Attending children’s parties is a lot of fun. However, the story might change when you come with your own toddler and they start having a meltdown. Parents dread the day when their kid throws tantrums in public. It can be a nerve-wracking and painful experience especially if it’s your first time dealing with tantrums.
When your child starts thrashing and screaming, guests at the party will surely look at you and wonder what the commotion is all about. It can be awkward and embarrassing for everyone, but what can you do as the parent of the child throwing a tantrum? Let’s look at the different ways to deal with the temper tantrums of children when we are at parties.
10 Calm Down
The most obvious but perhaps most difficult tip to follow is to calm down. Tantrums are a child’s way to show that he is not in control of his emotions. Keep your emotions in check and do not yell at the child. Parents, especially those who are dealing with tantrums in public for the first time, might feel embarrassed because there are other kids and other parents seeing the meltdown. But remember that the tantrum is about the child and not about other people.
Your attention must be on your kid and as much as it is difficult to stay calm, you will only be able to soothe your child when you yourself are calm.
9 Don’t Give In
Tantrums usually start when a child feels tremendously frustrated for whatever reason. At parties, there are many factors that come into play and we can never really tell what triggers a temper tantrum. Whatever the reason is, don’t give in. Parents need to enforce positive discipline and this includes putting a boundary of what to give and what not to give to a child. When we give in to what the child wants, they will get the idea that throwing tantrums is the way to get what he desires. And the next time they want your attention, wants another child’s toy, or simply wants candy at the grocery, they will scream and thrash around because it’s what worked the last time.
8 Take Out the Audience
When many people fuss over a child throwing a tantrum, it reinforces the behavior. Getting attention and eventually getting what he wants will make the child think that throwing tantrums is the way to go. However, if we ignore the tantrums and stop paying attention, the child will eventually realize that this tactic is not working. At parties, take the child to a secluded area to make sure that they are not harming themselves and others as well. The child may not be able to verbalize it but he can be tired from all the stimuli they're getting during the party.They may just need to be in a quiet environment where they can calm down on their own.
7 Soothe Through Touch
Because attending parties can be overwhelming, especially for toddlers, they might feel that their security is threatened. With the presence of strangers and other children, they might throw tantrums as a way of telling you that they are not comfortable anymore. When this happens, our voices might not be enough to soothe them. After taking the child away from the stressful situation, an arm around their shoulders or a hug will help them relax. Your touch will tell them that they are safe and that you are there with them. This tactic is especially useful when your child tends to harm themselves or others. Physical connection will help calm your child and stop the tantrums.
6 Distraction and Diversion
In the middle of a meltdown, one of the easiest ways to get your child to refocus is to create a diversion. It can be in the form of an unexpected question about them, bringing them to another place, or offering a type of food that they have never seen before. With older kids, you can share your own childhood story to distract them.
Divert the attention of the child to something else so that they will forget the reason why they were throwing a tantrum. Toddlers will immediately stop and calm down with this tactic but with older children, a little more coaxing and longer patience may be needed.
5 Follow Your Routine Even at Parties
One of the reasons for tantrums, especially for toddlers, is the change in their schedule. Parties can wreak havoc on your child’s routine. Sticking to your schedule will help prevent meltdowns. Keep a close watch on your child and determine how he is adjusting to the new event. If they normally take a nap, do it before the party. The worst case is to consider not going to the party at all. The same can be said for the eating schedule. If your child is used to a routine where they have their snack at a specific time, take note of this and make sure that they have something to eat at the party. This way, you can manage the tantrums that may come because of hunger or sleepiness.
4 Identify the Emotions
Toddlers from 1-3 years old have tantrums because of the uncomfortable situation that they are in. They’re learning to be independent, yet can’t verbalize what they feel. Observe how your child is acting and when he gets a little calm, talk to them about what happened. For older children, being able to identify emotions such as being frustrated, angry, jealous or fearful will help both you and your child prevent future meltdowns. They have to feel that they don’t need to shy away from their emotions but that they must identify it and express it in ways that will not harm them or others.
3 Offer Help to Other Parents
It’s not all the time that we are the ones with kids having tantrums at parties. We don’t need to be parents to learn how to deal with tantrums. Sometimes, we’re all by ourselves and see other children having a meltdown. In this case, empathy is the most important thing we can give to other parents. We can, for example, offer to watch their other kids or their things for them, or clean up after them if there was a mess involved. We can also help round up other kids who may be paying attention to the child in meltdown and distract them so the parent can deal with the tantrum in peace.
2 Reinforce Good Behavior
We cannot reason with a child who is in the middle of a tantrum. What we can do is to be there and to encourage the little steps they make as they calm down. When the child is verbalizing their feelings, reinforce this by saying things like “You did a good job by telling me that you were upset.” After the child has calmed down, you can offer a treat by saying, “Now we can go back to the party and have fun with other kids!” The child will soon understand that these types of behavior, not the tantrum itself, are being rewarded and encouraged. Soon enough, you will be praising the child for being in control of their emotions and avoiding tantrums as they get older.
1 Learn to Say No
At the very last moment, just when you’re leaving the party, your child may throw tantrums. The reason? They don't want to leave a fun place! To prevent this, manage the expectations of your child and set a reminder on what time you’re leaving. Remind them a few minutes before you need to go so they can say goodbye to their new friends or wrap up the game they're playing. While you’re preparing to go, divert their attention from the sadness of leaving by asking questions like “Did you have fun?” or “Do you remember the names of your new friends?” Whatever they do, stand your ground and do not let them intimidate you into staying longer.