Toddler Tantrum In Public

little boy crying
Although little J is a toddler this post isn't about him as he hasn't hit the terrible two's yet although I am waiting for the day that my little cheeky monkey turns into a little monster. No, this is a post about another child that I just so happened to see outside a supermarket recently.

I was rooting through my bag for a £1 coin or my trolley keyring when I spotted out the corner of my eye, a mum with 3 children. She had one in the pram, one attached to her wrist with a rein wrist strap and another maybe 6 months older than little J. The eldest was screaming so loudly that it made me turnaround. He was screeching and screaming and obviously having a tantrum. I didn't want to stare but I couldn't help but look. Poor mum was struggling to get a grip on him as she pushed the pram and had the other on a strap. She didn't yell or scream she politely asked him to come to her. He didn't. He did the opposite and started stomping towards the taxi rank. She then raised her voice to ask him to stop and he just threw himself on the floor. It had been raining quite heavily through the night and there was just one large puddle and he just so happened to land in it. He just sat there screaming and crying and kicking out his legs. It was awful.

I have to admit that I had watched without it being obvious that I was staring at them but I felt so sorry for the mum. She looked like she wanted to cry. I don't know whether it was the 'mum' in me, the fact I'm a nursery nurse or just I felt so sorry for this woman I actually wanted to go over and offer her some help. I didn't and I wouldn't because if someone did that to me I would feel so embarrassed but I really wanted to help her out.

Once he had sat down in the puddle she was able to catch up with him and she did manage to get him up and get into a taxi.

Big J had a few tantrums like this when he was younger but I didn't have anyone else to look after so we could deal with them quite quickly. If they happened in public I would get very embarrassed and I knew people would be staring and judging me on how I handled it. I actually think this mum handled it so well and although the boy ended up in a puddle and was soaking wet at least in the end it calmed him down...a little.

I think it's so important to remember that when your toddler is having a tantrum it doesn't mean you are a bad parent you are just a parent of a toddler. Toddlers have tantrums and it will more than likely happen in a public place at least once.

I am not an expert when it comes to Toddler Tantrums. Little J hasn't had one yet but I have seen many over the years.

Here are a few tips.

Don't scream back. It will get you nowhere.

Don't threaten them. If you start saying 'you can't have sweets now' or 'you can't watch Frozen tonight' this will make them mad and the situation will get worse.

Stay calm and try and continue as normal. I know this might sound hard to do but it you are in the supermarket aisle shopping, continue shopping. If you don't give them attention they may calm down.

If the temper tantrum continues remove them. So take them out of the shop or wherever you are.

Give them time to calm down

If they do calm down and the tantrum stops. Give them a cuddle, a kiss and praise them for being a good boy/girl and stopping crying. They will soon realise that they get more attention when they are good.

Have you ever had to deal with a Toddler Tantrum in public? Do you have any tips?



14 comments

  1. Oh my gosh I feel so terrible whenever I see anyone in public with a toddler having a tantrum, it must feel so awful and as though everyone is judging you. Great post!

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  2. They do pick their moments don't they? My son didn't have many tantrums, but he certainly picked a supermarket for one of them. Must be something about supermarkets.

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  3. We didn't reach this "joyful" time yet but I have to admit I am not looking forward to it

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  4. I always get so cross with people who judge parents with tantrumming children out & about. Everyone's human :) Great tips. x

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  5. Oh dear that poor lady. The worst thing is when one sets off the other and you have both screaming! My first experience of a tantrum was with my eldest when she was about 2 - we were in the supermarket (location of most tantrums in my experience!) and wanted the Kellogg's rice krispies instead the own brand ones "Because they have funny men on them." I am not a big fan of paying rouble for branded cereal so I said no. She totally kicked off. So mortifying. I tied to calm her down but I was determined not to give in, as I didn't want her to learn that by screaming she'd get what she wanted. I had to walk off round the end of the aisle in the end (obviously not far!) and she eventually got bored and came after me. Not a fun experience! Becky x #ToddlersAndTeens

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  6. Oh dear that poor lady. The worst thing is when one sets off the other and you have both screaming! My first experience of a tantrum was with my eldest when she was about 2 - we were in the supermarket (location of most tantrums in my experience!) and wanted the Kellogg's rice krispies instead the own brand ones "Because they have funny men on them." I am not a big fan of paying rouble for branded cereal so I said no. She totally kicked off. So mortifying. I tied to calm her down but I was determined not to give in, as I didn't want her to learn that by screaming she'd get what she wanted. I had to walk off round the end of the aisle in the end (obviously not far!) and she eventually got bored and came after me. Not a fun experience! Becky x #ToddlersAndTeens

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  7. we were very lucky that our little never put us through this. She's thrown some corkers at home though

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  8. brilliant tips and I'm so glad you've shared this. I think adults sometimes forget that children aren't always in control of their emotions and it's our job to balance them sometimes. It's so scary for them when they loose their cool and just need some time in a cuddle afterwards which is really hard when you're so would up. What a lovely mum you are! #toddlerstoteens popping over from Mum in a Nutshell and The Mumington Post

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  9. Keeping calm is the hardest but best thing. I have to say, I've actually approached a mum or two in my time, mid their toddler melt down and offered to help. My son is the king of public meltdowns, with his SPD issues, and one day, in the supermarket, a lady came across, took my basket, whilst I dealt with him, and helped me get the basics I needed. I cried, she was so lovely, and it helped me so much that I resolved I would pay it forward. They don't always want help but just the support and "I know what you are going through, hang in there" from another parent often can be a huge comfort. Great advice in your post too!

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  10. I agree that keeping calm is the best way to deal with it, not that that is how I've always dealt with them though, glad we're through that stage! #MummyMonday

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  11. Hey Michelle,

    I came over on Twinkly Tuesday, and I'm glad to find your site.

    Those tantrums... they are so hard. My kids are now older, but I remember those days. They are hard to forget.

    I recently was watching a little toddler while his brother was having chemo treatments. We were at a children's hospital with kids everywhere. But my little guy wanted his mom. He cried, whined and pitched a fit for 2 hours. About 5 minutes before his mom came out, he went to sleep.

    I just had to keep walking him and stay calm. People were staring at me, but there was nothing I could do to calm this kid down. We made it, but the experience reminded me to be kind to those little moms who are dealing with tantrums and toddlers!

    Raising children has some tough moments~

    Hope you have a blessed day,
    Melanie

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  12. Awww I always feel so awful when I see someone with a tantrum ing toddler. I want to give them a hug and let them know it's okay!,
    There's nothing worse than people giving judgemental looks when your toddler is having a melt down....we get a lot of that here! I try to laugh it off when I can feel eyes on me mid tantrum (Arthur not me haha!)
    #twinklytuesday

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  13. Great advice Michelle, thanks for linking to #TalkaiTues. I can understand how your heart went out to that Mum & you wanted to help.

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  14. Aaah it's SO hard. One of my boys is in tantrum central at the mo!! The slightest thing sends him over the edge and although we've had the full on lying on the floor — kicking and screaming — at home, it's not yet happened out in public. Which it will, I'm sure. Just give it time! Thankfully the other twin is relatively calm in comparison!! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday — hope to see you again next week! x

    Caro | www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

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Thanks for your comments. I love reading them :)