We’ve all been there. That moment you’re in the grocery store, you have to get food in order to feed your family this evening and this is when your child decides that is the perfect time to throw a temper tantrum to end all temper tantrums. You would love to calm them down, you’re aware people are staring at you and you’re even more aware of what they’re thinking. “Why can’t they control their child?” Between your embarrassment and the fact that you still don’t have food for this evenings dinner its no wonder you feel paralyzed. How do you discipline your child in public before you go crazy?
Teaching Your Child Empathy
Imagine it’s your child’s birthday. Your relative has worked really hard to get a gift your child would enjoy. As they eagerly await your child’s delight your child rips open the gift, takes one look at it and throws it aside. Then he or she have the Gaul to ask what else there is. Not only are you disappointed for your relative; you are mortified that your child could be so ungrateful. Of course you don’t want your relative to think this is who your child is and you don’t want to believe it yourself. The truth of the matter is, your child is just being honest and hasn’t yet learned the balance of truth and tact.
I’m sure you’ve run into adults who have the same problem. That is because it isn’t an easy lesson to learn. At this point this best thing you too is reinforce lessons of empathy. Pull your child aside and discuss what it is to think of someone else’s feelings. Extend your story so your child can learn why his or her reaction was inappropriate and how it can be better handled in the future.
Teaching Your Child Boundaries
Now imagine you are at a shopping mall on a mission to find something specific. Your child wants to go off track to the toy store so you can buy them a gift you have no intention of giving them. You say no and then he or she starts throwing a temper tantrum. What is a parent to do? First things first, know your environment. A toy store is going to be full of temptations for your child. It would be pretty surprising if they didn’t find something they would like to own. Before you even go into the store, you must let you child know your conditions. Whether you intend on getting them a gift or not, let them know exactly what you will allow and for how much. Then remind them that if they resist your conditions you will leave immediately. The environment is your child’s power. If you take your child out of a public environment then they have no power. This is a general rule wherever you go. Set boundaries first and follow through with them later.
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