To Know Is To Understand: Dealing With Temper Tantrums in The Public Eye

We’ve all been at a wedding, a funeral, or in church when a toddler decides that it is their time to wallop, yelp, or run amuck. Often times the parents are stunned and don’t know how to handle the situation at hand; Even reading how to deal with them can be hit or miss, but I can guarantee that you’ll find something of value to help handle these awkward, tricky situations.

Why Do Children Throw Tantrums?

Most children and toddlers throw tantrums in order to exhibit their feelings. Since their communication is usually not developed to the point where they know how to distinguish their feelings, the end result is an outburst. Whether it’s fear, hunger, or anger, children exhibit tantrums in different ways. While some may exhibit physical indicators such as kicking, stomping, or hitting, most throw tantrums by crying, screaming, or throwing themselves on the floor.

Tantrums become less frequent as the child ages and becomes easier to handle once the child develops better communication skills. While toddlers have limited grounds for throwing tantrums, preschoolers generally throw tantrums for other reasons, like frustration, attention seeking, being tired, hungry, emotionally overloaded, or even wanting things they cannot or – are not – supposed to have.

How Can You Help?

Tantrums are considered a normal part of growing up and can be tackled once they have been identified.


  • One technique is to keep a close watch on the kind of situations or surroundings that might evoke a tantrum, or if the child is around certain people that may evoke the behavior that leads to a tantrum.


  • Another reason might be when a child is getting hungry or needs a nap. In such cases, if the needs are not met, a predictable tantrum is sure to follow.


  • If the child is simply throwing one for the sake of getting attention, one of the best options would be to ignore them and let them wear themselves out. Most tantrums are completely defused if the child finds that he has no audience to feed the tantrum.


  • If the tantrum seems to be endless, it would be easier to subdue it if the parent provides a warning and places the child in timeout for a small time period which lets the child cool down. Yelling or asking the child to stop throwing a tantrum will only cause the force of the tantrum to escalate. You don’t want to fight fire with fire.

In Case Of An Event

If a child decides to throw a tantrum in a public place during events such as weddings, funeral services, church, or at parties, don’t panic.  In such cases, it is not possible to completely leave without a moment’s’ notice. Hence, it would be beneficial for the parent to know a few tips that would help subdue a tantrum and ease the child’s mind.

  1. Remove the child from the environment and take him or her to a safe place : Take the child away to a more quieter place where he or she can blow off some steam or finish their tantrum. Most tantrums can be extinguished if the child leaves a situation which they might view as a threat or get nervous around, like large crowds or noises. If the child still wants to keep up the fit, it would be better to take them home.
  1. Be calm and deal with the tantrum peacefully: Admonishing the child or raising the voice to control the situation will only end up making things worse. Parents with a temper who have a habit of hitting the child out of frustration, need to find ways to deal with it constructively. It teaches the child that hitting or yelling at someone in anger or frustration is ok. Instead, it is better to calm down and get down to the child’s eye level to talk about what is bothering him or her and the reason for his or her tantrum.
  1. Don’t try to reason but do talk in soothing tones : Trying to reason with an emotionally unstable child with only cause his tantrum to increase. In such cases, talking in soothing tones or even giving the child a hug can help defuse the situation. Helping the child practice breathing techniques is another suggested method to calm him down without leaving him in fits.
  1. Try to distract the child in any way possible : Children are usually quite easily distracted, even when they’re in the middle of a tantrum. Making funny faces or pointing to something that would pique their interest is a good way to control a tantrum.
  1. Do not give in to the child’s tantrum, except in certain cases : Disciplining a child is an important part of character building. Child who are not disciplined right from a young age end up growing to be obnoxious adults. If the child asks for unreasonable things, it is up to the parent to decide whether it is needed or not. The parent needs to be gentle in explaining why the child cannot have the particular item. However, in certain cases, bribing with sugary treats can serve for a much calmer environment.


Children have their own minds and their own feelings. More than likely, a tantrum can’t be avoided, but you can defuse the situation. You’ve learned the things that you don’t want to do and the things that may work to make the situation better. In order to properly handle a tantrum, it is essential that the parent becomes completely attuned to the feelings and the moods of the child. Don’t be discouraged, you’ve got this. You’ll be ok and so will your kids. I promise. Just breath and assess the situation.



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