Dealing With Whining and Tantrums in Public
A temper tantrum is your child screaming, "If you're not going to be in charge that means I have to be, and I don't know what to do!" I can hear my mother's answer to this question: "You're the parent, not a babysitter." You can win every battle with your child if you truly believe that you're in charge.
Try this: Before you enter the store, let your daughter know there will be no treats today and there won't be treats again until she stops asking. Keep your cool no matter her reaction. Don't give up: The longer you've allowed this to go on, the longer it will take to undo, but the cycle can be broken. When you finally visit the store without incident, offer your daughter a treat. But here's the new twist: Buy her the treat (one small candy), then give her money to select another. The candy that she purchases herself is to be given away. She discovers how much better it feels to give than to receive! You have used experiential training, which is always the most effective method of changing behavior.
Two additional lessons taught and learned: "Good things come to those who wait," and "Whining will get you nowhere with nothing!"