Advanced search

How on earth do you deal with tantrums in a public place?! Is DS (two years and 4months) too young for that how to talk so your children listen thingy??

(31 Posts)
PussinJimmyChoos Fri 12-Sep-08 13:54:56

Took DS to the zoo this am. Had a lovely time but when it was time to go - meltdown. He wouldn't walk in the direction of the car despite me asking him.

In the end, I just picked him up and carted him to the car. He screamed, he headbanged me so hard I nearly cried, he tried to bite my shoulder etc. I put him down a few times to give him the opportunity to walk and behave, but he didn't....I really was at a loss to deal with it! I talked firmly, I shouted - nothing seems to have done the trick!!! Help!!


notnowbernard Fri 12-Sep-08 13:56:40

Have a 2.1 yr old

She tantrums a fair bit (blows over quickly though)

Would have done EXACTLY what you did if at zoo..i.e, pick up and carry kicking and screaming if refused to walk etc

notnowbernard Fri 12-Sep-08 13:57:37

Oh, I ignore her in the middle of a full-on tantrum, when reasoning has gone out the window. Makes it pass quicker, IME

PussinJimmyChoos Fri 12-Sep-08 13:58:14

<Puss kisses Bernard for telling her she would have done exactly the same thing>

was awful...and I had the judgey looks....pah!

hotwheels Fri 12-Sep-08 13:59:27

Mine is very nearly four and still does it, have had people say alsorts of things to me in public. All i can say is that as they get older you can at least bribe them. Sorry not much help!

Marne Fri 12-Sep-08 13:59:50

Ignore and distract

notnowbernard Fri 12-Sep-08 14:00:07

God, anyone who stares in a judgey fashion has either never had experience of a toddler or has amnesia

Guadalupe Fri 12-Sep-08 14:01:41

Distract, ignore (especially other people) and if all else fails pick up screaming child and return to the car.

Jojay Fri 12-Sep-08 14:03:34

Ignore the judgy looks!!! I'm sure we're a bit paranoid anyway - many people will be thinking ' Oh that poor woman dealing with a typical toddler', not 'What a terrible parent' as we imagine.

My DS is 22 mths and had a right hissy fit in town the other day after I made him hold my hand and walk, rather than his preferred option of a) being carried, or b) running all over the place including near the busy road.

I got my way in the end but I'm sure for a few minutes we must have been a terrible sight!!

Stick to your guns and ignore the onlookers!!

Jux Fri 12-Sep-08 14:04:41

I used to ignore dd if we were inside. In the car park or street, I used to wait for a minute and then say "I'm going now, bye bye" and go (very slowly and keeping a close eye on the reflections in the shop windows). She always snapped out of it pretty quick.

PussinJimmyChoos Fri 12-Sep-08 14:06:18

If I say to DS - go on then, walk in your own direction, mummy is going, he just says ok and starts to walk off shock

I am exhuasted and my eye hurts from where he clocked it with his head!

MissKubelik Fri 12-Sep-08 14:07:30

I would have done exactly the same. I think you have to give them the chance to behave and walk nicely, but if they won't then just pick them up and go! It feels like everyone is staring but most people just look because they've heard a noise and want to see where it's coming from, they're not necessarily judging you. More likely they are feeling sorry for you!

All I would say is don't bother shouting, it never did any good with my DD anyway. Stay calm if you possibly can.... hard I know. I have been in tears on several occasions dealing with my DD's tantrums...

hotwheels Fri 12-Sep-08 14:07:44

Or batter anyone who looks down there nose at you, I find that helps!!!. I had to avoid Waitrose for months after some horrid women barged me out of the way tutting whilst i was trying to stop my son from kicking me during a huge tantrum! I rammed her at the checkout!!!!Not advising this tactic tho!!

ghosty Fri 12-Sep-08 14:10:34

Yes, I have often picked up a screaming, flailing toddler and walked to the car/out of the supermarket/away from the playground etc etc ... and then tried to force coax said child (who is now rigid and doing a great impression of a giant starfish) into the car seat, while talking calmly (but through gritted teeth) to them, finally ending up in tears as I started up the car.
It will pass.

notnowbernard Fri 12-Sep-08 14:12:19

OMG, that car-seat thing! DD2 does this (either during tantrum mode or because she thinks it's a game, depending on her mood hmm)

SO frustrating

wessexgirl Fri 12-Sep-08 14:13:59

My three year old dd is a tantrummer. She even went into one on dd1's first day at school (didn't want to leave the classroom). I think you have to put all thoughts of what other people might be thinking right out of your head and just do what works for you. Luckily, dd2 is very easily distractable, so I can usually say something like, 'Oh look, a banana' and she forgets what she's angry about.

PussinJimmyChoos Fri 12-Sep-08 14:14:19

DS does it too!! I spent THIRTY mins in Tesco's car park last week waiting for him to stop clambering around car in manner of monkey and get in car seat. I've tried to force him but only have tiny hands and I worry about hurting his tummy....I think I'm going to start keeping bribery treats in the car...

He is up now so I'm off...was hoping for a long nap after the zoo but as luck would have it, the traffic was bad so he slept in the car and then only for 15 mins in the cot when we got in...arghh!!!

BlueBumedFly Fri 12-Sep-08 14:17:56

DD had a massive tantrum at tumbletots this morning. Too tired and hungry but would NOT let me open the packet of oaty bar things, wanted to do it herself and couldn't so had a fit at me. In her angst she threw herself down on the floor and bashed her head on the leg of a chair.

Now in bed having eaten the food Mummy made sporting an enormous blue bump. Attractive wink

Other Mothers did look at me in a weird way...

mytetherisending Fri 12-Sep-08 14:21:03

Do you give count down warnings before leaving?
I do the 'go and play we are going home in x minutes, then when half the time has passed 'we are going home in x minutes etc until 'Its time to go home now'. I have found this works well for dd1 who is 2.6 now. I did this from 18mths or so because they start to realise that the warning means home soon after, even though they don't know the time iyswim.

An actual tantrum I would have done similar BTW. I usually say to dd1 'walk or I will drag you and it will hurt' This usually gives her the decision which means she chooses to walk grin

cory Fri 12-Sep-08 21:06:57

I found as long as I stayed calm that other people were not too judgmental. And I have to admit I'd have nothing but sympathy for another Mum shrugging her shoulders as her tot turned into a screaming banshee. It's when it's the Mum that turns into the banshee that my sympathy goes out the window. Sounds like you did fine. What you need to do is simply to accept that you can't stop a fullblown temper tantrum, all you can do is try to look as if you didn't think it was all that dreadful- other people might just believe you.

naughtymummy Fri 12-Sep-08 21:14:02

Have n't read all the replies but your DS just sounds completely normal and you dealt with it well. Tis a nightmare when they kick off in public but it does pass my DS was just the same now 4.5 rarely happens as hotwheels said he can be bribed. We've alol been there good on you for taking him to the zoo.

Acinonyx Sat 13-Sep-08 10:43:19

Oh how I hate this! Do you find it comes in phases? I thought we were passed the worst but my 3 yr-old has really lost the plot recently. Yesterday I carried her thrashing and screaming out of a osft play. Had to wait for ages to be let out while the mums looked on and Dd fought and howled. Absolute hell. Everything is a battle just now - it's miserable.

One of our worst public tantrums was at a really packed, busy public garden. We were queuing for tickets and she wanted some sweets across in a cafe window. When we said know she went wild, rolling across the floor into everyone, thrashing and screaming. We dragged her out and got her into her buggy - oh the glares!

When they really lose it, nothing works, and if you are out somewhere not much else you can do except carry them to the car and get home. I try to go into a kind of blank zen space.

hecate Sat 13-Sep-08 10:59:05

I ignored it as much as possible. If safe to do so. I'd do things like step over them to get something, or wander into another room, singing to myself, or talk normally to them like I hadn't noticed they were having a meltdown...worst thing you can do is pander to it, imo, or try to talk them round, or try to bribe them. You'll create monsters who use tantrums to control you!!

If they were physically attacking me I used to do the old wrap'n'tuck (wrap my arms and legs around them and tuck my head down into their back so they couldn't throw their head back and bang me!)

If they were in meltdown and I needed to move them, I would pick them up, facing away from me, with one arm round the top half, pinning their arms and the other holding the legs together just under the bum iyswim, and carry them and plonk them down where they needed to be and chat like I hadn't noticed/walk away/step over them/go do something else/whatever.

I normally pretended I couldn't hear the screams, and just went onto autopilot, was kind of robotic. Poker face, calm manner, talking normally.

Now they are older and understand language, I can say things like "I can see you are frustrated, but we have to do X/you must do Y, Z has to happen, etc"

<CONFESSION TIME> Meltdowns are stressful. In order to cope, it is sometimes essential to entertain yourself. I sometimes covered their mouth with my hand repeatedly and their screams made "waa-waa-waa-waa" noises (like when you're playing cowboys and indians). Sometimes I joined in the screaming and sometimes I would burst into song..."THHHHHHHHHHHHE sun has got his hat on HIP HIP HIP HOOOOOORAY.." - they were hmm shock

dingdong05 Sat 13-Sep-08 11:02:43

My friend used to hold her ds from behind, so he wouldn't hurt himself, then look away not saying anything until he calmed down. It helps if you follow acinonyx idea of a zen space and block out judgey twats too.
Also agree about the shouting thing. I know its easy to say, but your shouting never helps (and when I say "your" I mean the universal "your" wink) it always just made me feel bad that I'd lost control.
It will pass sooner or later though!

iwantasecondone Sat 13-Sep-08 11:03:57

Personally, I am a fan of doing what they are doing(as well as ignoring most of the time)Makes you look like an idiot, but they soon stop to watch mummy looking like a freak.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: