Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dealing With In Store Tantrums

Sidney March 2012

Sometimes my daughter gets really hyper, and it seems like she gets more hyper than most other children I know. Usually it’s a happy hyper where she just wants to run around giggling and singing and acting silly. But she also gets an attitude going now and then that seems impossible to deal with, especially when she doesn't get what she wants. She’ll make faces at me, cross her arms and stomp her foot, run away screaming or laughing - just to get on my nerves. It feels like there is just no reasoning with her at these times. 

  • I've tried bribing her, 
  • rewarding her and praising her when she’s good, 
  • time outs when she won’t listen. 
  • I've tried to make “deals” with her.
  • I've talked to her about how we need to respect each other 
  • because we love one another. 
  • I've yelled, 
  • I've taken her toys away, 
  • didn't let her have dessert. 
  • I've threatened to call Santa (it used to work…).
  • I've sat down calmly and tried talking to her, 
  • but still she is just stubborn. 

When We’re Out At Stores

For example, we like to go thrift shopping a lot with my mom and niece. Particularly at this one store that’s a two minute drive from our house. And most of the time we leave with me carrying her out kicking and screaming because I wouldn't let her get another junk toy. I know it’s only $2 or $3, but why does she need another Barbie horse when she’s already got an entire crate full? Why another stuffed animal when she’s got a basket full? Why any more toys when it’s a month away from Christmas and a month after her birthday? 

I've never spoiled her. I've never let her get away with this, yet she still kicks and screams and stomps her feet and yells “You’re being mean and unfair!” And her screaming is LOUD! It’s like this high pitched squealing sound as if she’s being kidnapped and everyone in the store can hear her and is staring at me. It’s actually really embarrassing! 

But still, I hold strong, keep to my rules and never give in to her tantrums. I’m hoping she’ll outgrow this eventually. For now, I just have to keep trying (key word: try) to hold my temper. 

What I Find Works For Us … Sometimes

The times we’re able to leave the thrift store peacefully are maybe two times out of ten and those are such nice times. I have a few methods that will work every now and then. Typically it begins with talking to her before we go out. I don’t do all of these at once, it’s usually one or the other.

  • I let her know at home that we’re going out to the thrift store and she’s not allowed to get any toys.
  • That if she’s on her best behaviour she can get a book, or a dress.
  • That I might let her get a new toy if she donates an old one she no longer plays with (can you believe it’s hard to even get rid of her toys without a tantrum?).
  • That she can’t get anything today, but possibly next time.
  • I will give her a toonie and tell her that’s all she has to spend, that she can’t get anything that’s more than $1.99 whether she chooses a book, movie, toy, game or dress.
  • That if she acts up we’ll leave straight away and she won’t be allowed to go the next time.

I pretty much always keep my word, too. But like I said, it only works sometimes. Why do I even take her there? Because I love thrift shopping, I love spending time with my mom and niece and because Sidney needs to learn (clearly the hard way) that she can’t have everything she wants when she wants it - even if it’s taking her a long time to learn that.

The weird thing is, she’s always on such good behaviour at any other store, restaurant or other outing. It’s only the thrift store. I want to blame my Grandma and my mom for that… They always let her get something when they go out thrift shopping, but I’ll pretend I didn't just write that (sorry mom).

What can you do? Move on, stay strong and love ’em anyway.

How do you deal with your child’s tantrums? Do you have this problem when out at a specific store?


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