STAFF at a Bournemouth shopping centre have been given 'tantrum training' to ward off bad behaviour from their youngest customers.

Psychotherapist and Changing Moods author Julie Squire gave a workshop to the team at the Sovereign Centre in Boscombe after a poll revealed almost half of parents - some 43 per cent - would avoid going shopping with their children.

As part of the course, staff are taught to spot warning signs that might lead to a tantrum. Security guards will also look out for good behaviour that will be rewarded with a high five or a sticker.

Julie said: "I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to share my tips for training tantrums with staff at the Sovereign Shopping Centre.

"Tantrum training is a great technique for learning how to change moods and calm a child who is experiencing a tantrum.”

The initiative will be rolled out at all 33 NewRiver shopping centres in the UK and is a key element of the company's Kids' Club.

Parents, grandparents and guardians who sign up to the scheme will have access to free events and activities in the centres, including treasure trails, as well as discounts at its retailers.

Donna Callander, spokesperson for NewRiver, said: “We’ve developed the kids' club to improve the retail experience for our family shoppers by helping to keep kids entertained in our shopping centres and incentivise good behaviour.

"Free events, play areas that can be used as a breakout and treasure trails that encourage them to explore the centre, will allow parents to get on with their shopping.

“Our centre teams also have a key role to play in this.

"As well as being trained to oversee the safety of our centres and their customers, they will now be in a position to help create a welcoming and enjoyable environment for both parents and children.”