What to Do When Your Child has a Meltdown in Public

What to Do When Your Child has a Meltdown in Public

It’s probably every parent’s nightmare – your child throwing a fit in a public setting. The whining, the crying, the screaming… oh my! What to do to keep your composure during this mega-meltdown? It can be a challenge, but there are some ways to contain the madness. You just might be able to reign in your child’s tantrum by following these helpful tips.

Keep Your Cool

If your child is in the midst of the meltdown, the worst thing you can do is to exacerbate the situation by getting frustrated or yelling. Keeping cool and collected is the best plan of action. Even a peaceful demeanor can start to bring your child back to a calmer frame of mind. Talk to him in a soft tone of voice and try to caress him. Try not to threaten him with punishment, but instead, let him explain what he’s upset about. If he doesn’t settle down….

Step Away from the Crowd

If your attempts to get your child to match your level of collectedness don’t pan out, the next course of action is to remove yourselves from the general crowd. The more stares and looks of shock you both receive, the worse things could get. Step into a hallway or quiet corner to alleviate the embarrassment. This new location may get your child to settle down since he is getting your undivided attention now. Give him a chance to take some deep breaths and calm down. Try to get some juice or water and sit for a few moments to decompress. If the meltdown still carries on…

Let it Go

Sometimes, you just gotta let him have it out. Allow the crying or screaming get out of his system. Of course, don’t let this go on endlessly, but a few minutes (hopefully less) will be all your child needs in order to settle back down and allow you both to get on with the day. Oftentimes, young children cannot express their frustrations in any other way than a good old-fashioned meltdown. As long as this isn’t an everyday situation, you may just want to throw your hands up in the air and let the meltdown run its course. However, if things don’t simmer down…

Go Home

You will know when enough is enough and so will he. Pack up and head home. Do not offer your child any special toys or treats to get him to cool off, as this may only reinforce the bad behavior. Once you are home, try to get him to explain why he was so uncontrollable and upset. Let him know that he will not be allowed to come with you to do fun things if he behaves in that way again. Try to come up with some options together to better handle the next time he’s on the verge of the dreaded meltdown.

Practically every parent has dealt with a messy meltdown, so don’t beat yourself up about it. Parenting is hard work and the majority of kids will develop better ways to deal with their emotions as they get older.

Tell us, what do you do when your child has a public meltdown? We’d love to hear your tried and true advice. For more information like this, please visit All My Children.

By: Melissa A. Kay

1 Comment

  1. I’ve found that getting away from people so your child won’t be embarrassed, try to find a quitter place and have a calm reasoning conversation ask why he’s so upset and what you can do to make him happy? talk silly to him and most of the times he’ll giggle and forget about his meltdown. also explain that it makes me sad and upset when he acts this way, and that he wouldn’t want Grandma to be like that.We both want to be happy and have a fun day! Act excited that your happy he agrees! Roseanna Fox


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