Ever had a child meltdown in the middle of the store because they wanted something and you said no? Ever witnessed children screaming in the store and wondered what kind of parents they had? As a parent, what can you do about this? What are your choices?
- Give in.
Pros: Your child stops making a scene.
Cons: The child learns that this behavior gets him what he wants. He will continue to use this strategy in the future. You create a monster.
- Let your child scream.
Cons: This makes a huge scene. Other people look at you wishing you would quiet your screaming child. Some feel your pain because it has happened to them. Others look at you in disdain and assume you’re a horrible parent because you can’t control your child.
Pros: Your child learns screaming does not get what he wants. He should eventually stop trying screaming as a strategy.
- Take your child out of the store.
Pros: This can make a scene but much less of one than allowing her to scream in the store. She learns screaming will not get her what she wants. The behavior should eventually stop in the future.
Cons: You have to stop your shopping and leave everything. Someone else has to put away your things. You have to brave another trip to the store.
- Don’t take your child shopping.
Pros: You won’t have a child scream and throw a fit. You will probably get your shopping done faster.
Cons: You will have less time to spend with your child (because you are shopping without them). You will have to leave your child with someone else. (This might not be a viable option.)
- Incorporate your child into the shopping experience.
This solution is meant to prevent the meltdowns, tantrums, and screamfests altogether. Here are some ideas:
-Allow your child to add things to your shopping list. (Let her plan Tuesday’s dinner and add items needed to your list.)
-Allow your child to keep track of the shopping list.
–What to buy next? Where do we find the milk?
–Let your child cross things off of the list.
-Allow your child to put things into the cart. (My son loves helping with this.)
-Read signs and label titles to your child or ask him to read to you.
What choices do you make? What ideas do you have?
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