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There is nothing more embarrassing than being that family – the one with the red-faced toddler throwing the mother of all tantrums in a restaurant. Or at the checkout aisle of the supermarket, or the car park. Anywhere, really. Every parent dreads that moment when their child loses all semblance to the toddler they know and love, and turns into a little monster, eliciting pitying, judgemental or irritated looks from strangers.
What to do in these situations? Of course disappearing into the earth’s core is not an option, so we all need tips to help us cope. The first line of defense is to be proactive. Avoid situations or places where you know a meltdown is likely (read more here) .
Avoid a hungry, tired child in a shopping mall at all costs. If that is unavoidable, plan for the inevitable scene – think about how you would normally handle tantrums and demands, discuss these rules with your child, and above all – stick to your guns. If treats aren’t normally allowed during the week, don’t grab something sweet just to keep them quiet. This is detrimental in the long run, as children quickly learn that they can manipulate you into giving them what they want.
“I stirred his ‘fruit on the bottom’ yogurt.” Image and link from “Reasons my son is crying”.
Of course, the best weapon of all, is to retain your sense of humour. Children can sometimes be mysterious creatures, as proven by this hilarious collection of seemingly nonsensical reasons ‘why my son is crying’. Reasons include ‘He really, really wanted to pet an elephant’ and ‘He couldn’t fit all the crayons into one hand’.
So when you’re feeling overwhelmed by your crying toddler, why not take a look at what other parents have to cope with, and take heart. Perhaps your little monster isn’t so bad after all?