Have you ever had your child pitch a fit in the store? Feel like you are getting a billion stares and people are whispering, “look at that mom who’s letting their child cry”. Is it embarrassing?…yes, however, other parents understand. Just breathe when your child is throwing a fit in the store. Every parent has been there before. Hold your ground. After a time or two, your child will get the hint that no means no. The best way to deal with negative behavior when you are in public is to be proactive. Set rules in the car while driving to the store. Reiterate the rules before getting out of the car. The rules I set for my children are:
- No crying in the store (my children are little) or you can say Tears stay by the door not in the store
- Look with your eyes not your hands
- You must hold onto the shopping at all times
- We will be going for _______ and nothing more.
If your child breaks a rule, set consequences that are reasonable for your child’s age and FOLLOW THROUGH! Talk about the positive behavior while you shop and as soon as you get in the car. This will reinforce wanted behaviors. One last tip, give your child(ren) jobs. Have your child help put fruit in bags, pick out the box of cookies. Giving your kids jobs keeps them entertained and gives them a sense of accomplishment since they helped you at the store. So in summary, be proactive, set the rules, reinforce positive behavior, and give your kids jobs. Not every trip will go perfectly, but I assure you many shopping trips will be less stressful on the whole family. Good luck, but have fun shopping!