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How do you handle child tantrums in public?

Posted by on Jan. 12, 2012 at 11:04 AM
  • 22 Replies

 How do you handle it when your child has a tantrum in public?

Is it better to get up and leave, let him have it out there so he doesn't control what you do?

What's your best option?

toddler tantrum

by on Jan. 12, 2012 at 11:04 AM
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Replies (1-10):
happinessforyou
by on Jan. 12, 2012 at 1:19 PM

I always scooped them up and took them home. Obviously they are on "over load". I also tried to minimize tantrums by feeding kids first and never taking them out when they needed a nap. Tried to be home for bed on time too.

goddess99
by Michelle on Jan. 12, 2012 at 1:22 PM

This has really only happened a couple times for me and we left.

Teeshann
by Member on Jan. 12, 2012 at 2:09 PM
1 mom liked this

depends on what the tantrum is about. my son usually would throw a tantrum at the store because he hates shopping. unfortunatly there was no choice but him to come with me and i'm not going to leave and give him what he wants. he still doesn't like to shop but he doesn't throw tantrums anymore. will just tell me he doesn't like this store.

orngblsm
by Member on Jan. 12, 2012 at 2:11 PM
1 mom liked this

Depending on the child (I have 5) and the cause, I would walk away, ignore, or take to the car for a timeout or swat.  I always kept a bag of crackers in my purse so they could nibble if they were hungry, or let them use my purse for a pillow and lay down in the basket if tired.  However, I never let them dictate what I did.  I made the mistake of leaving the store and going home once.  Not only did the shopping not get done, my son thought from then on that if he didn't want to be there, all he had to do was throw a fit.  If I was just browsing in the store, I would cut it short; but a regular shopping trip, we were there until I was done.

Basic rules that helped me the most.  Never give a child a treat if they are misbehaving.  To them, it is a reward and they will act up again, just louder.  Mine were allowed to ask me for something special once.  If I answered 'No' and they threw a fit; the 'no' became definite.  If they accepted my answer and didn't ask again or have a tantrum, sometimes, not always, I would go ahead and get it for them anyway.  They picked up on that really quickly.  If they really got out of hand, I would take them to the car and they would get A (1) swat and a timeout.  I would tell them that the behavior was not happening, we were finishing shopping and then going home.  After they were calm, I would finish up, and we would go home. 

It may not work for you, but it is what worked for me.  You know your child best.  Keep trying until you find what works best for you.

Teeshann
by Member on Jan. 12, 2012 at 2:19 PM

 

Quoting orngblsm:

Depending on the child (I have 5) and the cause, I would walk away, ignore, or take to the car for a timeout or swat.  I always kept a bag of crackers in my purse so they could nibble if they were hungry, or let them use my purse for a pillow and lay down in the basket if tired.  However, I never let them dictate what I did.  I made the mistake of leaving the store and going home once.  Not only did the shopping not get done, my son thought from then on that if he didn't want to be there, all he had to do was throw a fit.  If I was just browsing in the store, I would cut it short; but a regular shopping trip, we were there until I was done.

Basic rules that helped me the most.  Never give a child a treat if they are misbehaving.  To them, it is a reward and they will act up again, just louder.  Mine were allowed to ask me for something special once.  If I answered 'No' and they threw a fit; the 'no' became definite.  If they accepted my answer and didn't ask again or have a tantrum, sometimes, not always, I would go ahead and get it for them anyway.  They picked up on that really quickly.  If they really got out of hand, I would take them to the car and they would get A (1) swat and a timeout.  I would tell them that the behavior was not happening, we were finishing shopping and then going home.  After they were calm, I would finish up, and we would go home. 

It may not work for you, but it is what worked for me.  You know your child best.  Keep trying until you find what works best for you.

 LOL. drives me nuts when we are somewhere and my child is acting up and a total stranger offers them candy to make them feel better. first off i try to teach my kids not to take things from strangers. and then when i say they can't have it the fit only got worse. my daughter has the treat thing figured out and when we are headed to pay she will ask if they were good. most of the time she's trying to get me to take her to her favorite ice cream place.

mik1of3
by on Jan. 12, 2012 at 2:34 PM

On the rare occasion that it happened, I knew I'd pushed her over her limit.  We'd leave wherever we were if it was just us...it would be selfish of me to put not only her through that but the people around us.  (Hello restaurant hellion parents!!)  There was one time, though, at her great grandfather's 80th birthday dinner, when she was teething.  Those gels and things did nothing for her...so I gave her some baby Tylenol and took her outside until it kicked in.   Same philosophy...I wasn't going to ruin everyone else's dinner because SHE was teething.  And as she grew older (she's 15 now) she never really threw tantrums.  I was very, very lucky!!

Now, my SD tried the tantrum thing when I told her no about a particular toy or book she wanted when we were on our weekly shopping trip one Saturday.  She actually walked up to a stranger and asked them to BUY it for her, and when I walked up to them, apologized, and told her we were leaving, she pitched a royal ass fit the entire way out the door and to the car. I took her home, dropped her off to her dad, told him what she did, and we went on with our errands.  She missed out on a promised trip to Barnes & Noble and she wasn't allowed to go shopping with me for the longest time after that. 

 

DMMcCloskey
by on Jan. 12, 2012 at 3:03 PM

I was taught and it seemed to work for me that as long as it doesn't inconvenience you or another adult then you leave the situation. Sometimes that meant going to the car and letting him/her scream it out in the car while I let them know that I would be waiting outside for them where they could see me but couldn't make eye contact with me. Educate early that they don't have the control in these situations by throwing a tantrum, when they calm down you can talk to them. I don't know the age of your child you are speaking of but mine were both about 3 when the tantrums in public began. There were a couple of times where what I was doing could be done later and I scooped the child up and took them home. Usually this worked best when something we were doing was beneficial to them, for example they had a new toy or a treat in the cart and it got put back. It stuck with them. My girls to this day know that when I say stop that is what I mean... Now to get my step-kids to understand that.... Hmmmm ;-)


jltplk25
by Gold Member on Jan. 12, 2012 at 3:51 PM
Landon threw a fit once while in public. I set my buggy to the side, scooped him up and we went home.
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mdatca
by on Jan. 12, 2012 at 4:03 PM

BUMP!

mumbosauce
by on Jan. 12, 2012 at 4:04 PM

I always get up and leave, we have sat in the car while others finished eating or shopping. I have only had to do this maybe 2 with each kid and never had an issue again.

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