Vacation, a time of relaxation, fun, and when traveling with young kids- temper tantrums.
Jim and I were just vacationing at Disney World. One evening we had dinner at EPCOT. As we were leaving, we got to witness one of those temper tantrums.
From my experience temper tantrums result from 2 things- exhausted kids and a negotiation strategy. In this case it seemed like it was a combination of both.
As Jim and I watched the events unfold mom and dad had a good strategy, wait it out until their daughter was either too exhausted or just gave up the will to fight. However after a few minutes you could sense the parents felt embarrassed by their daughter’s behavior. What they didn’t realize is other parents were rooting them on. We had one mom tell us she would let her scream it.
Of course not everyone feels the same way. Some people think you should do whatever it takes to make sure your child doesn’t have a tantrum, especially in public.
I am probably a little bit out of practice because we have moved onto the emotions of a teenager, but here is my rule of thumb.
-Temper tantrums in a restaurant is a big no no. It’s unfair to the other patrons. So take your kids outside and let them scream it out.
-As painful as it is, wait it out. Make sure your kids won’t hurt themselves while screaming, but remain as calm as you can and hold out. Exhaustion will eventually set in or your kids will realize you won’t give them what they want.
-Tantrums are more likely to happen when kids are tired, hungry, or thirsty. Try to prevent these by snacks, lots of water, and taking a nap. (We’ve found cool spots at Disney and taken an hour or so just to let the kids get a nap.)
They are tough for any parent to deal with. But positively rewarding a temper tantrum only reinforces the behavior.