Heading out with your kids in tow can be stressful. Whether you’re going shopping or embarking on a day trip, keeping on top can be tough. In the case of shopping, you may struggle to complete the tasks you need. Even on a day out, you might end up skipping things you’d like to see to make your kids happy. Such is the life of a parent, and it’s a sacrifice which is more than worth making.
Sadly, our efforts to appease our kids don’t always work out. Even if you’ve rushed around the supermarket in double-time, every parent knows that heart-wrenching moment when the scales tip on any trip.
Suddenly, your kid might start dragging their feet or moaning. Their face may even turn an unfortunate beetroot shade and, before you can do anything, they’re screaming the place down. Public tantrums like these are always terrible for the parent involved. Passing strangers will look at you like you’ve done something awful, and your child’s screams will reach levels of shrillness you never thought possible. More importantly, you may feel the desire to return home and never leave the house again.
Tantrums like these are never a positive parenting experience. The sheer loss of control and embarrassment you’ll feel at times like these are best avoided. Surprisingly, though, while there is advice about how to diffuse tantrums once they’re underway, there’s limited information out how to avoid them in the first place. That’s why we’re going to delve into a few tips to help you do just that.
Make sure your child is happy before they leave the house
If you leave the house with an unhappy kid, then you’re asking for tantrum trouble. As such, you should avoid this at all costs. If you know you have an excursion of some sort coming up, you should always take steps to address your youngster’s needs ahead of time.
Of course, children get in unexplained bad moods just like the rest of us, and there may be days when you can do little to put a smile on their face. In general, though, you should find that simple things like a full belly, and a clean nappy can work wonders here. Equally, making sure that they take their nap well in advance is vital. Nothing spells tantrum so much as a tired child! If it helps, go through a checklist every time you know you need to leave the house with kids in tow. Make sure not to leave until you haveve ticked off every basic happiness need. That way, it’ll be a lot less likely that tantrums will ensue.
Keep your child close
Tantrums, especially those of the ‘I want that’ variety, often happen when kids are left to wander around themselves. If you’re heading to the shop or attempting to run errands, then, keeping kids close to you could be the best way to avoid temptation and thus tantrum. Of course, this needn’t mean that you put your children on lock-down every time you leave the house. But, keeping them in pushchairs for the duration or even seating older kids in your trolley where possible could work well, here. This way, there’s less chance of them stumbling across things they want or generally working themselves into a state.
Even in more freeing settings like play parks, sitting close by your kids can ensure you’re able to diffuse tantrum-centric situations as they arise. If you’re nearby, after all, you’ll be able to spot the warning signs of an eruption way before it happens. Then, you could either distract or remove to make sure scream-gate never opens.
Always carry distractions
Speaking of distractions, always carrying around a few supplies can go a long way towards reducing tantrums. If kids are bored, they’re more liable to play you up. That’s why you should make sure to invest in a pushchair with plenty of storage room for some extras. Failing that, even just carrying around a well-stocked bag could work here.
You want things like colouring or even an iPad which will get your kids so involved that they don’t even think about kicking up a stink. Instead, they’ll be able to happily watch the latest Peppa Pig, or get their creative juices flowing no matter where you are.
Not only does this small step prevent tantrums, but it can also go a long way towards making your errands easier from now on. Stop leaving the house empty-handed, then. Instead, develop a distraction kit you can be sure will never let you down.
Learn how to pour water on the fire
Despite your best efforts, there are going to come times when your child clenches their fists and stomps their feet. These, and other signs like them, are sure indicators that a tantrum is imminent. If even distraction doesn’t work at this stage, then it’s vital you know how to pour water onto that spark before it turns into a fire.
Luckily, there is no secret to achieving this other than to ignore what’s happening. We know; this may seem contradictory to our other advice, but the steps you’ve taken so far are things that your child won’t have even noticed. As soon as you can see that you’re passing the point of no return, though, ignorance is always the best policy.
That’s because tantrums are often more about attention than anything else. If you pamper your child’s temper or, worse, buckle and give them what they want, then more tantrums are inevitable. If you pretend like you don’t even notice those signs and carry right on, then you could diffuse the situation before it reaches peak levels.
Admittedly, even these tips can’t guarantee that your life will be tantrum-free for good. By keeping them in mind, though, you should find that you’re at least able to lessen the risk of explosion at inopportune times. Stick with them long enough, and you might just be able to enjoy a tantrum-free life after all.
Nb. Collaborative post.