Tuesday, May 17, 2011

1 Solution to Public Temper Tantrums :: Mom2Mom

My children are perfect, all four of them. They never talk back, speak unkind words or throw temper tantrums. When we leave the house they are always examples of proper behavior for all those unruly, out-of-control children other parents have.

Riiiighttt. If you believe that I have a bridge I'd like to sell you!

My children have fits just like other children. Occasionally those fits occur in public. Isn't it fun when that happens? Especially when EVERYONE. turns. to. stare.

credit: christine [cbsezto]

Several months ago my 2 year old picked the library for his temper tantrum stage. Yep, the library. You know that place where everyone is supposed to whisper and use their walking feet. Yeah, there.

Sam (the 2 yr old), Ellie (the 4 yr old) and I (the .. well, never mind) drove to the library after supper so my hubby and the 2 older boys could accomplish school work. Normally Sam visits the library securely strapped into his stroller but on this trip I thought I could manage him since I had fewer children. Rookie mistake.

After enjoying the 2nd floor children's section, we checked out a huge pile of books on the 1st floor and headed towards the door. Then Sam decided to go back upstairs on the elevator. I told him no and that's when the battle started.

Loudly crying he refused to walk down the long hallway to the outer door and threw himself on the floor. I tried to reason with him using that sweet mommy voice that we all reserve for public occasions. By now all the librarians and patrons were staring at us. I couldn't pick him up because my arms were full of books and Ellie's so close in size that she couldn't help.

So, I told him, still using a singsong mommy voice, "Sister and I are going to the car now. I hope you come with us. Bye." And I slowly started walking down the hallway. Once I got around a corner out of sight, Sam picked himself up off the floor, walked a little way down the hall, saw me and threw himself on the floor again.

I repeated that I was leaving and slowly walked further down the hall, praying the whole time that he would come. When I reached about 15 feet away from him, he stood up and joined me as I walked to the van. I guess he believed my bluff that I would leave him behind.

For the record I would never leave one of my children behind. I don't recommend using this technique with every child or using it often, but in this case it was effective.

Thank goodness because I didn't have a Plan B!

Do your children throw temper tantrums in public? What was the worst one?


Amy said...

My boys do it all the time. I usually tell them that everyone is wondering why they're misbehaving and staring at them.

TryItMom said...

Since JD isn't even 2 yet, we are just scratching the surface here, but we have a library story! We showed up to a toddler story time to find out it was canceled. I didn't have the stroller because I thought we were just going into the class, but I thought I could handle it. Amateur mistake! Long story short: I embarrassingly had to leave O in the lobby in his carrier to run after JD when he tried to escape while I was checking out books. Our library has a sign on the desk asking you not to sit children on the desk. I used to laugh at it, but I would have given anything in the moment to stick him up there so I could check the books out. haha

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

Emily is learning to test her boundaries lately, but we have not had any public outbursts yet. Well, unless you count therapy. She is the one that disrupts class a lot lately. She cries and carries on and refuses to do what she is asked. She doesn't like to share and gets very mad when it isn't her turn. Can we say, only child syndrome? It really makes me feel like I am the worst parent in the world - like I spoil her and let her do whatever she wants (which is not true). Three really has been fun! ; )

Jenn @ Coolest Family on the Block said...

Oh, my. Was there a lot of echoing in the hallway? That would've just made the tantrum so much better. I've seen this technique work before. Yet I've seen times when parents walk off and the kids don't even care...oops :)

My daughter hasn't thrown a tantrum in public yet. She likes to reserve those for me at home. I'm really bad since I like to take out the video camera and record it so her daddy gets to see everything he missed while at work ;)

Thanks for stopping by my blog the other week and leaving a comment. I'm so behind on commenting...I hope to catch up someday!

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