Handling tantrums while out and about

Latoria - posted on 06/12/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )

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Lately whenever me and my 15 month old daughter go out shopping she has been throwing insane tantrums! I will put her shopping cart cover with her toys attached onto the shopping cart when shopping, but she will always want to get out. So when I do let her out, she will run around knocking everything off of the shelves, or ripping clothes off of hangers, etc. So when I go to tell her that it is not nice or it is a no no and she continues to do it, I will attempt to pick her up to carry her since she does not want to sit in the cart all of the time, and as soon as I go to pick her up she throws her whole body on the ground, screaming and kicking. So when I do eventually get her in my arms, she starts swinging on me like a MMA fighter or something! lol She has scratched me, bruised me, and even given me a busted lip before! And of course all of the other shoppers just think that it is soo cute, 'Aww she is soo cute! She just wants to run around and have fun...' And I am just like, Really, oh really?!? lol But I really need to figure out how to handle these tantrums while out, since I really can not put her in time out at the stores... Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do in these situations, or what you have done for you LO that has worked? Any help would be great! Thanks! :-)

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Sarah - posted on 06/25/2011

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If she doesn't pull that at home it is likely that she has realized that you will not put her in time out when you are in public. So, why not do it? I have stood my son (3) in the corner in Subway before. You may get a few dirty looks but there is nothing wrong with disciplining your child. Regardless of where you are.
My sister son used to throw tantrums in public and they got him to stop by showing him how embarrassing it was. One day he threw himself on the floor of the mall and started to kick and scream. When he saw that his dad was now on the floor doing the same thing he stopped and was quite embarrassed. But he never did it again :)

Latoria - posted on 06/14/2011

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Kari, my daughter and I went shopping today and she got such a rush out of helping me 'push' the cart. She was cheesing ear to ear and clapping her hands every couple of minutes, saying 'thank you mommy' when I would let her help me put something into the cart. Haha... super adorable! :-) And luckily today she did me a solid and did not act up...too much, and no hitting today,(YAY!), so that was definitely a plus! :-D

Kari - posted on 06/14/2011

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i have a 16 mo old daughter who loves to be out and about but has recently jus started acting out in stores too, she likes to try to stand up in the cart and get out of the buckle, she screams and throws herself around but i jus keep telling her no thanku ur gunna get big boo boos and ignore the temper tantrum and after a week she gave up... shes great now bc she realizes no matter how much she screamed she wasnt gettin unbuckled and got over it, i do the same thing when she walks, if she doesnt listen i warn her that shes goin back into the cart and then i follow thru reguardless of how much screaming and crying and kicking. she loves toi help push the cart!!

Andrea - posted on 06/12/2011

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I used to take my son completely out of the store. We'd go in, he'd start playing up, one warning in a very firm voice then if the behavior continued I would throw him over my shoulder (less likely to hurt me that way, unless they figure out they can bite) or haul him out holding both hands straight back to the car. We would sit in the car for a few minutes then try again after a firm but calm explanation that any more misbehavior means straight to the car, and straight home. It took a few aborted shopping trips, one of which I was almost finished and had even gotten the frozen stuff in the trolley (I tok I to the service desk, explained and apologized). But he learned that mommy wasn't messing around, and he had better tow the line or else. During that time I resorted to doing those trips by myself allot, so my little Sis would come over and watch him while I got the shopping done.

We also had a resurgence in that behavior when my partner moved in with us (they'd been getting to know each other for months and he had been prepped but he was testing the boundaries) and we used the same approach.

The important thing is to be consistent. If you choose to pop her back in the trolley and keep shopping that's cool, but don't let her get away with something one trip because your tired and can't deal with the tantrum then bust her over it the next trip. Give her clear guidelines and make sure she sticks to them.

Latoria - posted on 06/12/2011

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Thanks for the advice everyone! My daughter never really pulls these stunts at home, with the hitting and all. She is usually always a big girl and will listen to me. So I think that she just likes the attention she gets from everyone while out and about... But I will definitely start putting her right back in the shopping cart, no matter if she does scream, and I will try to not pay attention to her antics, even with everyone staring at me. :-)



I just wish I could bring her Smart Trike into grocery stores, because she absolutely loves that and does not throw these kind of fits when we go to the outlet malls or walking at the park or such with it. But I need the shopping cart at grocery stores for all of the items we purchase.

Tara - posted on 06/12/2011

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Either put her back in the cart and let her throw her fit there or, if that's too much to deal with..with the other people staring (which I can completely understand), either take her out of the store or even just into the bathroom until she calms down. But even after she had calmed down, I would put her back in the cart. You have to make her understand that what she is doing, is not acceptable and that if she continues to throw a fit, there will be consequences (ex. back into the cart whether she is screaming or not). It may be embarrassing at first, but kids usually learn pretty fast.

And when she IS behaving in the store, it's better to make sure that she knows you are happy with her behavior. When she's being good, even just letting her help put items in the cart, could make a big difference because that's what good/big girls get to do (my kids love to help put things into the carts).

Megan - posted on 06/12/2011

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If I try everything, like you did, and she still doesn't listen, I put her back in the cart/stroller and let her scream. It's hard and embarrassing but if she gets thinking that she can get away with stuff just because it's in a public place you'll be doing this until she's old enough to stay at home by herself! It might take a while but eventually she'll get it.

Stifler's - posted on 06/12/2011

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I let Logan get down and walk. If he starts to muck up I put him back in the trolley until he learned that he'd go back in the trolley if he didn't behave.

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