Public tantrums,as with most of lifes problems, cannot be ignored by us, while we hope that they just go away.
Offcourse there are exceptions to every rule and tantrums
is one of them. By using the right techniques, you can ignore your childs tantrums and hopefully stop them from happening completely.
This does, however take time, patience and a whole lot of determination and perseverance on your part.
When my youngest son was little, rather than telling me his frustrations, he would scream, cry and sometimes even lie on the floor kicking and
screaming. This made taking him out in public a huge challenge. He would find something in every shop we went to and hold onto it for dear life.
If I tried to take it away, even to pay for it, it would cause a tantrum. Sometimes the tantrums where so bad that I ended up just leaving the shop,
feeling very embarrassed and leaving my half filled trolley behind.
What I hated the most was the disgusted looks from people, who did not realise
that my child had special needs and I kept thinking that he isnt just a bratty child that I had no control over.
STEPS TO REGAINING CONTROL
For me, this situation was just not acceptable, so I did a lot of research and also spoke to a behaviour therapist.
There is no method that works one hundred percent, every time your child has public tantrums, but through trial and error this is the method I use to gain control
or public tantrum:
Firmly hold his hand
Hold onto your childs hand firmly so that he doesnt run away, hurt himself or anyone else.
Speak once only
Let your child know in no uncertain terms, that only when he stops screaming will you speak to him. Dont say anything else, until this happens.
Turn your head away
While the tantrum is going on, pretend that you dont hear him and turn your face away. Dont worry about what other people may think,
concentrate on gaining control of the situation. Continue walking, and if your child drops to the floor, stop, keep holding his hand and wait,
for as long as it takes. If you have to pick him up and carry him, do so without any emotions and put him down as soon as you possibly can.
(This is easier said than done, but bite the bullet now and put in the effort, I promise you that it will make your life much easier in the long run.)
Make eye contact when he is calm
Once your child has calmed down, stops screaming and talks to you properly, get down to his level and give him your undivided attention for as long
as he is behaving properly. Make eye contact and talk to him in a calm, friendly voice, the complete opposite of how you where behaving while he was
throwing a tantrum. Pay attention to what he is saying, but remain firm in your position about whatever bought on the tantrum.
You may have to repeat these steps often, and you may even have to switch back and forth between ignoring and listening several times, using your
childs behaviour as the trigger.
If he starts to cry and scream again, take his hand, stand up and turn your face away. Dont say anything, and he
will soon realise that he becomes invisible to you whilst having a tantrum.
Your child will soon learn some self- control, and you need to hang onto yours. All children want attention, and if he only gets yours when he is
calm and behaves properly, he will soon realise this and behave accordingly.
Dont underestimate your childs ability to manipulate you!
We often underestimate our children with special needs, and let them get away with inappropriate behaviour because we think they dont understand
the difference between right and wrong.
This is not only >b>detrimental to your childs well being but can also negatively affect your emotional well
Be warned, ignoring your childs tantrums in the beginning will cause them to get worse.
Your child has learnt a certain behaviour pattern, and in
his mind the kicking and screaming worked before, so if he does it louder and worse than before, it should work again. When this happens dont assume
that your efforts or this method is not working.
It will take time to change the behaviour
patterns in your child and instil new patterns. It may take
a while for the penny to drop.
My youngest is now 14, and I practised self-control which I never knew I had. It wasnt easy, and for a while each public tantrum seemed to get worse
than the one before. There where many times that I just wanted to give up, but suddenly, and completely unexpected, the tantrums became fewer and then
stopped all together. He still struggles occasionally when we are out in public, but generally he is very well behaved.
Patience and persistence does pay off in the end.
If you're looking for something specific, here's your chance to go searching...
The Web The special needs child