How can I tame a restaurant tantrum?

 

While it is never fun to be the parent of a screaming child in a restaurant, take comfort in the fact that tantrums are a normal part of development and are just an expression of your child’s frustration. When your child begins to get upset, try to distract and redirect his/her attention. If that doesn’t work, calmly pick up your child and take him/her to the restroom or outside. Sometimes a simply change of scenery is enough to tame a tantrum. Because your child’s threshold for frustration is likely to be lower if he/she is tired, it is important to make sure that your child is well-rested before heading to a restaurant. It is also a good idea to bring some toys and books to keep your child entertained while you are waiting for your food to arrive. 

Jennie Ito, Ph.D.

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