How to Deal With Tantrums in Public: A Parent’s Guide

how to deal with tantrums in public

It can be difficult to deal with tantrums in public, especially when it is coming from your child. But understanding the cause and being prepared for one can help you how to deal with tantrums in public. 

By identifying the root causes of why a toddler might throw a temper tantrum, parents will have better insight into how to effectively manage their reactions during this time. This blog post provides helpful tips on how to deal with tantrums in public so that both parent and child remain calm throughout the experience.

Table of Contents

Identifying the Cause of Tantrums

To help parents better understand and manage tantrums, it’s important to identify the cause. Common triggers for tantrums include fatigue, hunger, boredom, or frustration. It’s important to recognize these triggers and try to avoid them when possible.

What Causes Tantrums?

There are many potential causes of tantrums in children ages 3 to 6 years old. Common triggers include fatigue, hunger, boredom, overstimulation, frustration with language or motor skills, and feeling overwhelmed by emotions or expectations that are too high.

In some cases, tantrums may also be caused by underlying medical conditions such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Understanding Your Child’s Emotions

Children may have difficulty expressing their emotions verbally during a tantrum. Parents should pay attention to body language and facial expressions that could indicate what emotion is being expressed by the child. This will help parents respond appropriately and provide comfort as needed during a tantrum episode.

By paying close attention, parents may begin to notice patterns in their child’s behavior that could lead up to a tantrum episode such as irritability or restlessness before an outburst occurs. Identifying these patterns can help parents anticipate potential outbursts so they can take steps ahead of time to prevent them from happening or lessen their intensity if they do occur.

Preparing for a Tantrum in Public

When it comes to preparing for a tantrum in public, establishing boundaries and expectations is key. Parents should clearly communicate their expectations to their children before leaving the house.

This could include setting rules such as no running away or screaming, and making sure they understand that these behaviors are not acceptable in public. It’s also important to be consistent with enforcing these rules so your child knows what behavior is expected of them when out in public.

Creating a distraction plan can help prevent temper tantrums from occurring while out in public. If you know certain activities or places tend to trigger your child’s emotions, try coming up with some alternative plans ahead of time that will help keep them occupied and focused on something else instead of getting overwhelmed by the situation at hand. For example, if grocery shopping tends to be overwhelming for your toddler, bring along some snacks or toys that they can focus on while you shop around the grocery store.

Finally, practicing coping strategies at home can make it easier for parents and children alike when faced with a potential tantrum in public. Teaching kids how to identify their feelings through words like “angry” or “frustrated” helps them express themselves better rather than resorting to physical actions like throwing things or hitting others during an outburst. Additionally, teaching breathing exercises such as counting breaths can help calm down both parent and child during stressful situations which may arise while out in public settings.

Dealing with a Tantrum in Public

Remaining Calm and Composed: When faced with toddler tantrums in public it is important to stay as calm as possible. Taking deep breaths or counting to ten can help you manage your emotions while also providing an example of how to handle strong feelings for your child. It is also helpful to remind yourself that this too shall pass and that it’s ok if others are watching.

Responding To The Situation Appropriately: Depending on the age of your child, there are different ways you can respond appropriately when dealing with a tantrum in public. For younger children (3-5 years old), try redirecting their attention by engaging them in conversation about something else or distracting them with another activity such as playing games on a phone or tablet device if available. For older children (6+ years old), calmly explain why they cannot have what they want and provide alternatives such as offering healthy snacks instead of sugary treats or suggesting activities like taking a walk outside instead of buying something from the store.

how to deal with tantrums in public


After the Tantrum is Over

Debriefing with Your Child: After a tantrum has occurred, it is important to talk to your child about why their behavior was not acceptable. This can be done in a calm and composed manner by explaining that the way they acted was not okay and that there are better ways of expressing themselves. It is also important to provide positive reinforcement when they do handle situations appropriately.

Taking Care of Yourself: Taking care of yourself after a stressful situation is just as important as taking care of your child. Make sure you take time for yourself afterward so that you can decompress from the experience and reset before continuing on with your day. If needed, seek out support from family or friends who understand what you’re going through and can offer words of encouragement during this difficult time.

FAQs in Relation to How to Deal With Tantrums in Public

How do I discipline my toddler in public?

Disciplining toddlers in public can be challenging but it is one of the parenting skills that need to be learned. It is important to remain calm and consistent when disciplining your toddler.

First, set clear expectations before entering a public place so that your child knows what behavior is expected of them. If they misbehave, use verbal reminders such as “We don’t do that here” or “That isn’t appropriate behavior” to redirect their attention and remind them of the expectations you have set.

You may also need to remove them from the situation if necessary by taking a break or leaving the area altogether. Lastly, provide positive reinforcement for good behavior by praising your child when they follow directions or acts appropriately in public settings.

How do I get my toddler to stop screaming in public?

It can be difficult to get a toddler to stop screaming in public, but there are some strategies that can guide you on how to deal with tantrums in public. First, it’s important to remain calm and not react with anger or frustration.

Instead, take the time to identify what is causing the child distress and address it calmly. If possible, provide distraction by engaging them in an activity such as singing a song or playing a game.

Additionally, make sure your toddler has had enough rest and food before going out into public places where they may become overwhelmed. Finally, set clear expectations for behavior when you go out so your toddler knows what is expected of them. With patience and consistency, these techniques should help reduce the frequency of toddler tantrums in public settings.

Why do toddlers throw tantrums in public?

Toddlers throw temper tantrums in public for a variety of reasons. They may be overwhelmed by their environment, frustrated with not being able to communicate their needs effectively, or feeling powerless over the situation. Toddlers also lack impulse control and can become easily agitated when they are unable to get what they want quickly.

Additionally, toddlers often feel embarrassed or ashamed if something doesn’t go as planned in front of others, which can lead to an outburst. Finally, toddlers may act out due to fatigue or hunger since these factors can make it difficult for them to regulate their emotions.


It is important to remember that temper tantrums in public are a normal part of childhood development and can be managed with patience, understanding, and the right strategies. While it may seem overwhelming at first, learning how to deal with tantrums in public will help you remain calm during these moments while also teaching your child healthy ways to express their emotions. With practice and consistency, you can effectively manage how to deal with tantrums in public and create a more positive experience for everyone involved.

Are you struggling to manage your child’s tantrums in public? Are you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how to handle the situation? We understand.

Puppy Dogs & Ice Cream is here to help! Our resources provide tips, tricks, and strategies for parents of 3-6-year-olds on dealing with tantrums in public so that everyone can enjoy their time out. Check us out today – we guarantee you’ll find something useful!


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