5 Really Simple Tips to Counter Your Toddler’s Act-Outs in Public

4 min readOct 10, 2022
Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

It’s not easy.

Every parent will tell you that.

Kids aren’t always as predictable as we may think.

Today they positively respond to that ‘mom’ or ‘dad’ look you give them — and stop whatever bad behaviour they were executing — tomorrow they defy, no matter how stern your face may look.

It’s so frustrating, embarrassing, and demoralising, to say the least.

You literally feel powerless.

By all means, it’s the surest way to nurture high blood pressure in your system if you don’t take early precautionary measures.


Imagine having your emotions skyrocket on a regular basis — as regular as the number of times you’ve planned to be in public spaces.

Without a doubt, your hormones will constantly be operating in an imbalanced state, which is a health hazard on its own.

So that you don’t go down that way, here are the 5 simple yet effective tips you can begin implementing immediately to ensure both of you enjoy the outing.

1. Quench their hunger

This is big.

When hungry, children throw all sorts of tantrums, and worse of all, in places like the supermarket or an eatery point.

Ensure they’re well-fed (preferably on a high-protein meal) and adequately hydrated before leaving home. If possible, carry some healthy homemade snacks along to manage their restlessness whenever they begin to ask for things.

And when you pack the snacks, be sure they don’t see or even get to know that you’ve carried something along.

Why? It will be the song of the day.

Them: Mommy (daddy) I want the muffin

You: What?

Them: I want the muffin.

You: Okay, give me a moment…

By then they’re already pulling and opening the backpack.

Mark you; it’s not even an hour since you left home.

You definitely don’t want the worries of food poisoning as a result of them running around with food in their hand, so make it a surprise — when you finally hand them the snack.

2. Clearly lay out your rules for the game

Children in most cases will do just what they’re used to unless instructed otherwise.

Before you head out, have a one-on-one conversation with them.

If you’re visiting a friend, for instance, you want to make it clear to your child that you’re not going to indulge in bad behaviours such as jumping on the couch, opening the refrigerator, walking into people’s bedrooms, and so forth.

This will help them know in advance what’s expected of them, therefore, minimising the chances of them misbehaving.

But this doesn’t mean they won’t do the opposite…

Don’t be surprised if your child grabs the remote control and personalizes it for the period of your stay there.

…Or ask for your friend’s tablet to watch their favourite game.

It happens.

And to be honest, it’s embarrassing.

If they do that, simply pull them out.

Talk to them. Say, you don’t handle big people’s phones. If you do that again, you’re going to go home.

And if they repeat it, simply excuse yourself and leave.

Don’t try to assume the behaviour to later address it at home.

That said…

3. Be sure that in your plan, you factor in a healthy outlet for their energy

Unlike adults, kids get bored so fast and won’t hold their patience.

Make sure that as you enjoy your conversation, their main business (play) is also running, so you both win.

You want to sit where you can easily monitor them to avoid any potential threats or injuries.

4. Avoid scheduling the outing during nap times

Sleep has a special way of curing fatigue both in children and adults.

It helps stabilize our emotions as well as ensure the proper functioning of the body system.

And so any slight interference with it is likely to be met by a full external force; your child throwing tantrums like nothing.

To be safe, allow them their hour or minutes of sleep before leaving, or if you decide to leave anyway, make sure that you have a secure place where they can put down their heads when the moment arrives.

5. Always strive to prioritize outings that match your child’s age

If it’s a play date, ensure it caters to activities that match your child’s developmental needs; should be age-appropriate.

That way, they not only strengthen their independent play skills, but you also won’t have to worry so much about them getting into trouble or coming in contact with hazardous stuff.

A win-win for either side.


It’s not easy to have children behave their best as per your expectations as a parent, but it’s doable.

All you need is patience and consistency to successfully foster good manners in your little ones.

Always have their interest at heart but above all meet their basic needs.