We have all been there. You are in a public setting where you just don’t have an easy way to excuse yourself to discipline your two year old for disobedience and the only thing that matters in that exact moment is how to avoid a public meltdown… by you!
When kids are in that age of 1 – 2 years old the only thing they really understand is immediate gratification. One trick that I have done is when I know I am going to be in a situation where discipline is difficult, I will buy a bag of skittles or m’n'm’s and carry them in my purse.
When the child begins to misbehave and all other tactics of reasoning have failed! (Have you ever tried reasoning with a one year old? It does not work very well!)
I pull out 5-6 candies and show them and tell them if they sit still for 30 seconds or 1 minute they can have one. I show them how to sit with their hands crossed and quietly and if they move then the timer starts over. After the allotted time they get their reward and the timer starts again. Hopefully you won’t have to do this for more than 10 minutes or so!
For a child of about 3 years old you can promise them a reward like a McDonald’s ice cream cone and then remind them throughout the situation that they are working towards it. If they have to sit still for long periods of time, it also helps to have quiet IPhone apps with games for true emergencies!
If a child is unwilling or unable to behave with a reward, then you have no choice. Either completely stop trying to control them and allow the bad behavior, or remove them from the situation so you can deal with them. It is better to not say anything than to allow your child to continue in direct disobedience without the ability to correct them.
What about you? How have you avoided a potential meltdown?