We’ve all been there, either with your child or you’ve seen someone else’s; you’re in the grocery store and there’s a kid having a complete melt-down, screaming and refusing to do what they are asked.
In that moment, with everyone watching, whom do you parent for? Is it for the child who has had enough for the day or is it for the judgmental eyes all around you? When a child is having a public melt down, start with empathy. Make sure your child knows that you care about what is going on with them.
- Give them a choice of how you want them to behave, “either you can sit in the basket or hold on to the side.” Make sure you enforce that choice, but do not dole out punishment for those around you to see.
- Stay calm and focus on ending the tantrum. Consequence can be discussed in private when you have both calmed down.
- Most importantly, remember that you can only control your reaction to the situation, not those around you and you are doing a great job.
Challenge: Practice empathy with your child this week. Ask them why they are acting out and listen to their answer. Reassure them that they can talk to you and that you care about what they say.