Birthday parties can be overwhelming for adults, let alone toddlers. So, the fact that you see an increase in temper tantrums in chaotic social situations isn’t too surprising. But there are a few ways to foil an imminent fit.
First, feed the beast. Even if you know there will be pizza and cake at the party, take some time before you arrive to give your toddler a healthy snack. You may also be aware of certain signs that a tantrum is coming, in which case, try to distract him with a situation change before it happens and subsequently spirals out of control. If you don’t have any warning and — bam! — there it is, don’t give your child the attention he’s trying to get by throwing the fit in the first place, which will only reinforce the behavior. And, finally, try to encourage your child to tell you, in words, how he’s feeling — be it sad or tired or angry — and always reward him with praise for doing so.