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How do you handle a screaming toddler in public?

Posted by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 1:02 PM
  • 43 Replies
Kids occasionally throw fits, I get it. I have 3 kids, soon to be 4. If I'd been at home I would have put her in bed because she was tired and the fit would have ended on a nap. We were at swimming lessons though. Her 2 older sisters were in the pool and parents are supposed to stay in the area in case the kids need them. So we couldn't really go home or away when my 20 month old started pitching a fit. Let me tell you it was LOUD. I tried to distract her but it was making things worse so I just sat her on my lap and waited for it to end. It kept going so I tried walking her around and it made it worse so I sat back down. So here she is screaming like a pig being slaughtered with a spork and making gagging sounds, and all the parents are just staring and whispering. I got tons of dirty looks so I pulled out a book to read while dd threw her everlasting fit. I tried now and then to console or distract but it didn't work. She did this for 45 minutes without stopping once. So was I a bad mom worthy of dirty looks or what? I don't think so, kids will have fits. I would never stare or give dirty looks to a mom dealing with one unless there was something seriously wrong.
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by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 1:02 PM
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Replies (1-10):
misselphaba
by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Pick them up and leave.  We would go to the car or something and wait it out.  THEN, I'd pick up a small treat for everybody *else* (a little candy bar or something) to give them in the car for behaving so nicely. 

At the pool, I might have gone over and dunked her in.  LOL  Just kidding.  But I'm sure you did get dirty look because how terribly distracting for *everyone* else. 

norahsmommy
by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 1:23 PM
Lol at dunking her in, I thought about it for a second too. I would have taken her to the car but it doesn't have ac, so that would have been worse for both of us.


Quoting misselphaba:

Pick them up and leave.  We would go to the car or something and wait it out.  THEN, I'd pick up a small treat for everybody *else* (a little candy bar or something) to give them in the car for behaving so nicely. 

At the pool, I might have gone over and dunked her in.  LOL  Just kidding.  But I'm sure you did get dirty look because how terribly distracting for *everyone* else. 


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lyssa449
by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 1:28 PM

I would have pulled my kids out of lessons, and left. 

C8linVilla
by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 1:31 PM

i would have spanked her! I spank my 2 almost 3 year old in public for that! 45 minutes really... Thats a bit much and then to just ignore her i wouldnt give dirty looks or whisper but i would be thinking to myself that you let them do what they want and get away with things. obviously ignoring her didnt work

alexsmomaubrys2
by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 1:31 PM


Quoting lyssa449:

I would have pulled my kids out of lessons, and left. 

That is punishing all the other kids for ones behavior. That isn't fair at all.

I personally would have told one of the other parents I was going to step outside and tell the instructor where I was if needed and gone outside until she calmed down.

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cassi_d_m
by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 1:34 PM
When my girls were that age, no matter where we were, I would make them sit on the ground until they stopped. I didn't speak to them or let them play or anything. Once they realized they weren't getting the attention they wanted, it stopped quite quickly.

Only had to do this maybe three times :)
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Liyoness
by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 1:37 PM
45 minutes is way too long to allow a public tantrum. 15 mInutes, tops.
I haven't had an agry toddler in a while, but I did deal with an autism meltdown the other day at the water park (5 year old) When it was clear he wasn't going to de-escalate, we left. I dealt with it by assuring him he wasn't doing anything wrong, but eventually there was no point in torturing the kid. I had 3 children with me at the time. Leaving wasn't a punishment, it was a necessity.
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Liyoness
by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 1:39 PM
*angry
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misselphaba
by on Jul. 8, 2011 at 1:39 PM

I think, I probably would have taken my other kids out of the pool and left the lessons.  Then I would have swung by somewhere and gotten them each a milkshake or something.  Lets them know that you understand they didn't do anything wrong, but they aren't being punished.  Lets the tantrum thrower know that it's too bad you threw such a fit, now no treat for you.

blsdbyangel07
by Evil Food Lady on Jul. 8, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Naeem has behavioral issues and when ever he starts getting to that frustrated level we leave.... I do not stay around thinking all will be okay (like my mom tells me to do).  Besides, people are assholes.  I hate when people stare at me and say he needs a whooping.  Pisses me the fuck off so yeah I get outta dodge.  This is a big reason as to why I rarely take him in public anymore.

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