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How to deal with tantrum (situation 1)

My 16 month old son is super active. He loves to run, play, jump anything that will allow him to keep moving. We were at the car dealership the other day waiting for an oil change. Now, we havent lived in this area for very long, therefor we have no friends, or family here to help out, and daycare was closed for the day. The dealership has an outstanding play center inside with plenty of room to play and plenty of things to play with. It has an inside mini jungle gym and slide its just super. My son was playing in there and all of a sudden got super mad at I dont know what and started a dramatic tantraum. I mean, full out kicking, screaming, throwing himself on the ground, banging his head on whatever he can. Instantly I always remove him from whatever he is banging his head on to decrease his chances of hurting himself. Now normally if this were to happen I would try and calm him down for a couple mins and if that doesnt work I would remove him from the public place and we would go sit in the car until the tantraum is over. Well, we couldnt exactly do that because the car was being worked on, going outside in general wasnt an option because there was a yucky storm going on. I tried speaking to him about his behavior which I know he doesnt really understand what Im saying. I tried picking him up, giving him snacks, juice etc. I couldnt find what was making him mad. Then my only other option was to let him throw the fit. A half hour later, and 3 employees checking on us later, hes still going at it. One employee pushed us to the front of the line and got us out of there. Not only was he disrupting other people in there but he was disrupting their calls etc. My first priority is to be a good parent and handle this properly, but also at the same time I want to be respectful to our surroundings and that is also a priority. Please advise me with suggestions for the future.


Asked by mitchellb at 12:13 PM on Feb. 7, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 17 (4,346 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (3)
  • It sounds like you did the best with a tough situation.

    Sometimes catching a child off guard can diffuse the situation. We've all been in that spot at some point - you just can't do all you'd normally do to diffuse a situation and the child is bound and determined not to give up the fit. When I also would fail and I had no option of leaving, I would sometimes pretend to pout or cry. It would startle my kids. My son would get mad at me for acting that way - which was sort of funny. My DD would get concerned that I was upset. either way, it re-focused their attention and made them stop. Other times I'd be a little silly - maybe tickle them a little or dance around with them, make silly noises and faces - anything to get them to refocus their attention. Try agreeing with him "I KNOW! It's just no fair is it! It just stinks. Wait. Why are we mad?"

    Answer by ldmrmom at 12:52 PM on Feb. 7, 2011

  • I think you did the right thing. I might have brought my child to the bathroom to redirect his attention to whatever it was that upset him so much.. Next time just watch more closely or be the one playing with him..maybe another child took a toy from him or something? Don't get to upset though I think all of us Moms have been through something like that.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:20 PM on Feb. 7, 2011

  • Hmmmm, I guess if you can't quiet him down take him to a bathroom or something if you can't go outside. Mine are a bit older but if you can start pointing at things, if he can't talk yet and see if you can get him to tell you what is making him mad. I sit mine down tell them to take a deep breath and then tell me what is wrong and then fix it if I can. if they are throwing a tantrum because they want something I tell them they need to ask like a big kid before I will give it too them, if i haven't already told them no. if that doesn't work I ignore them until they calm down, occasionaly this doesn't work and I have to improvise but its worked over the years for the most part. I hope that maybe that helped somewhat sorry I can't be of anymore help, good luck !!

    Answer by countrygirl06 at 12:24 PM on Feb. 7, 2011