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Supermarket Tantrums

50 replies

Chinchilla · 03/12/2002 19:12

Today I suffered the first (probably of many) of the above with my ds, in Sainsbury's. He was a pain all the way round, and stupidly, I had taken one of those split level trolleys where he could reach some of the items. I kept having to remove large cans of tomatoes from him, as he has a tendancy to throw things, and I didn't fancy a damage suit against me from someone with five broken toes!

Then, at the till, he wanted one of the things on the conveyor belt, and got really narked that he couldn't have it. To top it all off, my step-MIL then decided to make an appearance. My ds has never seemed to like her, and started to scream, and hide in my chest...

As the last straw, I looked up, and saw all the people at other tills looking at me, most of them either annoyed, or bewildered (as in, 'Why doesn't that woman shut her kid up?'


OP posts:
GeorginaA · 05/12/2002 08:56

LOL SoupDragon, was very tempting to lock him in the trolley store

Actually, he wasn't too bad - we picked up some new tea towels as the first thing we put in the trolley, and to my absolute surprise he managed to say "tea towel" perfectly. I gave him so much praise for learning a new word that he proceeded to yell "tea towel" at frequent intervals while going round the aisles. I'm sure everyone must have thought I was nuts when I was enthusiastically replying "yes, we've bought tea towels!", but at least there was no tantrum!!!!

Bozza · 05/12/2002 09:13

That happened to me in WHSmith yesterday Georgina. DS has just learnt to say star and they had star decorations on the ceiling so we was yelling "star" at the top of his voice. But at least I could get on. It went downhill from there when I realised I needed a load of stuff from upstairs and they didn't have a lift or escalator so I had to abandon the pushchair downstairs and let him loose..... Then the lift in the multi-story was broken.

Bozza · 05/12/2002 09:14

Should have been "he was yelling" - my grammar is not really that bad and I wasn't quite that desperate to entertain him

GeorginaA · 05/12/2002 09:28

LOL... argh - hate shops which don't have lifts. Don't they have planning permission laws now about disabled access? If they don't they should have!

Yes, ds has learnt the word "star" this week too, although it's not quite clear and sometimes I think he's trying to point to a non-existant car!! Don't remember teaching him it so must be something he's picked up at nursery (much better than some four letter words he could pick up, after all ).

megg · 05/12/2002 09:29

I went to the hospital for a blood test and ds was playing with a train, when it came to leave he wouldn't put it back, the receptionist came over and says oh let him have it. When I said no he's got to learn he can't have everything he wants you should have seen her face. She went back behind her desk moaning to all and sundry how mean I was as he was only little. You just can't win. She'll probably be one of those in the supermarket moaning about mothers bribing their children with chocolate.

janh · 05/12/2002 10:39

A girl of probably 2.5 - 3 was having a major tantrum in T K Maxx yesterday - no idea what it was about, whether it was an "I want" or an "I'm tired" - her parents were coping manfully, low voices, saying "well we're going now, bye" when she was flinging herself on the floor but nothing was making any difference.
Anyway DH happened to stroll past her and said cheerfully "now it can't really be that bad!" and she turned on her heel, screwed her eyes tight shut (thus rendering him invisible of course) and didn't make another sound...I'm not sure if she was winding down anyway or if it hadn't occurred to her that other people could hear her too but it was funny!

aloha · 05/12/2002 11:31

When I was small (before five) we lived in Germany and I have very vivid memories of going shopping with my mother and getting a little something in every shop - a bit of sausage in the deli, a biscuit in the bakery etc etc. Unless they were signalling to my mum I don't recall them ever asking if it was OK, and I loved it and really looked forward to shopping! In my local Turkish cafe all the men adore ds (what a contrast to British men, eh?) and he always gets a freebie biscuit and lots of smiles and waves and cheek pinches. To be fair they always ask me before they give the biscuit to ds but I think it's lovely.

hmb · 05/12/2002 11:40


You are so right about the bribery thing. I once gave Dd a load of chocolate telitubbies to get her to behave in a book shop. I was in a queue to get some books signed by Bill Bryson, as christmas presents. As I got to the front of the queue I gave her the last, and commented ruefully that I had always sworn not to bribe my kids. BB commented that bribery had always worked for his kids.........I'd always had him pegged as a nice guy!

bluestar · 05/12/2002 14:41

We bribe too with the 'machines' be it Thomas, Tweenies etc. If you are a good boy in the supermarket, you can get to go on the 'machine'. Every time he starts to whinge, tries to climb out the trolley, we remind him of the 'machine' and so far it works. Obviously always have to check that I have change or that the machine is working!! Also often check out the freebies and offer biscuits or something. There can't be that many parents that haven't bribed in the shops.

aloha · 05/12/2002 14:56

I bribe myself all the time. Just do this tax return/make this phone call and I can pop out for a leg wax/coffee and cake etc etc.

mollipops · 06/12/2002 08:35

Lol soupdragon! I was listening to something the other day that said about shopping with kids, that kids figure out very early on that "mummy will get embarrassed by my poor behaviour in public and will do/give me almost anything to keep me quiet/happy"! And they use it to the hilt! It's so true. There has been a time when I just walked out, I'd had enough, and left without buying anything, including the treats the kids thought they were going to get.

My best tips are have lots of snacks/toys packed, with a promise of a treat at the checkout when you get there (don't you love how they stack all the chocs and lollies at child-in-a-trolley height at the checkout and the ends of the aisles! NOT!) If you say at the start they will get one if they are sensible and talk nicely in the shop, you will only have to remind them about the treat they might miss out on...then it is their choice - if they choose to play up, they miss out. You may have to put up with a few checkout tantrums when they have tried it on and missed out, but before long they will get the idea that it's not worth the effort.

Another idea I have read about, but not tried, is for older toddlers (ie not in a trolley), who have a tendency to wander/play up. You give them 4 tokens at the start of the trip. If they misbehave/run off, they have to give you one. They need to have at least 1 left at the end of the shopping trip to get a treat. Kind of like 3 strikes and you're out! (Helps counting too! )

mollipops · 06/12/2002 08:37

Just read bluestar's post - great minds think alike eh?

jac34 · 07/12/2002 15:04

I was shopping with my twin ds's one day. They were sitting side by side in the trolly. They seemed usually quiet, but I thought nothing of it. I also had a few people snigger as I walked past. It was not until I got to the check-out that I realized they had eaten their was half way down a french stick, which was proped up in the trolly.

WideWebWitch · 07/12/2002 15:30

Have just had horrible, embarrassing, ugly scene in Woolworths. I was buying ds sweets (so what was his problem ffs?) and had just rented him 2 videos. He started by wingeing and then went for a full blown all out paddy, complete with screaming and throwing himself on the floor, hitting me, running at me and pushing me and then punching me in the face when I picked him up and tried to put him under my arm to carry him out. I was furious. To make matters worse, once we got home I slammed the back door so hard that a pane of glass fell out. I was shaking with anger and shame when I got back (the whole shop stopped to watch). He's had the advent calendar and a game taken away as a result of this behaviour and is now sitting watching Winnie The Pooh as if nothing happened. He didn't get the sweets as a result of this tantrum but I did so am sitting here stuffing jelly babies. He's 5, surely these should have stopped by now?! Anyone else know that embarrassed feeling? I'm sure people were thinking he's too old to be behaving like this, he looks older than 5. It was truly, truly horrible.

bossykate · 07/12/2002 15:47

oh www! no wonder you are upset. at least no b**y do-gooders intervened! only advice i have to offer is to move on to chocolate after you have finished the jelly babies!

hope it is just a one off.

bossykate · 07/12/2002 15:50

if it's any consolation my ds has recently started started calling my hair "ouch"... and i have a lovely bite on my cheek...

emsiewill · 07/12/2002 16:40

www, dd1 (almost 6) still does this very occasionally - and you're right, it's soo much worse when they're this age, as not only do they "look" too old to be doing this, but they're also lots more difficult to handle.
Loads of sympathy to you - is it too early for a glass of wine?

Lambchops · 07/12/2002 16:51

Oh, you have my sympathy, WWW, but..... I hate to tell you, DD age nearly eight, did this less than a month ago in crystal factory outlet shop in front of my mother!!! Eek! :0

ScummyMummy · 07/12/2002 17:05

How horrendous, WWW. Poor poor you. It's the worst feeling in the world when you're utterly ashamed and helpless in the face of your child's bad behaviour isn't it? Been there many a time but I can imagine it feels worse the older they get... Unfortunately I have memories of my sis, and myself to a lesser extent, throwing appalling tantrums right through primary school and I think some kids are just more prone to it than others perhaps- aarrggghhhh! Agree with Emsiewill and bossyk- wine and chocolate in large amounts seem called for.

WideWebWitch · 07/12/2002 19:24

Thank you everyone! Feel much better now as we've been on the sofa watching the videos all afternoon and I managed to have a doze too. Oh no, you mean it's still going to happen for years and years to come emieswill and Lampchops? Aaaaaggghhh nooooooo! You're right, at his age ds is so big and strong that it's hard to carry him out of the shop. He also managed to grab a lamp post and hold on so I couldn't get him to walk along the road - he was screaming "don't drag me mummy" at the top of his voice. Anyone who didn't see the tantrum would have thought I was cruel. Anyone who did probably thought he was a s*!! Bossykate, have eaten all the lovely white chocolate cookies and cream truffles and the sherbet lemons too, that was a good idea Can't face wine as I overdid that last night so am just going to go to bed early tonight I think and assume tomorrow will be better.

Marina · 07/12/2002 19:34

Oh, WWW, sorry to hear Woolies at Christmas worked its magic on you all. No advice to add to what you've been given but there is Emma on the box tonight with the gorgeous Jeremy Northam and Ewan Mcgregor in a ridiculous wig to cheer you up!

jasper · 07/12/2002 19:46

www what a nightmare - we've all been there, eh?
And just when you were being a kind sweetie and video giving mummy!
Anyone else noticed their darlings behave WORSE when they are getting treats? Any way round this?
I suppose a total ban on treats of all kinds except birthdays and Christmas is a bit harsh, but might they behave a bit better?

tigermoth · 09/12/2002 13:15

been there, done that www. It is horrible, horrible, horrible, and yes, you are right it does make you feel worse the older they get. And then there's those looks you sense from other people. I am so glad no stranger yet has ever tried to intervene in a critical way. If anyone did, I can truthfully say at those times I might hit them, or at least say some choice words, and I am not a hitting sort of person.

Once children are beyond the easy carrying of the shop stage, it just seems so b*** unfair that they still tantrum and hit out at you, even if it's once in a blue moon. It can ruin a whole day for me. I don't get my equilibrium back for ages, even wine and chocolate can't return me to the calm person I was.

I had a similar experience to you the previous saturday - the morning before the meetup. I don't get tantrums from my eldest now (good news) - he blatently ignores me, runs away and hides. The youngest just runs away. Mad it makes me, mad!!!

BTW, Woolworths is a frequent site of tantrums ime - toys, sweets, fizzy drinks, christmas decorations and videos all under one roof. Too much temptation.

Hope you had a better sunday.

megg · 09/12/2002 19:14

We went to a farm yesterday and in their shop they had a Brio train set which of course ds made a beeline for. Managed to get him out going into the farm (you have to walk through the shop to get in and out of the farm) but coming out was a nightmare. We tried to go the long way round but he remembered (how I hate it now he has a memory) so we let him play for a while then just had to drag him away to which he threw an almighty tantrum. The best way to pick him up I've found is by having him horizontally under your arm then his hands can't reach your head to smack you one. Finally got him to the car by carrying him like that all the way with everyone staring. Even worse on the way home he undoes his seatbelt, he's trying to crawl onto the back window ledge, I'm hanging onto his trousers and trying to pull him back but he's got a hold on the head rests. We've got people gesturing as they go past in their cars, there's me shouting at ds to get back in his seat, telling him that a policeman will lock us all up, all the while hanging onto him and me praying that we don't crash. Dp pulls over, gets out of the car, opens the boot (we've got a saloon), drag ds out and he starts shouting at him. Ds was so shocked he didn't fight once while dp puts him back in his seat and doesn't move a muscle all the way home. Talk about raising the blood pressure. Must be something in the water as he's been to nursery today and they tell me he's got the devil in him today.

ks · 09/12/2002 19:30

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