My 2 year old is an absolute gem of a child. He’s bright, funny, sweet, considerate and genuinely great company. So when he turned two and everyone was saying, “Oh, terrible twos! Wait for the tantrums!” I wasn’t overly concerned.
Not my boy! He’s an angel!
And indeed, he is an angel… 95% of the time.
Over the past couple of months, Oliver has mastered the ability to go from 0 to 10 on the tantrum scale in seconds and over seemingly nothing.
We can be having a lovely afternoon playing in the garden or, more often, out at the shops… he’s fine. Smiley, in fact. My perfect little boy. And then the tiniest little thing turns him into a pocket sized version of the Incredible Hulk. Maybe his coat sleeve went over his hand a little bit, or I walked in the opposite direction to what he was hoping I would walk in.
Then he’ll throw himself dramatically to the floor as though he’s auditioning for a role in a war film (or trying out for a Premier League football team), the tears begin flowing and his volume rises. Any attempts to console him (or just find out wtf happened) will fail.
Of course, the textbook advice is to completely ignore it. Easy enough at home, but not really practical when he’s having an astronomical meltdown of proportions never previously witnessed by humanity in the fruit and veg aisle of Asda, eh?
So, I have created my own top tips for handling sudden toddler tantrum syndrome in a public place:
How to Handle Toddler Tantrums in a Public Place
- First of all, stop telling yourself you should be ignoring this. Chuck the textbooks away. Super Nanny or whoever else is throwing this advice around isn’t the one standing in the fruit and veg aisle while your Mum’s nosey next door neighbour looks at you like you gave birth to the f***ing devil itself. Don’t kick yourself for NOT ignoring it
- Offer child cake/your phone/biscuits/fruit/drinks/whatever they want
- While child is taking said offerings, if feasible, get them in a trolley seat where they’re restrained
- When you make it safely home, treat yourself with a large glass of something you like
And When the Tantrum is Over….
Our son has a good old tantrum like this every now and then. And the moment it’s all over he’s all sweetness again. My Mother advises me that I was the tantrum queen (apparently still have that capability hidden inside me somewhere) and it passed after a few months. So I don’t intend to lose any sleep over the terrible twos.