Does this scene sound familiar to you parents? You’re out running errands or trying to enjoy a day with the entire family when all of a sudden your child becomes whiny, irritable, and fussy. As parents, we’ve all experienced this at one time or another…and for some parents, it’s a common occurrence. So why is it happening and what do you do?
There can be several reasons your child becomes irritable and fussy. If your child is normally quite fussy in public, he or she may have a tendency to get their way - thus it makes them feel they can get their way all the time, even when in public and when not doing something they want to do.
Make sure not to spoil your child by allowing him or her to always get his or her way. It’s important to set boundaries and rules and that your child understands it’s not always about him or her.
There are other reasons your child may not be behaving well and they are listed below.
He or she is overtired and/or getting sick. Take him or her to a quiet area if you can, snuggle your child a bit to see if they can fall asleep, and if not, at least reassure your child that you will head home soon to rest. Sometimes some snuggles and hugs can make a world of difference for your child’s mood to change, even when feeling under the weather.
He or she is bored. This goes with what we were describing earlier in this article. It’s important your child doesn’t always get his or her way and your child needs to understand that sometimes, as parents, you need to get things done! Ask them to help out “pick things out” with you while grocery shopping or picking out things for the home. Bring toys and books to keep your child entertained when out running “not fun” errands.
Your child may be stressed out in a crowded public place. Children can get overwhelmed by large busy crowds with lots going on, especially if in an environment they’re not used to. Give your child positive attention when in uncomfortable environments and reassure your child that he or she is safe and that you will head home soon. Again, loving nurturing attention can really help calm your child down.
If you are stressed, your child will be stressed. Have you ever noticed that when you’re around someone that is anxious or stressed out, their energy transfers to you and causes you to feel anxiety-ridden? This is the same with children. If your energy is stressed, they will become stressed. Be honest with your child. Let him or her know you are ready to go home soon. Try to sing calming songs that will calm you both down. Tell each other funny jokes. Lightening the mood will make you both feel better.
Remember that children are in the “learning phase” of how to react in stressful situations and have to be taught not to act selfish and “all about me.” Let’s face it, children don’t know how to do that naturally…actually no human being on earth knows how to be selfless without being taught selflessness and patience. Show your child patience as you teach him or her and it will go much farther than getting angry and upset with your child. Always speak lovingly to your child and with a friendly tone…they will learn from you after all.