Child Temper Tantrums
In our last poll, Child Temper Tantrums, we visited a rather familiar dilemma that most everyone who has ever taken a child to the supermarket or any other venue has endured: the dreaded temper tantrum. You know intellectually how to handle the issue, but in the heat of the moment it is a whole other can of worms. You have spoken and the overwhelming majority has decided to ride it out and let the child scream- he will not get the candy. On the other side of the coin, some have chosen to give in and let him have the candy bar just so you can get out. Interestingly, not one decided to abandon the shopping cart and flee.
While very obviously one size does not fit all tantrums, here are some common sense ideas for your little ones when it comes to dealing with a tantrum:
1. Don't cave in. The same rules that apply in the home also apply in the store. In other words, if at home your means, then this rule also applies at the store, and no matter of screaming will turn it into a "yes". However, if at home you waver and change your mind frequently, do not be surprised if your child expects the same from you at the store.
2. Do not take your child to the store when he or she is hungry. This will trigger a tantrum quicker than anything else!
3. Reward good behavior. Explain that while you will not be buying the candy bar s/he wants, if s/he behaves well at the store, s/he may have a piece of candy after dinner.
4. Explain before your excursion that there are specific things you will buy from a shopping list, and if an item is not on it, it will not make it into the basket. You can make this into a game by reading the shopping list a few times to your toddler and then pick up random items that are not on the list and ask her/him if this goes into the basket or not.
Here is the scenario: You and your family are having breakfast and all are getting ready to go your separate ways. You are off on a business trip, your spouse needs to get to work, and your child needs to get moving to catch the ride that will take her to her Kindergarten class. Suddenly a loud wailing starts and your little one begs you with all her energy not to leave, not to go on the trip, to go with her, and to stay with her. You canít do it, but the sheer desperation in her voice is hard to shake. What do you do?
About Sylvia Cochran
Welcome to the world of a poet and freelance writer who juggles a family, work, and a hundred commitments. Born and raised in Germany, and since 1988 living in the United States, this writer offers a global perspective on parenting issues, everyday living situations, time management, ethics, marriage, and personal growth. She publishes her work at Families Online Magazine, and Bella Online. Contact her with questions and comments at [email protected] and be sure to put ìFamilies Onlineî into the reference line.