For a parent what could be worst than a child throwing a full blown tantrum in public?
It is embarrassing and very hard to know how to deal with it.
It is a shame that this week yet again children throwing tantrums are in the news again.
This time a cafe owner in Felixstowe has made some comments about tantrums and parentings. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-36837803
The owner of the cafe claims that if a child is throwing a tantrum for longer than 5 mins the parent can’t be disciplining the child! This sometimes maybe the case, other times it might not. It would appear that the cafe owner has a misunderstanding of what disciplining a child means. Disciplining a child does not mean they will be seen and not heard, it means they are being disciplined (lead/ taught) what is good for them and not just the adults around them.
Two things to remember about tantrums:
- Almost all children throw tantrums, its an annoying part of normal development.
- Giving into the demands of the tantrum increase the lightly hood of another tantrum happening, but sometimes for your own sanity you need to give in…it’s one of these things. Move on and be ready for the next one!
My top tips for helping parents survive the public tantrum.
- Tell the child calmly that you will talk to them when they are calm.
- Ignore the tantrum, but not the child, do not let them out of your sight!
- Praise them when they are calm, even if that’s just taking a pause in screaming to breath! [I once had a 45 minute battle over who was going to shut the car door! I lost count of the number of times I said, “when you are calm we will talk about this”, then saying “well done for calming down” when the child took a breath only to repeat the “when you are calm we will talk about this” once the screaming and shouting restarted.] This way the child learns that tantrums are not the way to get what we want.
- If they are hurting themselves, others or property try something else.
- Remember tantrums are exhausting for you and the child!
What to do if a member of the public or a cafe owner tries to step in.
- Thank them for their offer of help (even if through gritted teeth)
- State you are dealing with it.
- Don’t make negative comments about your child or the adult.
What to do if you see a child throwing a tantrum in public
- Give a friendly smile and say something encouraging or sympathetic.
- No parent wants a strangers judgemental help.
- Do not try to talk to the child as you don’t know what the parent is trying to do.
For more help with tantrums do get in touch.