Five Easy Ways to Avoid Toddler Tantrums While Shopping

Five Easy Ways to Avoid Toddler Tantrums While Shopping | mrsmommymack.com

Let me start this blog by saying, my kids make me want to drink at 8 am at least 8 times a week. They are by no means runners-up to be named saints in the next century or two. However, I did notice that somehow, I accidentally got something right when raising them. There is a time of day that I want to scream less often and that’s when we go shopping.

I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately and initially chalked their good behavior up to being little, but my son is three and I see kids half his age purple-faced and flopping in checkouts almost daily. So, I thought I would come up with some tips for those sweaty moms with the pleading eyes that are throwing bags of chocolate at their children in hopes to make it out of the store before leaving their child with the cashier.

1. Distraction is my best friend. While I don’t let the kids bring toys in and absolutely DO NOT give them a toy off the shelf to amuse them while I walk, I take this time to talk with them. They have a million questions and almost 75% of them is, “Mom, can I have that?!” Even though my kids have only had a handful of meltdowns while shopping in the past three years, it still makes me flinch like a beat dog every time. But, I always answer that the same way, “No, oh my goodness did you see this!?” Then I quickly point my finger and something or someone to get them very excited about the next thing and forget about the box of tampons they wanted five minutes ago.

2. We don’t promise rewards. We don’t do the, “If you can make it through the store without crying until you puke I will buy you a king’s ransom!” Don’t get me wrong, I have done it, but by giving them the option of public humiliation you are already setting the stage that this is a possibility. Good behavior is the expectation. You can’t walk into the store expecting shit to hit the fan. You got this. Deep breaths.

3. They get a reward if they don’t ask for it. If we can make it from walking through those automatic doors all the way back to the checkout without tears/begging/slapping of siblings, I will grab a treat for them. If they ask for it, the answer will be “No.” This gives you the control and they are rewarded for NOT asking for something.

4. We explain cost. One of the many conversations we have while shopping is about the cost of items. This comes in handy when things are asked for that are extravagant. We explain that this item costs money and when Daddy is gone all day that is what he is earning. In order for us to be able to get that toy/treat he would have to be gone a looong time. We don’t want that, do we? Make sure you only use this one when kids are well rested. Otherwise, Daddy might not like the answer to that question.

5. This is fun! Shopping for our family is a family outing. We really enjoy doing this together and get some quality time without electronics or television. We work together to pick out meals and it’s the time of week we look forward to. If going to the store is seen as hell fire and damnation, kids will act like Satan’s minions. Remember, deep breaths. You got this.

Advertisements

Step One: The Purge


When you get married and have a couple offspring, it is literally awe-inspiring the amount of “things” you accrue. Jerky makers, waffle irons, bassinets, hideous crystal items, plastic fruit, an over-abundance of hemorrhoid items (due to a crippling fear during both pregnancies) and enough bobby pins to replicate the Eiffel Tower and near perfect ratios.

So, now that it’s time to move 31 hours away it’s time to purge all things crappy that take up a hideous amount of your space. No, I will never make jerky. No, I don’t think crystal will make a comeback. It all had to go.

Once we made up our minds to move West, we started selling everything. Furniture, beds, tables, EVERYTHING. Facebook friends snapped up most and curb pickers got a good lot of filth but we still had a LOT. It was time for a rummage sale.

Well, once we managed to dump the majority of our possessions in the front lawns, I sat and waited for buyers. During a lull, my husband decided to drive 45 minutes away to run an errand, leaving me to wheel and deal.

About 20 minutes into his vacancy, I was moving a chair to the edge of the driveway and tripped on the edge of the asphalt, fell and heard all the tendons of my left ankle snap and crack.

Great.

As I writhed in a pile of moist leaves, screaming and moaning like a Life Alert commercial, I realized I didn’t have my phone.

Better.

After about five minutes of blinding pain and a string of swear words so dirty they make me cringe recalling them, I managed to crawl through (literal) broken glass to my phone. As my husband rushed home, I couldn’t move. I sat in a chair with thousands of leaves, worms and sod all over my body while people shopped my sale and I pretended not to feel like I might need an amputation.

Finally, after two walkerbys tried to take advantage of my whole scene and I almost gave them everything for free to force them away from me, my husband returned.

I drove myself to the hospital. My legs were No-Shave-November-hairy. Found out my ankle was sprained. Received a giant black boot, crutches and Vicodin and wheeled to the curb. Realized when I got him that the ass of my pants ripped when I fell.

Now, I get to pack a five bedroom house with crutches, a ten pound boot and a deep pain-killer haze.

Why wouldn’t this happen to me?