There is nothing more embarrassing than being that family – the one with the red-faced toddler throwing the mother of all tantrums in a restaurant. Or at the checkout aisle of the supermarket, or the car park. Anywhere, really. Every parent dreads that moment when their child loses all semblance to the toddler they know and love, and turns into a little monster, eliciting pitying, judgemental or irritated looks from strangers.
What to do in these situations? Of course disappearing into the earth’s core is not an option, so we all need tips to help us cope. The first line of defense is to be proactive. Avoid situations or places where you know a meltdown is likely.
Avoid a hungry, tired child in a shopping mall at all costs. If that is unavoidable, plan for the inevitable scene – think about how you would normally handle tantrums and demands, discuss these rules with your child, and above all – stick to your guns. If treats aren’t normally allowed during the week, don’t grab something sweet just to keep them quiet. This is detrimental in the long run, as children quickly learn that they can manipulate you into giving them what they want.
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