How can I tame a restaurant tantrum?


While it is never fun to be the parent of a screaming child in a restaurant, take comfort in the fact that tantrums are a normal part of development and are just an expression of your child’s frustration. When your child begins to get upset, try to distract and redirect his/her attention. If that doesn’t work, calmly pick up your child and take him/her to the restroom or outside. Sometimes a simply change of scenery is enough to tame a tantrum. Because your child’s threshold for frustration is likely to be lower if he/she is tired, it is important to make sure that your child is well-rested before heading to a restaurant. It is also a good idea to bring some toys and books to keep your child entertained while you are waiting for your food to arrive. 

Jennie Ito, Ph.D.

Child Development Expert

Jennie Ito is a mother of two and a child development consultant who specializes in children’s play and toys. Before becoming a consultant for LeapFrog, she was an intern at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and later worked as a content expert for the Association of Children’s Museum’s “Playing for Keeps” Play Initiative. Jennie earned her doctorate degree in developmental psychology at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.