How to Prevent Temper Tantrums When Shopping With Children

by Hillary Marshall

Few things feel more embarrassing as a parent than when your child throws a temper tantrum in public. You need to go shopping, but it's not always possible to shop without your little ones. Rather than feel overwhelmed, learn what you can do when your child throws himself on the floor kicking and screaming. We all know the basics, but getting creative can make shopping with kids much easier.

Steer clear of things you know your child will want. For instance, unless you plan on buying your child a toy, don't go through the toy aisle in the store. Likewise, try to pick a checkout that has magazines instead of candy.

Let your child help. For instance, if you are deciding between two shirts for your child let him pick the color he prefers so he feels involved. Make a list of easy to find items for your child to be responsible for finding. Giving your child part of your shopping list gives him purpose and keeps him occupied.

Bring a toy for your child to play with while you are shopping. Shopping is not fun for children, especially when it is not for them. Bring a boredom buster with you to help prevent an outburst.

Act silly. suggests that you do something zany to distract your child when he is near throwing a tantrum. Stick your tongue out and make a silly face. Flap your arms like a bird. If you can make your child laugh, the distraction will probably head off any tantrum that was about to take place.

Choose your battles. Sometimes it's easier to give your child what he wants then it is to calm him down from a temper tantrum. For instance, if you have been shopping for hours and your child asks for candy, it might be easier to let him have the candy then it would be to listen to him scream about the candy the entire ride home.

Pretend that you see something outlandish. suggests that you tell your child you see a pony. Fully commit to the sighting by squinting and pointing the distance. Have your child look for it too. Hopefully, the distraction will divert him from throwing a tantrum.

Throw your own tantrum. According to Dr. Charles Fey, of, mimicking your child’s tantrum will help distract him. Using fun instead of anger helps all the parties involved remain calm and less frustrated.

About the Author

Hillary Marshall has been writing professionally since 2006. Before writing instructional articles online, she worked as a copywriter and has been published in "Ideal Living" "Sass" "Science Edge" and "Shopping Cents" magazines along with countless websites including Gadling a blog by the Huffington post. Marshall studied early childhood education at the Stratford Career Institute.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images