Oh gosh, I remember the first (and only, thank God!) time my child had a tantrum in a big store. Not pleasant!

You can’t just leave him there as you would at home, fighting it off on his own until he gives up. You can’t grab and drag, because you don’t want to be that parent. You can’t reason with him, because by that time he’s already out of his mind. So what do you do?

When my son had a public tantrum, I picked him up and gave him some love. He whacked me! I plunked him down in that cart, looked him right in the eye until he made eye contact with me, and said very firmly and evenly: “That is Not OK. I do Not like this. I think you are an awesome person and I think you can show me how awesome you are by listening to me right now.” He was 2. The terrible twos; others had warned me, but I didn’t see it coming!

Moving him out of his tantrum space, plus the coolness of my voice and the eye contact worked. I immediately changed his mind to something else. Change the space, change the vibe and change the energy -- fast! Deal with your own emotions later.

Most kids have attention deficit to some degree or another, which is a good thing. It’s their way of handling issues. Mentally, they cannot stand to hold a grudge long. They can’t focus on the same thing for more than a few minutes, unless there’s a chemical imbalance and then it becomes a physical reaction rather than a mental one.

My mom used to put us under cold showers. Shock the system to snap us out of it. Usually that only aggravated things. Other people try slapping. That’s just another aggravation that adds to the problem. Change the focus, change the moment, change the options -- and the kid will redirect.

One great way to redirect is to place the child in the company of another. Kids love to see what other kids do. Go to the book or clothing section with your child in tow and allow him/her to observe other children in action.

Tantrums are usually the result of a child being hungry, thirsty or tired. It is totally wrong to presume kids are acting out of meanness. Intellectual reactions result from educated guesses, which means those kids have been shown bad behavior by others and their natural mimicking instincts are at play. If you yell at home, your kid is likely to yell at you later. Work on yourself before you try to change others around you. The kinder and gentler you are, the kinder and gentler your child will become toward you.

I often hear adults say that kids test you. I don’t think kids test on purpose. They don’t think, “Let me test my mom or dad and see what happens,” until they are in their early teens – and I’d have to get back to you on that one because my eldest is only 8! But regardless, you should know that whatever perspective you have toward anyone, whether it be your child or anyone else, you’ll get it mirrored back. You think he’s testy, then that’s what you’ll experience. You think he’s lying. Then that’s what you’ll experience, whether it’s the truth or your perception of it. For example, I saw an adult have a melt-down because she thought her 4-year-old was lying to her. It was unbelievable! The woman threw her own tantrum, yelling at the kid that he had lied about throwing books on the floor. To the child, he didn’t “throw” them, he simply pushed them. Meanness and hurtful perspectives are only so because we allow them to be. It is often a misunderstanding as to how another person processes and reacts to information. Think the best of your child and he or she will grow up to make you proud. Always elevate the spirit. Never break it down. And if it gets out of hand, redirect and allow for happiness to flow back into both of your lives again.

Author's Bio: 

As an ordained minister, psychic medium, certified hypnotherapist and Reiki Master, Astrid Stromberg is an expert on the human condition. People often ask her for advice on finances, family, work, and health, as well as spiritual, paranormal and metaphysical topics. Astrid is the host of the Brilliant Essence Radio Show and is a contributing author to the book “Living Our Soul Map: Unleashing the Warrior Goddess Within.” Astrid has helped hundreds of people to reflect their own Brilliant Essence by uncovering fundamental truths and spiritual connections in their lives. For more information, visit www.BrilliantEssence.com or listen to the Brilliant Essence radio show on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/brilliant-essence-radio-show/id302021548.