Help! my daughter is having terrible tantrums in public...

Zeneida - posted on 10/17/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I have four children. My first three children are sons. My youngest is my 2yr old daughter. I love my children very much. My son's do not have terrible tantrums like my daughter has. I am finding it really diffiuclt to understand my daughters needs. I address my concerns to her doctor. The doctor simply said in a calm voice as it was no big deal to "ignore her". Easy said then done. My daughter would have a tantrum when things dont go her way causing herself to throw up, and throw herself to the floor. Sometimes I can ignore when I'm at home. But in public it's not acceptable.

This pass Sunday she had a huge fit in a shoe store. She was screaming her lungs out. Of course grabbing attention. I was so upset but i tried to hold myself from getting mad. I spoke stearn to her and said "I can not understand you if you continue to scream" The scream just kept on coming. I was so upset I had to leave the shoe store. I can not continue doing this b/c she would think this is okay and it not!

Does anyone have any advise on how I can gain control to her having tantrums. Ignoring is not working!!

Please help!

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Kylie - posted on 10/17/2011

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My son went through a phase like this. At home I would leave him in an open space to cry it out - he would stop crying, roll/crawl to a wall then throw himself at it so I would have a reason to pay him attention.

It is so hard to deal with especially in public because you feel like everyone is staring at you like it's your fault, you even people making smart comments. Some say oh he/she just needs a cuddle or you should smack that child! Even they don't know what they would do in your situation.

What I found worked best was a bit of both. Ignoring and distraction, but positive distraction. I would calmly let him know it was not appropriate, then ask him if he wanted to sing a song or count to ten. Even at two they realize they are getting your attention straight away. I would say we can't sing/count (or anything else they love to do that is NOT buying them a toy/book) until you stop screaming because I can't hear you properly. Then I would go about my shopping ignoring him. At first he would get louder and kick harder. I would repeat what I was going to do with him once he stopped crying every couple of minutes. By ignoring the bad behaviour and offering a positive interaction with me over and over, he soon gave in.

NOT saying it worked the first or even second time straight away, but it did work.

I know it's hard to feel like you're letting them get away with bad behaviour, but you're not. You're showing them that in life, if you are naughty, no one wants to know you, but if you are well behaved, people want to be around you and spend time with you.

One other piece of advice - put your thick skin on when it happens. I just smile at passers by who give me 'the look' and say something whitty like 'sorry about your eardrums' or 'aren't they just angels' and keep on walking. If you do get the one person who wants to 'talk' to you and give you their advice, just smile politely and say. I'm sorry if I sound rude, but this is my child and I don't need your advice. Walk away. You already have one little person making your blood boil, you don't need strangers adding to it.

My son is now 6 and even now when he feels agitated in public, I give him that look. He takes a big breath, may even drop his bottom lip and sulk, but when he's over it he knows I'll listen to what he has to say :D

Good luck and remember advice is just that, advice. Not law and only you can decide what parts you use and which you throw away. It's taken me 9 years and 3 kids later to realize that!

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Kelina - posted on 10/17/2011

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my son learned quickly that throwing tantrums didn;t work, however it seems like you might have a stubborn little girl! There are a couple things you can try depending on where you are and why she's having a tantrum. If you don't want to let her have a tantrum in the store you can take her out to your vehicle strap her into her seat and let her know when she is ready to talk like a big girl then she can come out. You can also do this with strollers and shopping carts if she can't get out of the buckle. Then just ignore her until she's calmed down. One thing i found with my son was that if i did that and he cried for a minute then he'd screech this really high pitched screech and i'd go around to him and say if you are ready to talk then you need to stop crying. Often he'd stop right away, if not then i'd go back to ignoring him and wait for him to cry it out. Onje thing i've found is that people who are looking at you funny often are remembering the days when their children did that, or becoming terrified of having children lol. And don't always be so quick to dismiss advice. Even if it does sound a lot like judgement that doesn't mean it might not be good advice. Just know what you believe in and decide if their advice falls into the category of never going to happen(95%), might possibly work(1%), and already tried that (the other 4%). Just remember that whatever you decide to try to stick with it! I see so many moms who are given tools that they try once and then dismiss. Not everything works the first time, or even the second or third time, but consistency is the key!

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