Public display of tantrum is a favorite of many toddlers. It’s their “get-what-I-want” card, says child psychologist Evangeline Alianan-Bautista, a technique they have discovered to be useful, especially if they have parents who are easily embarrassed. “Discipline has to be consistent at home and outside the home,” she stresses. Your child has to know that wherever she is, the same rules will be followed. If your child sees that you are hesitant or uncertain, it may encourage her to throw a tantrum to “help” you decide. Don’t allow your embarrassment to weaken your judgment. Be firm and consistent.
Talk to your toddler, says Oris. Explain the behavior expected when in a public place. Tell her you will not tolerate screaming or any form of misbehavior. If she still throws a fit, ignore her—except when her safety is at risk. “She wants to get what she wants. Giving attention, whether positive or negative, will only reinforce the misbehavior,” Oris adds.
Geraldine Oris, M.A. in Developmental Psychology, Ateneo de Manila University; education professor, University of Asia and the Pacific, Pasig City
Evangeline Alianan-Bautista, M.A., child psychologist, PsychConsult, Inc., Unit 227 Regalia Park Towers, 150 P. Tuazon Ave., Cubao, Q.C., tel. 421-2469
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