How do you set behavioral expectations before an outing?
Whether it’s a trip to the zoo or a family outing to the beach or mall, there’s nothing more enjoyable than quality family time … and nothing quite as terrible as a public tantrum. While an outburst or temper tantrum is normal for young children, here are tips to set expectations and ensure outings are enjoyable for the whole family
- Set age-appropriate expectations. Your toddler has a lot of energy and excitement, so asking her to be quiet for a long period of time isn’t realistic.
- For a young child who doesn’t fully understand the concept of time, using small praises and rewards throughout the trip act as a good incentive to stay happy and avoid a tantrum.
- If your child is older, you can probably ask him to wait quietly and flip through a book. Trust your instincts. As a parent, you know what are reasonable expectations.
- Clearly communicate expectations and plan for your outing
- Bring snacks – hunger can lead to grumpiness and meltdowns.
- Redirect children when you sense a breakdown coming on . Have a bag of tricks on hand like coloring books, snacks and small toys. Sometimes, a small change can shift your child’s focus and have a positive impact.
- Finally, change your plans if needed. Some days will be better than others, and a reward, praise, or anything else you try may not work. Be prepared to go with another plan if needed. You can always try again tomorrow.