Pregnancy and Parenting Features

Handling Toddler Temper Tantrums in Public

Aiden's Tantrum

Sometime in your life you’ve been in a restaurant or grocery store when you’ve witnessed a child throwing a temper tantrum. It’s embarrassing for the parents and disruptive for those nearby. Perhaps the child was yours and you didn’t know how to handle the tantrum. There are a number of techniques you can use to deal with this inconvenience.

Ignore the Problem

The first thing to do is to pretend the tantrum isn’t happening. Often, children throw tantrums to gain attention. If you don’t provide that want, your child may see that it won’t work. Sometimes, however, your child will still carry on.

Be Prepared

The best way to take care of public temper tantrums is having a plan to avoid the behavior.

  • Plan your outings ahead of time. If you’re going shopping, bring toys or snacks to keep your child occupied.
  • Schedule your trips after your child’s nap and feeding times. Your toddler is less likely to pitch a fit if he/she is well rested and nutritionally satisfied.

Have a Backup Plan

Despite your best attempts to avert a scene, avoidance isn’t always possible. If you find this is the case, you’ll want to attempt the following:

  • When the tantrum starts, you should attempt to pacify your child in a comforting manner.
  • In stores or restaurants, drop everything and take your child to the car. Strap your child in the car seat. Get in the front and let the child know you’re not going anywhere until the tantrum is over.
  • When the tantrum is over, return to the store or restaurant.

Just Leave

If your little one still hasn’t calmed down at this point, it’s best to forget any errands you’re attempting and go home. Should you be leaving somebody’s house, make sure to apologize for the inconvenience.


Spanking is often the first thought in taking care of temper tantrums. Although it may solve the problem immediately, spankings cause bigger problems in the long run.

  • It gives your child the attention they’re seeking.
  • Public spankings further upset others in your vicinity.
  • They can bring up child abuse lawsuits if the issue is pressed.

When your child acts up in public, you need them to understand that behavior is inappropriate. Making jokes and laughing about your child’s temper tantrums is a good way to tell your child that it’s okay to behave that way. Remember to remain calm and follow the procedures you set forth.