– If taking your child to the supermarket has been more about showing who’s boss and less about getting what’s on your grocery list, check out these toddler tips to ensure a sweat free/stress free trip:
-take a picture- not a real picture but a mental picture of what your child’s behavior looks like. Look at your past supermarket trips. Ask yourself do the tantrums happen “Every time” you go to the supermarket or only occasionally. Tantrums although frustrating are normal and may seem like they happen more often than we think.
-check your watch- there are so many things we have to do in a day. Sometimes, we forget that even toddlers like and need a schedule. So, if you are out and about and a tantrum begins ask yourself “is it nap time?” “Is it time to eat?” Do they need a diaper change or potty stop?”
-be considerate- whether you are 2 or 62 nobody likes to wait and especially if it’s for something you don’t want to do. So, be conscious of the time. Take note on how long it takes before your toddler becomes irritable during outings. If they are able to stay out normally for 20-30minutes without a fuss then plan before hand by bringing a shopping list with you. That will help you stay focus and be more efficient with your time.
-toddler boredom- they get bored too you know. Bring or do activities to keep them distracted so they don’t feel how much time has passed. A great rule of thumb is to bring a toy or an activity that your child loves and does not have too much access to. That ensures they will play with it for a longer time period than they would just “any old toy.”
-little hands make for helping- if your toddler always wants to help include them in the shopping process by giving them their own shopping list. This will keep them busy and boost their pre reading skills.
If all else fails and your attempt to redirect your screaming toddler into the little ray of sunshine you know they can be then try the following:
Shorten your supermarket trip. If you had 5 more things on your list shorten it to 2. Tell your toddler in a calm voice- I see your sad. It’s okay to cry. Mommy has 2 more things to get and then we will go bye bye. (Don’t engage them in a conversation because they are just not ready. Keep your words to a minimum.) Get your items and quickly and calmly leave the store. Then say “see mommy is all done. Now we can leave. ”
Or if you feel that you’ve tried everything and your child’s crying is really too much….then leave the store. Once, embarrassment and frustration hits your face even though you haven’t said anything your child can sense it. That alone can make the tantrum worst. So, just quickly and calmly leave and let them cry it out. I emphasize calmly. You can decide if you want to take them back inside or just end the shopping trip.
The goal is not to have your toddler associate their tantrum with why your leaving the store. Otherwise, they will continue to use tantrums to avoid outings they don’t want to participate in.
How have you handled your toddler’s meltdowns in the past? Feel free to leave a comment. Your email will not be made public or shared with a third party.