Tantrums and the dirty looks from strangers/shop assistants you get!!

Australia
June 1, 2011 12:02am CST
I would love to know how the mylotter population deal with child tantrums in the supermarket or shopping centre (or wherever the tantrum occurs - with a special needs child, this could be set off by many uncontrollable things) but i dont want input only from parents of disabled children, because its happening everywhere in the world in every family for both mums and dads... so how do you handle it when a child throws a tantrum, i hope some of the strategies i can use for myself with my son because i know i need the input, so im hoping suggestions that aren't really suitable for my child may help another parent. Also do you ever give in to tantrums because its easier than putting up with all the screaming and dirty looks your getting like your abusing your child because your not letting them have what they want and the create a major scene that gets everyone looking at you... I know i have done this many times because i dont know how else to stop them.. that's what i hope you can help me with!
3 people like this
9 responses
@Jessi_T (380)
• United States
1 Jun 11
No, I never give in to tantrums completely even if it appears that I do, I do one of two things if possible I take my child and leave and then once home I send them straight to time-out or B. I pretend I'm giving in let that child get what they want if I can't leave and when I get home if it's eatable I toss it in the trash and send the child to time-out or if it was a toy I used to donate it to the toy drive at church now I list it on Listia my seven year old has helped my gain a lot of Listia credits and then when the person gets the item because she is older I show her the feedback where the other person actually has it. If I couldn't afford to buy the item(s) and I was stuck in the store anyway I would just have to tell myself all kids throw tantrums and those people who are giving me the dirty eye is either not a parent or just in denial.
2 people like this
• Australia
1 Jun 11
I really like your honesty and your post was hilarious for me to read although i know you weren't trying to be funny. I have just never thought about it that way, buying the item then tossin it. That made me laugh quite a real way to learn a lesson. I think your methods are strict but practicle.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12072)
• India
6 Jun 11
I have 2 kids - boys who are 10 and 4. The older one has never thrown a tantrum (except now at home) but the little one has done so many times. I don't give in to tantrums unless my husband happens to be with me and he prefers giving in than create a scene. My approach is different. I firmly ignore my son first and if I think it's going to be a long winded tantrum and he's not going to calm down enough for me to talk to him (I talk to them only when they've calmed down...I go down to their level and look them in the eye when talking to them), then I pick him up and take him home. Till a year and a half back, we had bad tantrums ....but now that has reduced a lot and I can say it hardly ever happens and my son knows that it definitely doesn't work with mommy...and that it's the only way to get daddy's attention (that's for him to figure out what to do now). I don't care who is looking at me because I'm not going to see these people ever again and my main concern is that my kids learn to behave and not really to make a good impression on people. Having said that, I'm also against disturbing other people for no fault of theirs and if I think the tantrum is too long and people are getting troubled, we move away even if it means carrying a screaming howling child to the car. The only place I cannot do this is when we are travelling...and fortunately it's not really happened much then...but I've travelled(long distance) less with my little one than with the older one.
1 person likes this
• Australia
6 Jun 11
I think that's a good attitude to have with an Autistic son i am going to get weird looks from people who are to uneducated to understand that my son has a problem or too rude not to stop staring at him when they are quite aware and just think its funny or shakes their head like your a bad parent. I think it's great that you have mantioned both your approaches as kids are so different i think i already do try to ignore tantrums but sometimes i end up dragging him out the store litterally kicking and screaming.. that's why i get the looks but i dont want to give in to him everytime because he can cause a scene to get rewarded for bad behaviour makes no sense but when i can try and reward him for his good behaviour by showing him the treat before the tantrum we usually leave the shop smiling, its a matter of money too. I dont always have the money to be able to buy everything my son desires although i wish i did sometimes.
@SViswan (12072)
• India
8 Jun 11
A couple of times, I've had to leave a store with a kicking and screaming toddler too. It sends across a message to the child that you are not going to take this kind of behaviour and also to the people in the store that you respect their need to shop in peace and you are taking your child out. I think people need to appreciate that rather than giving you dirty looks. All I can say is ignore them and you know what you are doing is right...so continue doing it. Though showing the treat before the tantrum is a good idea, if you are unable to do it everytime then there's no point in encouraging it at other times. The child then begins to expect it every time and you are going to have a bigger tantrum when he doesn't get it. I'm not sure if it will work with autistic kids but why don't you try a sticker chart where the reward comes at the end of a couple of good deeds instead of just 1....or maybe the treat could be something like going out to the park or do something special that he likes that doesn't cost money.
1 person likes this
• Australia
15 Jun 11
I am not an angry or nasty person naturally and although it is embarassing and i get so frustrated when my son starts chucking a tantrum, i tr to stand my ground as much as i can, i already give in so much when i say no i really try to stick to it and like you say end up having to drag out your child while they are screaming that you are the worst person in the world and all the onlookers think your a witch. =( I really am just trying to teach my son that he cant always have what he wants when he wants it... most of the time for me unless he has already had enough sweets then its simply a matter of money and he has to accept that we cant afford everything we want or like, i wish me and my family were that rich.
@kaysue4 (951)
• United States
5 Aug 11
This was not shopping, but in a Burger King. My grand daughter has Autism and friends and I went to one of the ones that have the play area inside and I broke her sandwich in half to tell her that if she eats that much she can go play. Well, it threw her into a total rage, but she did stay seated and I just moved all food and drinks away from her. Yes, there was a lady that left and made a rude comment, but we are in an inclosed children's area and she was on the phone and was upset that she couldn't hear on the phone and left. Oh well. I did try to buy her another sandwich, but that didn't work, after all, I did touch her food and maybe she didn't want it split in half. My friends and I continued to eat and just ignored her and told the other people that she is Autistic and that I was not giving in to her. I told her that if she did not eat, she was NOT going to play. My friends have a daughter that also is Autistic, so they totally understood. When we were done eating, I packed up my grand daughter's food and told her that she would eat it for supper tonight and put her shoes on and we left. She did not play. She has since, sat and ate her food and didn't do that again to me at all. Even though children, with or without disabilities, need to learn what there limits are and that there are rules. This does not work for every child. My grand daughter is also hearing impaired and does get upset when she doesn't understand things, but she did end up eating that for dinner.
• Australia
17 Aug 11
YEs you still have to be the parent in these situation s and teach them the life skills they need to know no matter how embarassing it might be at the time we can't always just give in to our children for any reason because it's not teaching them the basic social principles that every child has to learn in their own time and in their own way. I guess i can't really blame the woman on the phone for walking away because i have felt like this myself when the screaming or tantrum is growing in temper and attention from onlookers sometimes i think i would like to run away too. But i never would. I like you probably would have tried to eat my lunch if i had moved it in time! My son also hates it when i cut his food lol i don't know why but i know it sets him off into a major tantrum and since i am usually doing out of ease for him to eat then i find it's best to just leave it. Sandwiches i can cut in half but it has to be the right way! And anything round must not be cut at all!
@sweet_pea (3326)
• Philippines
10 Jun 11
My cousin who is a pre-school teacher said to me that whenever my son has tantrums never give-in to him because if he knows he can control you and can make you follow his wishes with his wailing and crying, he will do just that. So I did what she told most of the time. Unfortunately on one vacation we had, he just did that and started crying at the mall. We just left him and he was crying at one corner and people started looking at him. I know what is running to these people's minds. Where is the irresponsible mother who can't even care if her son is wailing? So I picked him up, and we had the talk!
1 person likes this
• Australia
15 Jun 11
I give in sometimes i cant help it, i agree its great advice but i dont know if i've already shown him that he can win by throwing a tantrum, but i honestly cant see a way around it sometimes.
@cream97 (29169)
• United States
6 Jun 11
Hi. dont_pick_your_nose. Well if it was my child that would be throwing the temper tantrum, I would quickly hurry up and leave the store if I can. If not, I will give them something that will distract them or keep them occupied so that they can stop screaming. I also, may buy them their favorite snack to eat or to drink. I have been in this situation many of times with my kids and believe me, it is never the most funniest situation to be in too. As for any other parent's child whether they are disabled or not, I will ignore them because I understand that children in general, will throw temper tantrums so it is not a big deal to me. I would not look at them strange any less than I would look at another child that is upset.
1 person likes this
• Australia
7 Jun 11
thanks for your response cream! =) I try to take that approach and i do my best to ignore the onlookers but when it is your son and not yourself you just feel like you should be doing more to protect them harm or getting hurt.I often feel my heart break just a little for him in social situations where i know he cant fit in... and in those cases you stand out. I love him no matter what and although sometimes looking after him during a tantrum can be awkward or embarrassing i will still love him forever, perfect as he is i am his mother!
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
2 Jun 11
All of my daughters pulled the temper tantrum in the store trick at times but one in particular was given to tantrums more frequently. They were horrible and beyond the norm. Did I ever give in to her to save face? NO!! Not ever and not even once! I got the looks and comments. I just dealt with them. I gave her warnings...we will leave the store if you continue. And then we did....we would leave the store. If I really really needed to shop then I would sit in the car with her until her tantrum subsided. If it could be put off, we'd go home and wait for another time and try again. Eventually, she did get the idea that she would not get her way by throwing a fit and we would leave the store. I never really cared what others thought. My main focus was was on what was the best way to handle my child.
1 person likes this
• Australia
4 Jun 11
Thanks for your response, it was very appreciated, your a stronger woman than me but i respect that in a parent and thats why i agree that there is no right or wrong way to parent aslong as your children are well looked after, everything else is a matter of opinion which makes it hard to choose who to listen to also!
• United States
2 Jun 11
My son (he's 10 now) tried to throw a tantrum in the grocery store when he was about 3. He threw himself on the floor and started crying. I said "ok, bye" and started walking away. (He never left my sight) When he realized I wasn't going to give in he jumped up and ran over to me. He never tried to do it again.
1 person likes this
• Australia
4 Jun 11
That's so cute!! My boy is a runner, if i let him loose in the supermarket then im sure it would cost me alot of money in breakages and whatever he could open or eat before i got him. I have a firm grip of his hand at all times. I liked your story princess, thanks for sharing here.
@asyria51 (2870)
• United States
1 Jun 11
I have left a full cart at the store, I find the nearest sales person, apologize for the extra work they have to do and leave. I keep a pocket full of treats. Mostly goldfish, cheerios and some fruit snacks. Every aisle at the store I give her a few more things to munch on. I have learned not to try and stop too many places. I have also learned that if you promise something you have to follow through. My big thing is going to the park after the groceries are put away, or if it was clothes shopping or something that can sit in the car, than we stop on the way home.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Sep 11
Hello, I know it may be hard to realize during the tantrum but remember, special needs or not, all children have tantrums in public at some point. Especially with the special needs population, you must pick and choose your battles, sometimes that means giving in to the problem/situation. If the tantrum is in a place or at a point you cant andle, I suggest giving in. (not all the way) Within a few days from the incident, I would find a time and plae where you can replay the situation without giving in. Just remember, the people looking or commenting haven't walked in your shoes. You are extremely brave for all you have to deal with each day!