Nobody wants to end up in a smack down with their kids in the middle of the grocery store. If you are looking for a way to avoid this, read on for tips on how to handle misbehaving children in public places.
The grocery store scenario puts parents in a bad situation because the behavior does not warrant a reaction that is appropriate for the area. Many parents in this situation find themselves wondering what reaction is acceptable. You cannot have an extended conversation about why the behavior is not appropriate while walking through the grocery store, but you also cannot just let the child run rampant.
Mindfulness and meditation to your rescue
When facing difficult situations like this one, it is important that you practice mindfulness and maybe even meditation. This will help you keep your mind under control while your child’s behavior is trying to drive you crazy.
Being empathetic is another helpful tip
It is much easier and more effective to deal with your child’s behavior once you have figured out what makes them act out. Maybe your child is just bored, in which case you can find something to occupy them while you shop. Maybe they are seeking your attention. They could be hungry, thirsty, or even just tired. Once you have figured out the underlying reason your child is acting out, you will most likely know how to solve the problem and also the degree to which they should actually be punished.
The easiest way to stop a child’s tantrum in the middle of the grocery store is to bribe them. The problem with this is that the bribe is your way of condoning their behavior. If they get ice cream every time they throw a tantrum then calm down for ten more minutes while you hurry out of the store, your children will believe this will happen every time you throw a tantrum. Instead of threatening or bribing your children, try empathizing, rationalizing, then not being bossy. This is often referred to as the ERN method. If you request cooperation from your children by using this method, you will find better success in both the short and long term.
Make your child empathize with you
If this does not work, you can try having your child empathize with you. You can kneel down and ask them how they think they are making you and the people around you feel by misbehaving. You may be able to guilt them into behaving this way.
Preparing them beforehand
Another helpful method is preparing your child beforehand by asking them if they can handle the responsibility of behaving during the shopping trip. If they tell you they will be still and quiet, you can remind them of what they promised they could do when they start to misbehave.
If worse comes to worst, you can always make a deal with a family member so that your child will always be cared for when you need to shop. Maybe you and your SO can alternate babysitting and grocery shopping each week.
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