How to Handle your Toddlers Misbehaviors in Public

In public your toddler’s behavior and mood can quickly change, ranging from good to bad. There are many reasons a toddler may act out whilst away from home. It may not always seem apparent at the time; however, there is always a good reason behind misbehavior. In public it can seem more challenging to deal with unwanted behavior, as there are onlookers that can bring extra tension to the situation. The surroundings and added noise can intensify the situation making it seem more difficult to control. All parents have been in this situation, and are often left feeling overwhelmed and under pressure to react in the right way whilst under watchful eyes.

Here are some techniques to handle unwanted behavior in public:

• Remain calm

Whilst your toddler is displaying unruly behavior in public you can start to feel your stress levels rise. You are both probably feeling tired, and there is a lot going on around you. This can add to the tension and heighten the stress. If you are engaged in other activities it can make you feel more aggravated. After all, you expect only the best behavior from your child. Unfortunately, there are many factors that can cause her to become agitated. There is no routine whilst out, and there is much for her to take in. It is essential to take a deep breath and remain calm to be able to diffuse the unwanted behavior.

• Filter out the outside world

It can seem daunting to control your toddler with passersby seemingly watching, and it can feel like you are under judgment. However, these strangers know nothing about the situation and are not important in the least. At the moment your toddler is acting out, so your sole purpose and attention is to focus on your toddler. Filter everything else out and zone in on your toddler. Imagine the rest of the world has come to a stop and you only have your child to attend to. By blocking everything else out, you are in better control of the situation.

• Assertive and self-assured

Under the watchful eyes of passersby you may feel like reeling in your authority and not showing the assertive parenting needed. There is no need to change tact, otherwise the misbehavior may not be dealt with appropriately. If your approach is different, your toddler may become confused and less likely to cooperate. You are the parent, and you are in control, act and react in the right way and deal with the behavior appropriately. Deal with the situation when it happens, rather than wait until later otherwise your child will not understand.

• Be firm, but gentle

Toddlers act out for numerous reasons. Sometimes to test their boundaries, sometimes because they are bored, tired or they just want your attention. Acting out can sometimes be their only way of expressing how they are feeling. In any case, get down to your toddlers level and look her in the eyes. Speak in a soft and gentle tone to help her feel calmed. The way in which you react is of upmost importance, as it allows her to find control. Explain that you don’t like the behavior and the reason why, but also ask her why she is behaving in this way.

Dealing with your toddler misbehavior in public should not cause you any embarrassment. All children act out at some time or another, and no matter what, your child will at some time or another. It is perfectly normal for children to behave in these ways, and the parent’s need to take control and turn the behavior around. Dealing with misbehavior immediately is important for your child to understand. Always remain calm to be in control of the situation, and to model the behavior you expect.