I used to hate going shopping especially with my children. I’m like a mad woman – shouting, warning and threatening. Sometimes you can pinch but you really can’t do more than that – you know its frowned upon to ‘strangle’ your child in public, right? (because sometimes you really want to (#dontgive me that look jor). They cause so much chaos that I would get looks from passersby – some with judgment and others with a smile saying ‘boys will be boys’ that I could almost sink in embarrassment. It’s even worse when you get to the supermarket, they want to touch everything and they always want chocolates and sweets – those ones neatly lined for their little eyes to see near the payment point (Shoprite very guilty) and the meltdown they get when you refuse to buy for them – Lord have mercy.
Now instead of depriving myself of going out I have developed a new strategy that works. Before we step out of the house, I teach them to obey my voice. Infact, we have an anthem of instruction we recite
– Do not walk away or run off from mummy.
– Do not go far without looking back to see that mummy is behind you.
– Make sure you hold your brother ALL the time.
– At the supermarket DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING
– When mummy says NO, she means NO (if you contest it we will ‘meet’ at home). Do you understand?
– If you disobey (you will still ‘meet’ me at home)
Tips for Mummy
– Make sure your children pee before going out (mummy is not going to run around looking for toilet for you to pee or wondering whether to enter the male toilet or female toilet)
– Always, always carry a ‘bribe’ item for that meltdown moment. It will surely happen if you have a toddler. Carry a new sticker or a coloring book, maybe small chops and keep the children occupied before this crucial meltdown time.
– I see so many parents immediately rush to their crying child trying to give them something or do something to satisfy them. This is reinforcing the behavior that anytime you want something, you just cry. Don’t get it? Cry louder and harder. If this is you, please stop. Don’t allow your child to have that control. What are parents afraid of? Embarrassment? Other parents understand, you don’t have to worry about that.
Most importantly, teach your child that he/she is not the center of the world, and they don’t get everything they want, when they want, just by crying. This has made going out with them a lot more bearable and I hope it continues otherwise, they will ‘meet’ me at home.
How do you cope with tantrum/meltdown when you go out with your children..