How to handle a big-kid meltdown in public

Learn about: How to handle a big-kid meltdown in public from Laura Markham, PhD,...
How to handle a big-kid meltdown in public | Kids in the House
KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

How to handle a big-kid meltdown in public

Now that your child is in Elementary School, most of the time please pretty even killed. But sometimes, you'll find even in Elementary School they can have a hard day. So let's say, you take your daughter out to the mall and you have a disagreement about what clothes are appropriate for her hat. And she starts to get irritated and worked up and the next thing you know, you can see that she is going to have a meltdown right here and her version of a tantrum. Now as if you were a toddler, so what do you do? You empathize. You say to your daughter, so you really want this top. This is what you want, you really don't want the one's that I picked out. You are pretty upset about the idea that you might have those, "Honey, I am never going to force you to wear what I want you to wear but we have to both agree here. So tell me, what it is that you want about this one"? And explore it with her, see it from her point of view. It doesn't mean you give in, it means you empathize with what she wants. You might find out that that what's all the cool kids are wearing, she is afraid of being different. You can still set a limit and say " you know, I just don't think it is appropriate for someone who's 10 years old to wear top like to school. I am sorry, let's find something we can both agree on". But once she feels hurt, she is much less likely to actually to have a meltdown.

Learn about: How to handle a big-kid meltdown in public from Laura Markham, PhD,...


Expert Bio

More from Expert

Laura Markham, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Laura Markham is the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. She earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University and has worked as a parenting coach with countless parents across the English-speaking world, both in person and via phone. You can find Dr. Laura online at, the website of Aha! Moments for parents of kids from birth through the teen years, where you can sign up for her free daily inspiration email.  Dr. Laura lives in New York with her husband and her kids, who are now 17 and 21.

More Parenting Videos from Laura Markham, PhD >
Enter your email to
download & subscribe
to our newsletter