine. I grabbed her by the arm & told her "NO" & picked her back up. But she started screaming at the top of her lungs & kicking & punching. Needless to say, i left the store embarrassed without paying my bill. When i got her in the car i spanked her (i wouldnt do it in public). How do you deal with tantrums in public? or even at home? Is it ok to spank them for doing it? And how do you stop it BEFORE it happens?

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Asked by Anonymous at 12:55 PM on Oct. 1, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (18)
  • With my 16 month old if I am alone I just deal with it best I can. If we are together, usually her dad takes her outside and I finish whatever I'm doing. At home we put her in time out. I don't really spank her for temper tantrums, I normally spank only for things that put her in danger. But I'm with you, I wouldn't spank her in public, you never know who is going to try and call the cops on you! STUPID PEOPLE!

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:02 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • if for you it is ok to spank a baby for acting just like a baby, why you don't do it in public???
    Maybe you know is dead wrong!!!!!!!!!, that's why.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:07 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • Spanking will do two things: make her more hysterical and send the message that hitting solves problems.
    Depending on the form and trigger of the TT, either move her out of your way and go about your business, ignoring it; or pick her up and hug her, tell her that you love her and are sorry that she is sad and you are doing what is best for her.


    Answer by rkoloms at 1:18 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • I personally believe that you did the right thing. A child needs to learn that there is a different behavioir expected in public. My son KNOWS that tantrums in public are not acceptable. He still has them occasionally and we handle it just like you did, by leaving. IF it gets really bad, then he gets turned over my knee and spanked. We usually do that at the car because its the only convenient place to sit down to do so. Also, if he calms down on the walk to the car, he does not get one. I have had more than one person tell me thank you for removing a screaming child from a store and more than one employee tell me thank you for not letting him maul stuff in the store (candy, toys, ect). At home we usually use time out and it works, but that doesn't work for us when we cannot put him in a quiet, boring situation.

    Answer by auroura at 1:19 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • Personally I wouldn't spank for a tantrum, but then again, I don't spank as a rule. A tantrum is the height of out of control emotion - spanking is going to feed that, not squelch it. Toddlers have short attention spans & lack impulse control. They lack the full vocabulary and communication skills to *tell* verbalize their feelings. She lacks the emotional maturity and vocab to express frustration properly. It doesn't make her behavior right - but it *is* important to understand WHY a child behaves a certain way before understanding how to address it.

    Time your errands as best you can to match her schedule. Don't run out for things like this near meal or nap times. Go during those "best moods" time of day. Bring distractions with you. My 2 are 7 and 5. If we're going to, for example, meet with the accountant, they bring their activity bags. The bag will have (cont in next reply)

    Answer by ldmrmom at 1:25 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • (cont) their activity bags have paper, crayons, books, hand-held games, etc. The bags are to keep them occupied which fends off poor "bored" behavior. When they were toddlers, my bag always had snacks, small toys, books, and other toddler friendly distractions. IF we were standing in a line, running around a big store in a cart or whatever, the distractions came out as soon as it was clear one or both hit that moment where simply being in the cart, stroller or my arms was no longer entertaining enough.

    That said, you did the right thing in the moment. If a tantrum starts, you leave. As I said, I wouldn't have spanked - but that's me.

    To me, spanking in a situation like that is a reaction of my own frustration. That's sort of reacting the same way I'm annoyed about my child reacting. It's my own little grown-up tantrum. Not everyone agrees with that and that's fine too. To each her own.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 1:29 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • Sorry, the space limits make it hard to fully reply. LOL!

    Just to comment on the 'space' issue for time outs in public. I have to disagree. I'll give a time out anywhere. ;) My two have had time outs in the aisle at Target. And, quite frankly, if you can go out to the car to spank, you go out to the car for a time out. They can sit in their car seat alone while you stand next to the car to keep an eye on them. I've done this too. When they were calm and ready to behave, they came out and we continued what we had gone to the store for.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 1:32 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • When my daughter started acting out @14 months old, we placed her on punishment. We made her sit in the corner by herself for about 5 minutes. Once she has calmed down, we then talk to her and let her know mommy and daddy doesn't like when she acts out. It has worked for us. She doesn't have that many temper tantrums and she'll be three in December.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:36 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • if she's anything like my 15 mo she's too young for a spanking. she isnt old enough to understand why she's being spanked or that her behavior needs to change in order to not be spanked again. spankings dont work unless the child knows what they did was wrong or bad, & are best saved for the worst situations (all else has failed). unless your 15 mo is much much smarter than mine, you cant reason w/ her...well you can but she wont understand.

    tantrums are hard for us adults to understand, but essentially its like this. take your worst day ever, or a day you dont feel good, or a day you dont get enough sleep then imagine someone taking you to a place you dont wanna go. on top of that you have no way of expressing that you dont want to be there...other than screaming, kicking, etc...and you dont care who sees you acting that way.

    Answer by okmanders at 1:47 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

  • First thing I do when we get into the store is grab a littke snack for my girls to hold and they know now that, if they can behave while were shopping they can get it at the end if the trip and it works EVERYTIME...

    Answer by twotwinsmom at 1:51 PM on Oct. 1, 2009

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