How to handle meltdowns in public?
When my son was around 2 years old, he used to have terrible temper tantrums at the park, when it was time to go back home.
Initially, I would just say “It’s getting late” and get the stroller ready, and he would cry his way to the stroller screaming loudly.
After a few days, I had an idea. I told him, that I cannot hear him if he screams or throws tantrums. I can only hear him when he can talk normally. He was so shocked and surprised that he immediately stopped screaming.
After that, whenever he had a tantrum, I used to signal him that I cannot hear what he was saying, and he immediately lowered his voice and explained why he was crying.
I would listen to him and let him express his feelings through his words. Just talking about his feelings would calm him down enough to listen to me.
Children need an outlet for their emotions, as adults we need to understand the emotion behind the tantrum and be ready to listen to them, rather than distracting them.
This idea works because children scream for attention, if they realize that screaming will not get them attention they will definitely stop screaming.
The tantrums sometimes can be for very silly reasons for us, but for the child it might be a big reason. So, listening to their feelings is important for their development.