New expectant parents tend to believe that their unborn son or daughter will grow up as the closest thing to perfection. He or she won’t wail like a banshee when hungry or upset. Potty training and teaching life lessons will be a breeze. Other kids will flock around him or her too because of their fun spirit and friendliness.
The reality that no one can ever be “perfect” only sets in once the child comes to the world, and the parents understand how feisty and temperamental kids can become. They can shed big, fat tears if you don’t give what they’re asking for instantly. They may have a meltdown during mealtime when you serve the food they don’t want to try. Worse, young children never pick a time or place to throw a tantrum; that’s why you might often see yourself struggling with an angry kid at a shop, restaurant, or playground. Meri Wallace, LCSW, defines tantrum as “your child’s form of protest. Whenever you interfere with her desire to have something, do something or go where she wants to go, she gets mad.”
While it is understandably frustrating to deal with this kind of situation often, you can’t keep the children in the house forever. They have to build connections outside and learn from others too. Hence, you need to use a few anger management counseling tricks to pacify temperamental kids in public.
- Don’t Ignore How They Feel
Kids tend to go ballistic when they sense that you are only half listening to what they are telling you. In their mind, they probably say, “Ah, you’re ignoring me because I’m a child? I’ll show you how childish I can be.” “Sometimes kids act up because they feel that’s the only way they’ll be heard. Try to step in earlier—when frustration begins but before misbehavior occurs.” Eileen Kennedy-Moore Ph.D. explains. That is usually when the whining gets louder, and even when you try to offer what they initially want, they’ll push it away.
The trick to avoiding this outburst is to validate their emotions immediately. Never assume that they are overreacting since they might be sad about something. In case you don’t agree with their dilemma, you may still provide validation by paraphrasing their words.
2. Move To A Quiet Space
You shouldn’t expect an enraged kid to rehash what angered him or her at that moment. No, you have to wait patiently until their temper normalizes.
What may speed up this process is carrying or pulling your child away from the scene and bringing him or her to a quiet spot. “Move your child to a more private place.” says Laura Markham Ph.D. She adds “Maybe you can go to your car, or to an out of the way spot at the mall where you won’t be disturbing other people. Just as important, you won’t be tempted to parent as onlookers think you should, so you can follow your own parenting instincts.” E.g., a room on the far end of the building, the bathroom, or even inside the car. It effectively shields the youngster from the thing that triggered his or her meltdown. Furthermore, he or she won’t be too shy to give you the real reason behind the tantrum as there’s no one else around.
- Choose Your Battles
Finally, if no amount of talking can help you, you ought to pack your stuff and leave the place. You have to accept that there are battles involving your children that you can’t always win. Sometimes they’ll listen to you, but other times they won’t have any of it.
The thing is, their temper will subside after a while if you let them be. Then, you may return to the public area once your offspring’s calm.
Doing all the anger management counseling tricks mentioned above is beneficial not just for you, but for your temperamental kid as well. Imagine, you can understand him or her better. In return, he or she will feel that you consider their issues as real, and not some child’s play.
There will be a day when they’ll correct their actions themselves. Until then, however, stick to a pacifying routine whenever your son or daughter throws a tantrum in public.