Home > Behavioural Problems > Children and Public Temper Tantrums

Children and Public Temper Tantrums

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 6 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Temper Tantrums public Temper Tantrums

Children throw temper tantrums as a way to express the pent-up anger frustration and sometimes even fear that they are not always able to verbalise. Not all children throw temper tantrums, and not all children throw temper tantrums in the same way, but for the most part fits of crying, screaming and even hitting, kicking or throwing things are not all that uncommon for young children. Public temper tantrums can be embarrassing for parents of young children, and they can be embarrassing for school-age and older children who become overwhelmed and lose control in front of adults and peers.

Public Temper Tantrums
Public temper tantrums are those that occur outside of the family home and in the presence of others (whether known to the child or total strangers). Temper tantrums often occur because children are not getting the attention that they crave, because they feel out of control, because they want something that it unavailable to them and/or because they become excessively tired or hungry, and these needs cloud their judgement. Parents can help head off public temper tantrums by making sure that their child has some of their attention, have control of some smaller options, are distracted from items unavailable to them, and aren’t kept out in public without proper rest and snacks.

Coping with Public Temper Tantrums
Unfortunately, experts advise that the best way to cope with a child’s public temper tantrum is to wait it out. Parents must remember that when children engage in temper tantrums they are essentially overwhelmed and out of control so parents must remain calm and in control. If possible, children should be moved to an area of some privacy (even if it means returning to the car outside of a busy shopping centre, or the toilet of a public restaurant) and allowed to work through their emotions no matter how unpleasant it might be for on-lookers. However, parents should also seek to understand the cause of the tantrum in case it is due to pain or something similar and the child’s safety is in danger.

The Aftermath of Public Temper Tantrums
When a child has engaged in a public temper tantrum (s)he will often have trouble calming back down and returning to social activities. Parents can help a child by telling him/her that she will calm down now - children often respond well to this firm instruction. When children are calm, parents should speak with them about what started the tantrum, how it made the child feel, and what the child could do the next time they encounter a similar situation. When this conversation has taken place, parents can then return the child to the setting in which the temper tantrum took place and re-introduce him/her to a suitable activity.

Children throw temper tantrums because they are unable to calmly and rationally discuss their emotions. Some temper tantrums may be thrown in an attempt to attain something – whether it be attention, enthusiasm or a physical item - but to give these things to the child would be simply rewarding their behaviour. Instead, parents should attempt to wait out a tantrum (in a more private setting, if possible) and discuss it calmly with the child afterwards. If temper tantrums become excessive or present a danger to the child or another individual, parents should seek advice from their GP.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I saw a child in my local park scream at about 4PM saying that he does not want to go tobed. He pulled his Mother and carried on screaming. She in the Park completely ignored him. I am not sure if she wanted to send the boy to bed as a punishment or to show him that she is in charge. It might not have been for discipline but because he had a virus. A little girl tried to calm him down probably his younger sister. Should she not have tried to speak to the child and assuming it was a punishment that he has a duty to obey his Mother. May be she was going to wait till she got home to talk him into going into bed. David Shamash
David - 9-Aug-12 @ 10:55 PM
The article on children's temper tantrums was a through description of various reasons children may be having tantrums and gave great ways to get through the difficult time.
dara - 24-Mar-11 @ 12:35 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Woody
    Re: Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
    My son now 15 has shown (what I think may be signs of ODD ) most noticeably since year 6. He is defiant , will challenge…
    16 September 2018
  • bbw
    Re: Children and Body Rocking
    I have rocked as long as I can remember. I would bang my head against the back of the couch so often that the metal rod in the piping…
    6 September 2018
  • pumpkin
    Re: Smacking and Children
    I am now 53 years old and am suffering from mental health issues.My father physically beat me with leather belt when mother was away,my…
    4 September 2018
  • Nate
    Re: Grounding Children
    Yesterday I just got grounded by my mom for 9 months in my room for punching two girls in the arm at school is this fair I don't deserve…
    31 August 2018
  • Maryam
    Re: Questionnaire: Does Your Child Have ADHD?
    My daughter is angry and shouting and changing clothes all the time what happened she is only 9
    31 August 2018
  • Maryam
    Re: Questionnaire: Does Your Child Have ADHD?
    My daughter she 9 years and she changing clothes all the time what happens
    31 August 2018
  • Gem
    Re: Questionnaire: Does Your Child Have ADHD?
    Hi, was wondering if you could help me out please. My daughters 12yrs old, for the past 2 years she’s had on &…
    30 August 2018
  • Dont Worry
    Re: Children and Body Rocking
    Im 15 yrs old and I also rock while listening to loud music... Its feels so good but I never wanted my friends to know about this and…
    27 August 2018
  • KidsBehaviour
    Re: Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
    Blenchy7 - Your Question:I've tried for a long time now with my daughters behaviour and demanding aggressive to her…
    24 August 2018
  • Blenchy7
    Re: Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
    I've tried for a long time now with my daughters behaviour and demanding aggressive to her siblings what can I do she…
    21 August 2018
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the KidsBehaviour website. Please read our Disclaimer.