You need your toddler to sit in the cart, but he's too busy pulling items off the shelf or trying to climb out of the seat. And when you reprimand him/her, a meltdown follows soon! One of the key ways to avoid a tantrum is to first limit the number of errands you run with your child in a day. "If you've been there a long time or it is one of a series of errands you're running, then you're probably asking for trouble." So if you need to do the grocery shopping, try to make that your one big errand of the day and only once.

Before you go in, remind your child of the rules and what is expected of him in the store. Let him know he's going to be secured in the cart (letting him sit in the back or stand on the cart is dangerous) or expected to hold your hand as you walk through the store. You can try to make the experience more fun by involving your child in the shopping: asking him which cereal/fruit he would like, if he would like to hold the cereal/fruits, etc. For each privilege he gets (for example, choosing his own cereal) link it to his wonderful behavior right now. And if he begins to tantrum? "Look away and ignore until the tantrum is over". "Don't worry about what other people in the store think--they're just happy it isn't their child at that moment!".


- Prathyusha Talluri

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