My son screams in every shop i go in. I dont know what to do anymore.

Rebekah - posted on 01/04/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )




My little boy is 3 years old, i cant take him in any shop without him screaming from the minute i walk through the door to the minute i leave. We've both had a tough year as my mum passed away and we all lived together, my mum helped to look after him while i was at work and college, he just seems to never so anything i ask him or if we do anything like go shopping etc its contant screaming, he hits me, runs away. Im really struggling and dont know what else to try, iv tried counting to 5, taking a toy away, putting him in his room, nothing seems to work, iv even tried offering a treat if he's good, he says that he's going to be good and hold my hand but the minute i walk through the door igt starts, he throws himself on the floor with reigns and climbs out the pushchair. I feel like im fighting a loosing battle and dont know who else to turn to, its ending in both of us being in tears everytime. Its easy for people around me to turn around and say that they would make him, i do make him but its so stressful and iv even started to have panic attacks at the thought of it. Im only 21 and have no other family, it was just me and my mum so dealing with all that is hard enough without my son acting like this. Please someone give me some advice.


Ariana - posted on 01/04/2013




The problem with some of the things you've tried is that they happen when he gets home, like putting him in his room etc, at his age a lot of things still have to happen immediately.

I would say next time you go to the store bring his stroller with him, if he refuses to walk nicely with you put him in his stroller, do your shopping whether he's yelling or not.

If you either don't have a stroller, or he knows how to somehow get out of it, I would find out where the washroom is (try to go somewhere you know has bathrooms) and bring him to the washroom. Tell him, we'll leave the bathroom when you're ready to act nicely.

Then ignore him. He might yell and try to leave, if he's able to open the door sit against the door or somehow keep it closed but ignore him the whole time until he seems to be calming down. Then you say, are you ready to go out now? Once he says he's ready (he may yell NO at you a few times) take him out. If he kicks off again go back to the bathroom.

The reason you should do this is because it gives him the chance to calm down, and he'll have to realize that he can't just kick and scream all he wants the entire time you're there, if he kicks off you get brought to the bathroom and have to stay even longer. It also takes you away from other people so you won't feel totally embarrased :).

Try to make the trip a short one, buy only a few items that way he'll hopefully only have to be brought to the bathroom once. If you've managed to keep him calm (even just for a little bit) praise him on how calm he was and how you love when he acts nicely in the store. Try to keep the trips you do very short for a couple weeks so that he has a better chance of making it through the shop without yelling. Once he does go to a shop without yelling praise him immensely.

You should also try the 'indirect' praise which means talking to someone on the phone (or even pretending to), pretending like your telling a secret and go wow you should have seen (insert his name) at the store today he was so well behaved! He was so helpful and quiet the whole time, I've never seen a kid act so nice before!

It sounds silly but it actually works.

And don't feel bad, every kid throws tantrums in stores, but some are more strong-willed than others. My son used to throw a tantrum every time we went to a restaurant and I did what I'm telling you (brought him to the bathroom), and I've done it in public places, and now he's a lot better (not perfect but a lot better). Try to remain calm and be consistant, definitely praise him when he does go shopping nicely.

Another thing I do is I give my son a few books to look at if he's in a cart, usually from the store. You could give him some books or bring him a special toy he's only allowed to play with while he's shopping as a distraction.

I hope some of this helps and good luck!

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