By Joanna Mazewski

If there is one thing that every parent tries to avoid (and especially in public), it’s an embarrassing, over-the-top and very dramatic public meltdown. And no, we are not talking about their reaction to a co-worker’s promotion in the workplace. Instead, we are talking about the temper tantrums that many little toddlers have in places that are most likely to have the biggest audiences: a packed post office, your neighborhood Trader Joe’s or at a screening for the latest Mary Poppins movie. Luckily, there are several different ways that you can calm your child before the you-know-what hits the fan.

According to Science Dailythe best way to calm an emotional or energetic child is to simply take them outside and connect them with nature. That’s right: being outdoors can help distress a child along with his or her hyperactivity and behavioral problems.

A study by a team of researchers at the University of Hong Kong measured the “connectedness to nature” in a 16-item parent questionnaire. The results were compiled by Dr. Tanja Sobko and her collaborator Professor Gavin Brown, Director of the Quantitative Data Analysis and Research Unit at the University of Auckland.

The research found that spending more time outdoors had huge benefits for kids and their pro-social behaviors. Dr. Sobko and her team found that spending time in nature may bring many health benefits, and many environmental programs around the world are trying to decrease ‘nature-deficit’ and ‘child-nature disconnectedness’ in order to improve children’s health.

“We noticed a tendency where parents are avoiding nature. They perceive it as dirty and dangerous, and their children unfortunately pick up these attitudes. In addition, the green areas are often unwelcoming with signs like “Keep off the grass,” said Dr Sobko from the School of Biological Sciences of the University of Hong Kong said.

In other words, don’t be afraid to allow your child to get down and dirty in the dirty, especially if it makes them happy. With that said, there are also several different ways that you can help calm a child before he or she erupts in a fit of uncontrollable tears, anger and frustration.

The first thing that you can do is help him work out what he’s feeling. After your child has calmed down from a tantrum, gently talk him through it. That, or you can team your child to empathize or simply operate a zero-tolerance policy. Remember, that if you let it slide once, there’s a strong possibility that it will happen again.

Originally published on

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