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How to deal with toddler temper tantrums

Walking through the supermarket and you pass the candy isle. Your toddler turns rounds in their seat to get a better look. You know what is going to happen next.

Todler tantrum time.

So what do you do? How do you cope with toddler temper tantrums in public.

Before you go shopping

Explain to your toddler you are only there to get the groceries but you need their help. You have a list of shopping that you need to get for the house and your toddler needs to help you get everything on the list.

As you are going down the isle, explain to your toddler that you need them to pick up certain things for them/help you find them.

Your toddler will be distracted and will feel valued and important and will be happy to help.

Depending on the age of your child, ask them to read the shopping list for you or go around with a calculator and add up the cost of the shopping.

Also make sure your toddler is well rested, fed and watered before you go. If your toddler is sleepy and hungry, they are not going to be in any mood to help you.

As you are shopping

Difuse your toddlers tantrum

Be firm with your toddler, tell them firmly that they are not having sweets today and you are here to only get shopping on the list.

Give your toddler a warning to let them know you are serious about what you are saying.

If your toddler doesn't calm down, don't be afraid to leave your shopping and take your toddler outside until they calm down.

Distract your toddler

Bribing your toddler may not always be a bad thing.

Offering to take your child to the pet shop/read their favourite story once you have finished will help distract your toddler and help to keep the peace and something educational at the end of it will be good for your toddler.

Talk to your toddler to prevent tantrums

Ask your child to explain their feelings. The reason yout toddler has tantrums is because they are frustrated and cannot express their feelings. Talk to your toddler and reason with them. Treat them like a grown up and they will start acting like one.

Have a look at alternatives to saying no to your toddler.

Make sure your child wont hurt themselves.

Although your child might look like a little monster, they are not indestructible so it is important you move anything likely to cause your child harm.

Let your toddler have their tantrum.

Some toddlers cant bare to be touched when they are so worked up, so letting them scream it out can be the best thing when your toddler is having a temper tantrum.

Be the grown up then your toddler is having a tantrum in public.

Anger is contagious and when you your toddler is drawing more attention than a hostage situation it is important to remember who is the grown up.

Also remember when you are angry and some one shouts back at you, how does that make you feel? Shouting and screaming at your toddler will only add fuel to the fire.

Don't let your toddler sense your fear.

As soon as your toddler knows you are scared of them throwing a temper tantrum in a public place, they have you eating out of the palm of their little sticky hand.

If they know throwing a tantrum means they get their own way because you become scared and intimidated of a tantrum, you have lost the battle. Don't let your toddler sense your fear of tantrums in public places.

Take control and don't let them see your embarrassment (however hard that might be).

Show your toddler a real tantrum.

If you are feeling brave, get down on the floor and have a tantrum with your toddler.

Once your child sees what you are doing and how silly it looks, they will start laughing, and you have diffused the situation.

All thats left, if for you to get up, brush yourself off and carry on with your day. If you are not feeling so brave, try doing this at home first - as silly as sounds, it really does work.

Important: If you don't give in to tantrums, your toddler will stop relying on them to get there own way.

Give your toddler the skills to communicate their feelings and the chance of a tantrum is far less likely.


Have a look at how other parents cope with toddler tantrums in public.