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.

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Toddlers with Eczema: 9 Ways I Taught Myself to Take Care of My Daughter’s Rashes

Toddlers with Eczema: 9 Ways I Taught Myself to Take Care of My Daughter's Rashes | mrsmommymack.comAlmost exactly a year ago, we FINALLY figured out what was going on with my daughter’s skin. Since birth she had crunchy skin. It started as cradle cap and blossomed across her body. Specifically, she gets very red, cracked ankles and knees. I spent months carting her from pediatrician to pediatrician who were very eager to dole out steroids without giving me a REASON for her painful skin. She kept herself up at night scratching, dug in her poopy diapers to itch her butt and I was not going to let my peach keep hurting. I needed answers.

She was finally diagnosed with eczema after breaking out in hives from eating eggs. The doctors finally put two and two together and realized that her skin rashes were from allergies (eggs, peanuts, dogs, cats, soy, dairy and dust to name a few). This is after me questioning them on allergies and our pets since she was born, to which they all poo-pooed me saying that her having allergies is very uncommon. Needless to say, once I left with her laundry list of allergies I was fuming. Why doesn’t anyone listen to moms?!

With this new diagnosis, I had no way how to deal with it. I needed guidance. What can she eat? Will it go away? Does she need an epi-pen? All of which were answered with, “We don’t know. It’s all trial and error and you’d be better off researching this online and finding out what she can and cannot have.”

WHAT?!

So, after a year of raising a toddler (two in November) with non-stop eczema, I figured I would give some pointers out there for parents who are as dumbfounded as I once was.

1. Facebook groups are great. There are TONS of groups out there for parents of kids with allergies and you will need a support system. Get following them ASAP and don’t be afraid to ask ANY questions you might have. We have all been there. A few I recommend are: Kids with Food Allergies Foundation, Allergies (egg/milk) Parent Support Group, and National Eczema Association.

2. Get an epi pen. While eczema isn’t always caused by allergies, if you’re concerned, get at least a few. Keep them at your home, train all grandparents and caregivers on using them, get spares, and keep on top of expiration dates. Note: When you pick them up at the pharmacy, check the expiration date ASAP. I have gotten burned on getting ones that expire in a couple weeks.

3. NO SOAP. My heart broke into a thousand pieces after getting home from the allergist and realizing I had been rubbing milk-based soaps into my daughter’s open sores. We don’t use soap unless it’s critical (spaghetti night). Then, it has to be unscented and very small amounts. No bubble baths or scented lotions!

4. Oatmeal baths. This was a huge win for us. Aveeno makes a oatmeal bath for eczema, but for $10 a package, we really couldn’t afford to do this each night. So, my amazing mother-in-law ground up oatmeal and packaged them in pantyhose for individual servings and MUCH less expensive!

5. Cortisone cream. I spent months fighting this battle. I have a closet full of creams, lotions, ointments and salves. The only cream that even remotely soothed her was cortisone cream. I don’t like using this regularly, but after her baths and before bed she gets lathered to avoid scratching until she bleeds. EDIT: Thank you to reader Tikeetha T who said this tip might not be a good avenue for African American children since she experienced lightening of her son’s skin when treating his eczema.

6. Swimming pools! Well, this is my most favorite treatment for my girl. Chlorine cleans and soothes eczema like a dream! Slap on that bikini and have her swim until she’s a prune. Makes things clear up wonderfully.

7. Keep antihistamines everywhere. I’m talking: diaper bag, car, grandma’s, campers, daycare… every where you take your child you’ll need some. It never fails you’ll forget it and need an emergency drugstore run. Our favorites are Zyrtec (if she’s badly broken out, she gets some in her sippy cup at bedtime to help her not scratch in her sleep) and Children’s Benadryl.

8. Teach your other children and family the triggers. My three-year-old son has no allergies or eczema. But, he understands that he canNOT give his sister his cow’s milk, cheese or eggs. He is very cautious with giving her food because he knows she can get sick and sees her sore legs. Family members are much to eager to dole out baked goods to my daughter and have been reprimanded enough times to know that permission needs to be granted before she can have ANYTHING.

9. Be prepared. This is one I am going to reiterate. Having a child with eczema or allergies can make you want to batten down the hatches and not move from your home in fear of a breakout. That’s no way to live your life. Just prepare yourself for breakouts. Know what soothes your child the best and quickest and learn the early signs of a breakout. This helps avoid the overwhelming parental guilt that comes with those itchy little fingers.