It seems like wherever we go we have to wait whether it be at a restaurant, supermarket, toy store, circle time, on the subway, in the car, during a commercial, or anything else for the matter! Your worst nightmare comes true when your child decides this waiting is unbearable and throws a tantrum. To avoid this, there are many things you can do!
Your toddler may be young, but we advise parents to talk about what to expect because they understand more than we know. For example, if it is holiday time and plan to see Santa the lines could very well be LONG. To avoid any meltdowns explain to them beforehand that seeing Santa, might mean waiting behind other children in a long line. While on line we can look at the decoration, at a book, etc. and before you know it you’ll be on Santa’s lap. This is great for redirecting any negative behavior. If it is a very long line we recommend even bringing a sensory toy. For instance, we made holiday ones by saving water bottles, filling them up with water, and putting red, green, and gold glitter in them.
There are other techniques you can use by repeating “nice waiting” while showing them a picture or word of WAIT so they know they have to be patient. Some families even like to make a visual schedule or show photos so their children can understand what the waiting entails. Waiting is a great skill and patience is a virtue like they say!