Anyone have advice on how to get through the grocery store without your 3 year old having a melt dow

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Barbara - posted on 10/01/2009

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I love going to our local market they have pint size carts for little guys(perfect size for a 3yr old). I used to allow my daughter to get her own cart and pick out the fruit and veggies and snacks for the week. She loved it. If they don't have child size carts let him or her use a hand basket. when it gets to heavy then just empty it into your cart to make room for more goodies to carry.
My daughter loved this in fact she will be 10 in Feb. and still loves to use the small cart...
Also playing I spy was good time deterrent too. You could also make a list of objects the he or she could find while shopping (like a scavenger hunt). Simple things like a guy wearing a hat, apples,an elder lady, a baby in a cart, milk, a store worker, etc my daughter loved that too.make sure you have a pencil so he or she can cross it off the list.Good luck!

Audrey - posted on 10/01/2009

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My kid likes to play with my keys and the buckle for the seat in the stroller. Find the small things to entertain rather then bribe cause bribes will wear off, how far are you willing to go to bribe your child? They get smart to it eventually. Good luck

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Brittany - posted on 10/08/2009

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I bring a little plastic tri-cycle for him to ride all around the store. He stays in his own little world making car noises and very rarely asks for anything. Just drives around. You just have to be careful and teach him not to run into people. Everyone thinks it's very cute and I get lots of compliments and looks from approving mothers who wish they would have thought of it. Hope that helps! Good luck

Jaemi - posted on 10/08/2009

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I have left full carts of food at stores many times. I won't let them throw a fit. I let them know we are leaving if they continue and make sure there is something they like in that cart as I leave it sitting there. The fit grows in the car, but they learn. It only took my daughter twice to understand that mommy doesn't need that food right that second... and she doesn't get that pudding, crackers, cookie, or what ever anymore. Also I found that I could only do one to two stores in one day. My kids got tired easily and didn't want to be out long. So I only went grocery shopping when I knew it was a good time for them (not close to nap or meals) and then home. It was much easier that way.

Amy - posted on 10/07/2009

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Get them involved in the shopping...that's what I do w/ my 4yr old and 3yr old. It might take you longer but have them help you...they love it...make it a big deal and let them know how big they are for being able to help.

Judi - posted on 10/07/2009

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Or do as my girl did, leave the screaming child in aisle 3 and look horrified when people ask isn't that your little boy?, get teh shopping done and then pick him off the floor after it's done.

Lidia - posted on 10/07/2009

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Before we go to the store, we work on the list together. He pastes the items I have cut from flyers onto a page and this becomes "his list". Mommy has her own list. So, before we go, he was involved in the prep, and did a little craft while he was at it! (if there is glue involved, it's a craft to my 3-year-old). Then, while there, we look for the items and I wait until he spots one and praise him and he gets to put it into the cart.



I have since found a product that makes the above activity much easier- it has reusable food pictures that get put into the list, and then moved to the "shopping cart" in the folder. He loves it.



I say, keep your kid involved, and make sure he knows that you need his help. Kids misbehave when they want attention, are bored, hungry, tired, ect. Try to avoid these triggers with snacks and lots of attention, and things should go smoothly!

Judi - posted on 10/07/2009

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Online shopping, take hubby with you once and he'll change his mind about the delivery fee.;)

Keeley - posted on 10/07/2009

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first of all, sit her in the trolley which is safest so she cant run off.... then get her involved in picking out fruit and veg and whatever... it helped my son to eat his veg too and he picks out what he wants, he's the only four year old I know that asks for brussel sprouts lol xx

Jennifer - posted on 10/07/2009

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I always use the car or rocket carts that some grocery stores have. They feel important driving the cart. I usually tell my girls if they are good they can pick out one small item that always helps. Good Luck!

Tanya - posted on 10/07/2009

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tell them you expect them to behave in the store and while you are shopping give them something to do... You have the list, ask them to put the groceries in the cart that they can (not a good idea for eggs and such..) Ask them to help put item on the checkout.. If they are very well behaved doing this then reward them with something (my favorite is the little box of goldfish crakers at the checkout - but it can be a dessert from the bakery or Ice cream from in the store) Make sure you tell them you are proud of them for being so good and helpful in the store and the reason they got "goldfish, ice cream, dessert" is for being very good in the store... If I don't give my children something to do like this in the grocery store they go crazy... Good Luck

[deleted account]

don't give in !!!!!!!!!!!!

timming!! is your timming right is your three year old hungry when you go ? or tired?

infact i have the solution online shopping its great

Tera - posted on 10/07/2009

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Yes, shop at Fred Meyer's. They have a kids room where they let kids color, watch movies, play with building blocks, etc... for 1 hour while you shop. Helps a lot on the bill when you don't have them constantly asking for treats.

One other pointer, you can use the bakery as a prize - If you are really good while mommy shops, we'll get you a cookie from the bakery (usually free) before we go to the check out.

Riham - posted on 10/07/2009

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i used to leave my son with his grandma or keep him sleeping beside his father ,,i tried snake,drink ,toys and songs but it is not working with my son :s

Niki - posted on 10/06/2009

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Your best bet is... dont take your 3 year old to the store at all. Neithor of you will have a melt down! If you cant get a sitter, bring or buy snacks to keep your little one occupied. Usually that will work. Good luck!

Elizabeth - posted on 10/06/2009

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What works for me is yea i let then have a snack and a toy. But they see me getting food and putting it the cart. So i let them choose their own snack fom the snack aisle. Makes them feel like there getting something too. and I also let them feel like they r helping me out by asking them to help put thing in the cart. They just want ur attention.

Leslie - posted on 10/06/2009

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i always took snacks for them. if they asked for something i put it in the buggy and told them if they were good, they can have it. I have bought things and thrown them in the trash outside the store because they threw a fit. I have also stopped shopping and left. they knew they were in trouble then. If they see you are serious and somethings not acceptable they tend to do as asked. If you give in then they know having fits work and they can get their way. My husband made my daughter go sit in the car when we went out to eat because she threw a fit. She had to watch her brother get ice cream and have fun and she didnt get to eat until we got home. of course he sat with her and had to heat up his food when we got home.

Shanna - posted on 10/06/2009

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I use to have this problem a lot with my daughter when she was that age. She hated going shopping because it was so boring, she would throw a fit and we would leave for a while. This just reinforced her behavior because she was getting what she wanted.

Eventually I just had to let her have a total meltdown right there in the middle of the store. Sure it was embarrassing as all heck, but she got the point. Especially because at that time she really wanted to be considered a "big girl". So we had to tell her that when she did that everyone who saw her wasn't seeing her as a "big girl" but a "baby"...that snapped her out of it really quickly. After that we didn't have anymore problems.

Good luck, I am sure you will find something that works for you.

Kelly - posted on 10/06/2009

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hi crystal

my name is kelly i have a 3 year old and a two year old what i do when we go to the grocery store, give them a banana as we are going around the store than say to them that if they are good they get to have a treat when we reach the checkout 90% of the time its works, the best thing that i found out was it was better for me to do grocery in the morning after they have had breakfast.

Charlene - posted on 10/05/2009

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just make sure they are fed, well rested and always take a lil snack just in case. i let my 18 mo old put the things that can't break in the cart. he sits in the cart i hand it to him and he tosses it in. he loves it. i also avoid going by things i know he will cry for.

Carla - posted on 10/05/2009

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make your list in a layout of the store, so there is not a waste of time, kids get bored if it takes to long. Talk to them about what you have to get. Keep them engaged have them look for items and help put them in the cart. Make sure that they are well rested and are not hungry. Organization is the most helpful though, make sure you know what you have to get and where it is that way a melt down isn't a big deal because you keep going and get it done. But make sure you follow thru on what ever you say. If you try buying them something, or taking something away, or leaving. Remember inconsistency is your biggest enemy!

Michelle - posted on 10/05/2009

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you may want to try bringing toys or snacks with you. this may keep him preoccupied while you do what you need to do.

Miriam - posted on 10/05/2009

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I give my daughter a shopping list made out of pictures so she can tell me what I need and let her help me find them and put them in the trolley. If she is being naughty she has to sit in the trolley but can still tell me what we need and check it off her list. It takes a bit of preperation but I've found its worked everytime.

Alexandra - posted on 10/05/2009

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I like to stop at the bakery and p/u a free cookie, but beware your child will asscociate the grocery store with cookies and ask every time they go there

Priscilla - posted on 10/05/2009

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you should have your kid put things in the trolley what ever you take off the shelf give to them and say help mommy lift these heavy items please and let them know that you need the help. you can also let them know that they can look at items in the store but only one thing is allowed and let them choose what they really want. the idea is to let kids know it is a chjre we have to do even though the items are so tempting

Trisha - posted on 10/05/2009

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I also have a three year old and she for the most part does really well...i usually bring a coloring book and some crayons to keep her occupied.....if she is bored before i am done i ask her to help me with the list, first she'll hold it and then i will take her out of the cart and ask her to get the items for me if she gets bored...you can always get a portable dvd player and bring that...i have done that if i am in a hurry :)

Kimberly - posted on 10/05/2009

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I used to let my three year old help me make my grocery list. Color pics of everything i needed and hold their list in the store. She was usually so interested in filling her list she had no time to throw a fit. If she did fill her list with no problems then she could take advantage of the cheaper treats at the checkout.

Jamie - posted on 10/04/2009

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Make sure you do not go at times you know they might be tired or hungry. If you have to, take a snack with you that they can eat while you shop or a toy to play with. I have two, one is three, the other is the prob. He is two years and ten months. Every time we go to the grocery store, I have to tell him he stays close to mom, no screaming or yelling. If he does we will leave the store. He likes to go bye bye, so this usually works. Dont forget to remind them to behave at the door, before you walk into the store.

Megan - posted on 10/04/2009

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Try the rewards system. Usually we do our shopping at Wal*mart and if my 3yrold is good he gets a strawberry milk from one end of the store and then when that novelty starts to wear off we're up by the bakery where they give kids a free cookie and that holds him off till we check out.

Morgan - posted on 10/04/2009

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Wait until they're at daycare, or staying with a relative for a few hours, then go shopping.......stress free!!!.

Rachel - posted on 10/04/2009

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i got a tip from supernannny, give them a shopping list of their own you can make them out of pictures and words to help them learn at the same time then they can help you find things on their list

Lisa - posted on 10/04/2009

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I go shopping when she first wakes up and is fed, so she has no excuses. Then I have her help me shop. she either pushes the shopping cart with me, and helps pick out things to put in the cart, or she rides in the car type shopping carts and has a blast steering both the wheels. I also let her hold things for me. my shopping list, my purse, a box of something...
she's two.

Halimah - posted on 10/04/2009

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I remember that age... Wow! What a challenge... Best thing to do is, make sure you have a very well organized list, and know where everything is in the store you are shopping in, this cuts down on the added time spent searching for items. Bring something without, that your child likes, like a favorite video game, or toy. Finally, get in, and get out!

April - posted on 10/03/2009

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portable dvd player and there favorite movie. I also have had my daughter make a list of stuff she thinks we need with magizine cut outs. Then when we get to the store i have her help me find the things on the list. It has to be food. Most of the time i buy everything she put on her list. She loves it..

Brandi - posted on 10/03/2009

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I find that the more i involve my daughter in conversation about this item on the list or that, she behaves really well. For example, if we need lettuce, I let her choose which one, then we discuss all about how lettuce grows, what we can make with it. after i run out of stuff about whatever item, we move on to the next thing we need and start all over about what can we do with this. or what recipe does this go in. She enjoys the grown-up conversation and really thinks she's helping. it works for us.

Dorene - posted on 10/03/2009

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1st you shall never take them to any store hungry. 2nd explain to them that we are only getting what we came for and that's it. 3rd have the child help you make out the shopping list and then get them to "read" off the items (other).Have something in your purse that they like, like pen and paper. Allow the child to take something that they like with them. And if that don't work. Leave whatever you were shopping for in the store and go home. All it takes is one time.

Jessica - posted on 10/03/2009

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I always talk with my kids before entering a store on the way there. I go over the rules of going shopping. They are not aloud to tell me they want anything. They can tell me things they like. But I make the final discussion on what we buy.

While in the store I praise them for them being well mannered and have them help me. I have them as involved as I can. Like I tell them not to let me forgot milk and stuff. And ask them to help me grab cans off the shelf. Things like that. We also talk about what healthy foods we are buying and why they are healthy.

My son is just now 4 and he is very headstrong and stubborn. But I have never had him have a melt down in a store. I think preparing him for what I expect and involving him in the shopping has helped.

Mary - posted on 10/03/2009

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Try taking a baggie of his/her favorite snack and a cup of there favorite drink it should help keep them busy while you shop.

Devin - posted on 10/03/2009

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I used to make a second grocery list for the kids items (with pics) and gave the girls a pen. Their job was to watch the shelves for the items on their list and let the older girls know when to get them off the shelf. Then little sis got to check the item off the list.

Jennifer - posted on 10/03/2009

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I would say to take him when he is not tired you can even let him eat while sitting in the basket. Or just get him involved let him put the items in the basket. and don't stay for more then a hour the shorter the better be prepaid have a list.

Amanda - posted on 10/03/2009

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my 3 year daughter likes the stores but every once in awhile she will give me alittle attitude. what i have found works the best is when possible i take her early in the morning after breakfast. she loves to help put things in the cart and they on the conveyor belt when checking out. she loves to help carry in the bags too. more so then my husband..lol. i think with 3 years old, number one never take out them when they are going to be hungry b/c that will always lead to crankyness. two my child doesnt nap but she gets really hyper and annoying right about 2 everyday. so my next advise is dont take them to close to nap time. then make sure you are home in time to do your normal night time routine. whether that be a show or bath or snack. i know that when we at get home say at 845pm and my daughters bedtime is 9pm. she gets frustated and confused b/c she doesnt get her normal routine. as we all know from being parents they strive on that.

i do agree that bribing doesnt work. it does temporarily but the items do get better and more frequent. i use to have that problem too...well good luck with everything.just remember they are not 3 forever

Charlotte - posted on 10/03/2009

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I always bring a snack and I ask her to help me find the apples or the yogurt or whatever it is that I am looking for she likes to know she is helping mommy.

Lyndsy - posted on 10/03/2009

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Try giving him/her a job to do. Make it a game and get excited about him/her being a good helper. Maybe mommy needs to remember to buy bread and it can be his/her job to remind you. Pretend you forgot and think of other crazy things you think you needed to remember (..what was it mommy needed...a pair of shoes? an umbrella??) Instead of trying it out when you have the weekly shopping to do, do a test run and take a really short trip to the store but make a big deal about your child's job- like mommy needs help getting something done. Then instead of bribing him/her to be good, you can praise them for helping and maybe get a treat for being such a great helper.

Sam - posted on 10/02/2009

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as soon as i get her in the trolley i give her some crisps to eat.We then go up to the bakery and she gets a free cookie.(at are store kids get free cookies) then i wizz round and do it in like 20 mins flat!If she starts i just do silly things to try break her attention away from the melt down lol.i always tell her that if she behaves she can have a treat on the way out.So it sounds like i fill her with sweets,but hey there kids and if sweets help,give them sweets!lol

Vicki - posted on 10/02/2009

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lol, I dont' bring mine unless it's necessary...lol. He had a "melt" down yesterday and I said, "NEVER AGAIN!!" lol.

Tasha - posted on 10/02/2009

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i found two different ways depending on my 3 years old mood. First one is he LOVES grapes and i would go get the grapes first thing. And we normally get the same things and i would ask him different questions about what we need to get because i can't remember. LOL and he is so helpful at the same time he is so proud of himself that he was able to help and at the same time he would be eating the grapes. LOL i know he only eats about 6 or 7 grapes the whole time we are there because he is so busy helping. The second is telling him that if he is good he can find ONE thing he would like and he is really good with that. He will pick one thing and if he finds something else then he puts that other item back. Plus he is so use to us asking him what we need and if i need something different then i let him know before we go. We also ask him if he wants to help with a special lunch/supper and he gets to pick what he would like to have. Most of the time its hotdog and cheese. LOL or soup. but we make thought the shopping with no issues but it took us a while to find what works for our little guy.

Bonnie - posted on 10/02/2009

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get them involved. let them put stuff in the cart that isnt gonna get hurt by being dropped. it makes them feel important and keeps them busy. also try not to do your shopping in a hurry, it just makes it that much more stressful in the end. My son also loved handing the lady the money or coupons or something. He really felt like he was a big boy and I always praised him on helping mommy out so well. Hope this helps, good luck

Karen - posted on 10/02/2009

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I have done snacks and drinks which usually works, and sometimes have given them their own list of things to put in the cart (but I found that only works once in awhile - short attention spans, ya know!) But I've also read that some parents give their cell phone to their kids and let them call Grandma and talk as much as they want! Might not be an option for all of us but still could work if you're really desperate!

Joline - posted on 10/02/2009

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try and get 5 kids through the grocery store without one meltdown... My advice try and go when it isn't cranky time. get your two year old to help draw or cut out pics of food you are getting and have him keep a look out for them. He will love helping.

Jenn - posted on 10/02/2009

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Maybe I'm lucky and my 3 year old likes shopping? He's never had a meltdown in the store that I can think of.......... Sometimes he will start to get a little bit loud (and I'm not talking screaming or anything) or carried away with laughing or something and I just tell him to shush because we are in a store. A couple of times he has gotten in trouble at the store for pinching me while I'm pushing the cart or something and I threaten to leave the cart there full of groceries and go home and he won't be allowed to come with me next time - and I mean it - but I haven't had to do it yet - but it works! I try to keep him engaged while we're at the store and we talk to each other almost the whole time. :)

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