Posted in Behavior, Parenting Culture, Toddlers

Every time my toddler throws a tantrum at the store I feel like I’ve failed him as a parent.

I try to calm him down but nothing seems to work. I don’t know how to help him or understand what is wrong. He is three years old so trips to the store can be very rough. Any advice will help

  • Jenn
    Aug 25

    Honestly, ignore him. When he starts to get fussy, tell him that you will talk to him when he is calm and let him throw it. If you give him too much attention, he will keep going. If he sees that his tantrum isn't getting him anything, he will calm down. It also helps him learn to regulate his own emotions, leading to less tantrums

  • Ivy
    Aug 25

    I take my kids out the store. It really sucks, and is super inconvenient, but I try to remember to tell them before we get to the store, what I expect them to behave like. I also do try to have snacks or offer them a free banana/orange. If I see the tantrum about to happen, I ask if they want to keep up the behavior and we could leave the store and take it outside— or they could stop it right now and we can keep having fun shopping. I haven’t had to take them out often, since the first time I did it. So they knew I meant it. And to be honest, I probably remind them over and over during our shopping, but I’d rather remind them to adjust their behavior over and over, than to let it get to the tantrum part and have to take them out.

  • Vicki
    Aug 26

    I try to head off hangry behavior by taking snacks when we’re going to be running more than one errand. When we’re in the car I’ll talk about which store we’re going to and what we are getting. Then he has a chance to ask questions, like ‘can I get a toy there?’ and then we can talk about why that’s not going to happen before we get to the store and he sees a bunch of toys. Also, if he knows what we’re getting he feels like he can help find stuff and check off our list.

  • PK
    Aug 26

    Is he strapped into a stroller/cart? We used to have such a hard time with our son then I let him walk alongside me and that’s all he really wanted. I also have him help out with shopping. He loves to put things in the cart or bags. Some times he does throw his tantrums and I will just pull him to a safe corner and let him have it. If he’s just all around having a hard time, I give him a choice of walking alongside me and helping or sitting in the cart until we go home. When you give them choices, you’re giving them some control over what’s going on and that’s what toddlers some times crave - control and independence. Just make sure you give them choices that you are comfortable with. Also, start identifying the emotions for them. I really thought my son wasn’t listening to me as he was screaming over me asking him if he was mad or sad. I tell him that when he’s mad or sad to say “I’m mad/sad.” But just recently he has been calming down faster and telling me that he is sad or mad. And I tell him that when he’s sad or mad to take deep breaths. We take deep breaths together and it helps both of us. It’s funny to because some times when he sees me get frustrated or upset, he will come up to me and tell me to take deep breaths and take deep breaths with me! I don’t usually go home from the store because the shopping needs to get done. Don’t feel like a failure. Tantrums are normal and part of growing up. Yeah you may get looks from people... but most likely they’re not thinking much of it, or someone is trying to figure out if they can help you but are afraid to overstep, or someone is remembering their time as a parent of a toddler, or someone may just be an asshole and thinking negatively of you/your child. And that’s just it for the last grouping - they’re just assholes who don’t have any right to judge you or your son.

  • Alexis
    Aug 26

    Check out discipline without damage book

  • Vanessa
    Aug 28

    Thank you so much for the advice, my son doesn’t speak much yet and is going to speech/behavior therapy because he will hit his head on things. Communication has been hard and when he throws tantrums I’m just trying to protect his head for the most part. These are all great ideas I’ll try anything. He does like to help so I will try to get him involved with the groceries.