We have all seen parents inside of supermarket stores who appear to have no control over their child’s behavior. A toddler temper tantrum in this public space can be traumatic and embarrassing for everyone within a 50 meter radius. Yourself especially, should you happen to be the parent of said child having a hissy fit! Here are some helpful tips to help avoid your child having a tantrum in the supermarket.
Shopping trips can be quite time consuming and this means children can end up bored all too easily – and we all know that under-stimulated children tend to be those that misbehave the most! Here are some ideas to help you mange your grocery store trips with children more effectively.
Child Having Tantrum In Supermarket? Try these 5 game changers!
Let Your Child Choose 5 Items
Allowing your child to choose five food items for your shopping list ahead of your trip will make them feel more involved in the chore of the supermarket shop. You should explain to your child that sweet treats are not allowed to be included amongst their five items. Rather, your shopping list should comprise five of their favorite foods which are usually included as part of their breakfast, lunch or dinner. Example may include chicken tenders, fish fingers, Ramen noodles and/or cheese triangles.
These are probably food items that you would purchase for your child without their specific request but granting them this “authority” will see them seek control using the methods of shouting, crying or being deviant less often making your shopping trips less traumatic.
Put Your Child in Charge of the Shopping List
Even children that are not yet able to read will enjoy striking items off of the list as you go. Just be sure to clearly point to the item you want crossed off the list or you could end up leaving the store without an essential ingredient or product!
When putting your shopping list together, you should try to do so with the layout of your supermarket in mind for this will see your trip completed more efficiently. This also means that you can let your child become more involved in the shop – they can collect items from one end of an aisle whilst you gather some from the other! If you have “eggs” (aisle 4) and “laundry detergent” (aisle 9) next to each other on the list this will be less possible. Children limited to standing at your side for the whole trip are likely to become uninterested and may play up as a result.
Choose a Quiet Time to Shop
If you happen to know that your local supermarket is busiest on Thursdays and Saturdays then obviously these are not the best days to attempt to complete your weekly shop with your child in tow! Many choose to complete their food shop first thing in the morning or just before closing time when there is likely to be less people around for a quieter environment will see kids behaving more calmly and parents become less stressed as a result.
Presenting young children with responsibility by offering them the opportunity to collect items on your behalf from the other end of an aisle whilst keeping a keen eye on them really is not an easy feat in a packed out store!
Avoid Unnecessary Aisles
Although browsing the shelves whilst shopping can be pleasurable, you really should avoid pushing your trolley down any aisles that are unnecessary, particularly if you are on a very tight budget. Exposing children to the sights within the toy, clothing and seasonal aisles will only encourage “I want…” and “Can I have…?” comments from your child who may have a full blown tantrum should you tell them “No.”
If you must enter these aisles for a specific item, you should explain to your child that they cannot have anything from these aisles before you enter the territory. Do not browse for more than a minute in these aisles either, for this provides an opportunity for children to spot further things to nag you for.
Never Promise Treats for Good Behavior
Promising your child treats in exchange for good behavior ahead of your supermarket trip will often lead to disaster. If a parent promises that their son or daughter can choose some sweets at the end of the shop then this child will spend the whole trip waiting to get to the confectionary aisle and asking “Are you finished yet Mum?” Even worse is the fact that many parents will buy sweets for their child even if they have behaved terribly!
Treats can always be used as a reward for good behavior, but bribery should not be used as an incentive! Obviously, kids are not stupid and so they will eventually make the connection that good behavior can equate Smarties or Candy Corns and so may begin to ask question like “If I am good at Wal-Mart this week, can I have…?” Again, never promise any incentive. The response of “We’ll see…” puts the power back into your own hands instead of the child’s.
These 5 tips should help you avoid your child having a tantrum in the supermarket. Another obvious tip is not to bring an over tired toddler shopping! Do your kids like shopping with you? Do you like shopping with your kids?