4 year old throwing tantrums in public...help

Bridget - posted on 06/23/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )

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my four year old has been throwing temper tantrums in public when we are at the food store etc...im not sure what to do about it i feel rude if i let her scream cause i feel like its a burden to other people but ignoring her seems to be the best way to get her to stop most of the time im getting really fed up..i dont know what to do anymore with her does anyone have any suggestions?

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Aymee - posted on 07/07/2010

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My son went through this phase awhile ago. It is very hard at first, BUT what you HAVE to do is give them a warning and tell her if you do not stop we are leaving. If she chooses not to stop you need to leave your cart and leave the store immediately. Usually that's enough to get them to stop once you are at the car. However you HAVE to stick to it. I did it twice. and after that my son never did it again. Also make sure you are shopping around HER schedule. If you go to the store around nap time you are just asking for trouble. Or if you go when she is hungry or all ready crabby then it's a recipe for disaster. Another thing we've done is if you NEED to shop at that time and it's the only time you can do it. Bring along a "shopping backpack". Put a couple of her favorite things in it, like a book, or small toy and then also have on a hand a snack like a sucker (which keeps them occupied for a long time) make sure though that that backpack is always kept JUST FOR WHEN YOU GO SHOPPING or out in general. Do not ever bribe with it. So you can't say if you stop ill give u this sucker. That's putting the child in control. Also before you even go in the store you explain the rules: 1-you will sit in the cart 2- you will be good and respectful and NOT throw any fits and then while you are in the car you say IF you do throw a fit we will leave immediately and go home where you can take a nap (or whatever) Then when you get in the store you hand her the sucker and a toy and INCLUDE her in your shopping. Make it fun! Say okay these are the things we need can you help me look for them? Kids want to be apart of things but you can allow that while still being in control. I have one of the most well behaved kids because we dont treat him like a baby we treat him like the smart boy he is. At her age she knows right from wrong she knows what she is doing and she knows how to follow rules. and she knows to learn from consequences. It's all about talking in a firm voice but without making the child feel like shes in trouble.

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Faye - posted on 06/19/2011

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I ignore the tantrums. If my daughter is throwing a tantrum in the store then I buckle her into the cart and ignore her until she stops. 99% of the time it's in less than a minute. I will NOT leave the store because that will put my daughter in control of the situation and teach her to throw a fit and she gets the attention and gets to leave the store.

Aymee - posted on 07/10/2010

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Well not exactly what i'd like to do in public though. And all thought im sure it worked it doesnt really teach them what appropriate behavior is and what's not.

Kawaiiana - posted on 07/08/2010

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well me personally i tried the igonoring and getting on her level and even quiet pinches, but i also just did what she did. when she thew a tantrum and started screaming and hollering i started screaming and holler. she got real puzzled and asked me "was wrong mommy" i just simply told "i don't know you were screaming so i screamed to" she then quit and has been fine every since. sounds crazy and believe me it will look crazy but but your child see how they are acting and how people are looking at the both of you and will stop

Aymee - posted on 07/07/2010

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i actually just had this happen about 2 months ago. I got down my sons level and told him "This is NOT okay. You need to change your attitude right now or we WILL leave." I had shopping to do but he didn't stop and it is NOT fair to make others in a store listen to your child do that. I can't stand it when others do that and I would never do that to other people. Its just not fair. So he didn't stop and I told him "Okay, because YOU made the decision to not stop we are not leaving" And he did NOT like that. But i left my stuff where it was and left. or you can buy what you have so far and then leave. But it's more effective if u just leave but explain WHY you are leaving.

Cheryl - posted on 06/25/2010

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My 4 year old boy is also the same! Throwing his temper every time when he couldn't gets something he wants. Even when he's at home. He's not afraid of me & I totally at a lost to do anything. HELP ME TOO! >.

Courtney - posted on 06/25/2010

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I got taught during my childcare course that children having tantrums is perfectly natural, my little one is still a baby so can't speak from personal experience, however, when detailing with tantrums was told the best thing to do is to leave the child, that way there not getting the attention or thing they wanted. Guaranteed most people in the shop have been in that situation themselves or its happened before while they were shopping. The reason for most children throwing a tantrum is because they aren't allowed something the want, a tantrum is the only way they can show there frustration and non-understanding of why they can't get it. You've just got to be strong and don't give in, bribery won't get you anywhere, the worse thing to do is show them that if they kick up a fuzz in the end they'll get want they want.
Your wee one will grow out of it soon. :) x

Shae - posted on 06/24/2010

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My friend had to same problem, and one day she decided to when her child was throughing a tantrum in a store, to do the same thing as her child do. she through all her stuff on the floor sat down and started screaming and carring on like her child did he got really inbarresed and never did it again!

Amanda - posted on 06/24/2010

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I had a friend tell me just yeasterday that she started putting her daughter in time out at home. She said she was at the store and the thought occured to her that there was no place to put her daughter in time out at the store. She decided to make her daughter sit on the floor at her feet where shes shopping and only moves when she moves. i personnaly let my daughter pick something at the end of a shopping trip if she behaved.

Karrie - posted on 06/24/2010

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if ignoring her dont help...tell her if she stops she will get a reward of some type..if she does then reward her....after u get done shopping..but if she throws another tanturm dont..it worked with my lil sister

ALYSSA - posted on 06/23/2010

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I heard if you just let them scream it out with you ignoring them they will eventually quit because they aren't getting your attention like they want. My mom said it worked for my sister and I when we were that little.

Kayla - posted on 06/23/2010

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love and logic is a great way of parenting. i use it w my own twist but i got my lil girl to stop throwing a fit by picking her up and walking out of the grocery store and sitting in the car till she stopped. she was so dumbfounded she still hasnt done it agian its been three yrs now. and she told her lil sis the other day "stop or we r all leaving with nothing, moms did it before." so no matter where u r in the store ask her to stop once if she doesnt pick her up walk out the door if u see and employee let them know quietly u may be back in 10 if not oh well. they are paid to stock the shelves.

Marlenne - posted on 06/23/2010

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If you feel that's the only way to end her tantrums, then do it. Other people aren't going to solve your problems. Just excuse yourself to not seem rude.

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