No matter if you are a parent of one or six children or a parent of a child with autism you are very aware of the infamous stares that accompany tantrum behaviors in public. As a parent the shame, embarrassment, and guilt kick in and then suddenly you think “why did I even come here?”
Take a deep breath. Get eye level with your little one and follow these easy steps to prepare you for a smoother outing with your family and friends.
Parents there is hope, and being intentional about setting your child and family up for success is a vital tool for a successful community outing.
Inform your child of the 5 “W’s:” where, why, who, what, and when:
You can conquer the fear of going out in a public setting with your child by preparing to go before you go! This is a strategy that many parents forget so be sure to keep this in your back pocket!
While you are riding in the car, reward your child for simple and appropriate behaviors like staying in his/her car seat, having an inside voice or even keeping their feet from kicking the back of your seat. Keep it simple! Social praise such as “I really like how you____, yeah look at you, or I can’t wait to tell grandma how awesome you did” are all valuable social rewards that can potentially increase appropriate behaviors.
Your Mental Health
Parents, let's not forget you! Staying healthy, getting enough sleep, and taking time to get some fresh air simply are vital in taking care of your children. When your physical, mental, and spiritual self is all functioning at its full capacity, you will have more patience, love, and compassion towards your child/children. Seek help by reaching out to a family member or close friend. Take steps even further by connecting with a counselor to discuss your thoughts and feelings in a safe environment.
Take It One Day at a Time
All children engage in tantrums. It’s not just your child. You're not alone. There are clinical, licensed, and certified professionals that can help you and your family. Grab a journal, do your research, and find your people that will do more than just stare at you.
For more information about the writer Krisshonda Odufuwa M.Ed., BCBA., LBA., SLP-Assistant
is an Autism Expert, Speaker and Writer on topics relating to Neurodiversity
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Monika Brooks, Founder
Mocha Autism Network
Monika Brooks is the founder of Oakland's Mocha Autism Network. The goal of the organization is to connect communities of color with autism information and resources.
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