Public Tantrums

Renee - posted on 10/01/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Last Sunday, my 2 1/2 y.o. son threw a very dramatic tantrum at church. He was upset because it was time to leave the nursery. This was his first time ever in this nursery. His tantrum escalated very quickly into the "banshee-like screeching" stage, and he even started to smack me as I was carrying him out of church. There were a lot of people at church that day and it felt like all eyes were on us. I was so embarrassed to be in that situation. I had to walk through the parking lot carrying my son while he continued screaming and flailing.

I do not tolerate tantrums or hitting, and my son understood what he did was wrong when we got home (after he had calmed down in time out). I would just like to know, do any moms have in-the-moment tips on how to diffuse these kinds of public outbursts? Looking back on the situation, I think of different ways I could have reacted, but in the moment all I could think to do was get to the car quickly. And if anyone else wants to share a tantrum story, I'd love to hear it. Some of the looks that I got that day made me feel like I was the only person ever to have a screaming thrashing two year old in public. :/

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Deb - posted on 10/01/2013

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It is so easy for them to do! I am sure they were thinking "my child would never do that" or "I would never let him/her do that". In reality, they either have a case of very short memory or their turn will come.

When my daughter has a tantrum in public, I concentrate on her. I focus on the moment and say: I understand that you {fill in the blank} but it is this way and not another. If she starts wiggling/throwing herself on the floor, I just pick her up and hold her tight (no harm - just being firm) and go. I don't even pay attention to the people around. So they could be judging me or being empathetic I wouldn't be able to tell you. But I understand that being in church, it was very embarrassing!

I would suggest reading some of Janet Lansbury's posts on behavior/tantrums etc. It is very helpful.

Good luck to you Mama!

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