The other day a friend asked how is that my 6 yr old daughter sit quietly in a restaurant. This was not something that I have really paid attention to but I could pin point to 2 specific tricks.
- I always made sure that she had had something to eat before we left home to make sure she was not hungry (read “hangry”) by the time we reached and ordered the food.
- I had a separate set of toys that she would get to play with only when we went out. Something small and interesting that was not part of her usual toy box at home. This kept her interest going for a while. I also always made sure that this was an open-ended toy so that she could use her imagination in the new environment and kept her busy.
I must also mention that this did not always work. sometimes we did need to step out for some fresh air. I think sometimes we forget that kids are trying to explore not just their environment but also their boundaries. This is normal and natural. At times it looks like kicking and screaming and sometimes it looks like a complete meltdown.
I have tried (emphasis :: TRIED) not to shame her in such a situation. What has worked best for us is when sit it out with her in the most clam manner possible.
If you are a parent what are some ways in which you have dealt with public meltdowns / tantrums?? I would love to learn more…