How do you handle your child in public?

[deleted account] ( 3 moms have responded )

I have a two year old daughter who can be a handful at home as well as out on the town. Its hard to discipline her in public area's without getting snake eyes from everyone around me, but I cant let her countinue throwing her little fits. How do you handle your child when they act out in public???


View replies by

Sara - posted on 05/03/2010




I usually got a couple or three swats to my bottom and then if I continued would be told I would get a proper spanking if I didn't behave. Which more times then not I calmed down. But the promise of spanking was carried out if I didn't. I learned quickly there were repercussions to bad behavior.

User - posted on 10/05/2009




My daughter has thrown a few fits in public and I respond exacty how I would in my home.. And I get looks but I am not willing to jeopardize hercharacter or consistensy for people being appalled by me telling my child no. They are just as appalled when we let a child throw a tantrum... I am a parent who refuses to have a screaming 6 yr old or teenager who throws a tantrum because they did not get what they wanted.

I tell My daughter " no ma'am" and if she keeps it up then I tell her that we are going to go have big girl talks.. and that pretty much stops it but occasionally we take a trip to bathroom where she gets a swat on her bottom and then I let her know I love her but I need her to obey. I don't yield to her. I do love her and I tell her that. I let her know that I am not mad at her but I need her to obey in public. I think about the children - who had they obeyed their parents when mommy said stop then they would not haveran in front of car.. or ran off.. to be abducted.. I think that obedience helps create boundaries and safety. We never discipline because we are annoyed either. And My husband and I are consistent. I can recall several times where Emma did smething that she knew was a no maam and that a spanking was the consequence.. As soon as she did it she put her hand on her bottom and flinched-- she was expecting a swat. And I did not really want to spank her. However I gave her a tiny lil swat bc she was testing if she would get a swat everytime she did that.. I had to be consisent. It is not easy instilling character. However I know that family and friends would rather watch my daughter tan some other cousins.... because she obeys the majority of the time.

Samantha - posted on 09/13/2009




My daughter fortunately does not have tantrums or fits in public, for which I am extremely grateful. So I can't share any first hand experience but i can share two methods that i have seen working wonders. My nephew once threw a tantrum in a grocery store when the store was at its busiest, my brother was horrified and simply walked away from my nephew dragging me with him. When my nephew realised that he was not getting any type of reaction from his father he stopped and never had another tantrum again!

The second method took place in a busy shopping mall during the christmas rush, when my friends 2 sons, at the time aged 4 and 6 both threw tantrums at the same time for 2 different reasons. My friend, to my absolute horror, lay down on the floor and threw a tantrum of her own! The look on her sons faces, and those of the shoppers around us was a sight to behold! But it worked!!

Now I'm not suggesting you make a fool of yourself in public or risk losing your child in a busy store, but what I realised was that children throw tantrums to get a reaction out of you whether its in a positive (they get what they want) or negetive (they get a spank) way. So ignoring them and not reacting shows them that its not working and its no use to keep trying. To do that takes grit and determination and putting up with the daggar like stares from those who "think" they know better.

Throwing a tantrum of your own in a public place would take nerves of steel and a complete unconcern of what other people think and I think may only work on children older then 2. But it does put a child on the outside looking in and gives them an idea of what they look like. It could distract your 2 year old from her tantrum though and make her laugh, though perhaps you should try it at home first, then if it works, adapt it so its acceptable in public!

I dont believe that spanking or shouting at a child when they are behaving like this has any effect when you are in public, and there is certainly no where you can send your child for time out!! I do believe that keeping the child occupied while out is a good way to keep them in line. My daughter likes to draw so i always keep a little book and pen in my hand bag that she draws in while sitting in the shopping cart. I have found lately that giving her chores to do like packing the cart or taking something off the shelves for me helps to keep her occupied. I also always reward her good behaviour or punish her bad behaviour on returning home but giving (or not ) a sweet of small toy!

As I have said I'm lucky that my daughter has not thrown a tantrum in public (perhaps i should add yet?) so I'm no expert on the matter, but I do hope you find something you can use in amoungst all these words.

Good luck!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms