Keep these pointers in mind to prevent tantrums:
- Before whisking your children out of the house, give them time to prepare whatever things they need. That's important. Their preparation may mean only tucking Barbie in her Malibu Barbie house before she leaves. It may mean searching for ten minutes for a toy to bring along. Whatever it is, give your children time to do their thing before you leave, and that way they won't feel rushed. Giving your kids a countdown helps. Tell them you're leaving in 30 minutes. Then tell them you're leaving in 15 minutes. Then give them a five-minute warning. Walking out the door is a breeze when your children are prepared.
- Look your children in the eyes when you get to where you're going, making sure that you have their attention, and then tell them what your expectations of them are and why you expect this behavior. Be precise and clear about what you mean. You don't need to go into long explanations unless they ask for more information. But don't expect miracles. Children are children, and they'll behave as such. They squirm and wiggle and make noise and voice their opinions.
- Never assume your kids know what you want. When you stop talking and start assuming, you get into trouble. For example, suppose that you're going to your cousin's wedding. Tell your kids what a wedding is, and what it's going to be like. Then tell them their job is to sit quietly and watch. No talking or getting up is allowed. Tell them that they need to get a drink and go to the bathroom before the wedding starts, so they won't have to do those things during the ceremony. Be a smart parent and bring a pen and pad of paper so your child can at least draw during the wedding. And, again, understand that kids are kids. Weddings and other formal events aren't exactly fun for them.
- Plan wisely before putting your kids in an environment that's going to be difficult for them. Don't expect a 2-year-old to sit quietly in a theatre, at a wedding, or in an upscale restaurant. And, remember that it's unfair of you to scold a child for being a child when he's in an environment that he shouldn't be in to begin with.