Nearly every parent has been there, and most have experienced the “public meltdown” on far more than just one occasion. No matter how well-behaved your child may be at home or usually is in public settings, there’s always the chance that chaos will ensue and your child will throw a fit while you are out and about. The struggle is real!
You may become embarrassed, upset, or disappointed in your child, or even with yourself, but none of that is necessary, since a meltdown is common and something that parents will inevitably deal with from time to time while their kids are young. How you react to a meltdown and what you do in its aftermath are the key to dealing with the situation peacefully, responsibly, and usefully.
Here are some tips for handling a public meltdown. The “temper tantrum” won’t be pleasant, but you can resolve the issue successfully and get back to your day as planned.
Get to a Private Area
Trying to deal with the meltdown amidst a crowd will only make things worse. Take your child aside to a more secluded area or even go outside or to your car if necessary. Here, you won’t have as many distractions or the chance that your child will “play it up” for the shocked bystanders. You will be better able to calm your child down and come to terms with what the cause of the meltdown was. Stay alone until things have settled down and decide if going back in public seems doable.
When your child throws a fit, you may feel like doing the same. Do your best to remain cool and collected and do not raise your voice or become obviously agitated in any way. This will be a test of strength and willpower, but you’ve got to keep it together for the sake of everyone’s sanity. Take a deep breath and think before you speak or react. Your child needs a calming presence at this moment, so take it slow and you’ll help to simmer down the nerve-wracking situation. Soon, the meltdown will fizzle out – just be patient and comforting. A threat of punishment or a reaction that shows you are angry with your child will not be well-received mid-meltdown.
Be Considerate to Others
While the meltdown is not your fault, your child is your responsibility, so apologize for the disruption and excitement. If you are in a restaurant, go outside immediately as to not further disturb the other patrons. Perhaps you were at the supermarket or department store. Pick up anything your child may have thrown or dropped and tell those around you that you are sorry to have caused any trouble and you will take your child someplace else. Just don’t pretend nothing happened. Be courteous and quick to apologize and deal with your child’s behavior accordingly.
Do you have any useful tips to share with other AMC parents if or when their child has a public meltdown? We’d love to hear your advice.
For more information like this, please visit All My Children’s blogs.
By: Melissa A. Kay