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Toddler screaming in a store - what do you do? - Page 2

post #21 of 60

I would just go on about my own business and let the mother get on about hers. Seriously, I am only pregnant with my first, but I would NOT want someone getting in my face with their advice when I'm dealing with a difficult child and this stranger doesn't know me, my child, or any of the surrounding circumstances. Rude!

post #22 of 60

When my DS sees the chocolate eggs, he will be screaming for the rest of the shopping trip unless he gets one.

Of course, the people who put the chocolate display, right where the kids can see and reach it--knows very well that parents will give in and buy it just to shut their children up.  They also put a toy display by the meat fridge... gum and candy by the check out.. how can anyone go shopping with a toddler without the toddler screaming?

So I say no to the chocolate, because I don't think he should have chocolate on every shopping trip, then he turns around and tries to grab the groceries that I am putting into the cart and open the boxes...  and tries to grab things off the shelves as we walk by... and when I take something away from him he is screaming again. 

Oh and in the process, he drops the toy or snack I have given him to hold while we shop and is screaming about that.

All this considering I shop at a very small store and a shopping trip takes 5-10 minutes.  Geez I can't imagine going through Wal-Mart with a toddler.

post #23 of 60

I have never intervened in this situation, except maybe to give the mom a knowing smile. If it's one mom to one child, I figure she doesn't need my interference.

 

However, I have to say now as a mother of two, if the little one is screaming or wiggling or trying to run away from me, I absolutely love it when someone is willing to help. Otherwise there are times I feel like sitting on the floor in the middle of the store and sobbing. Or, better yet, when they're both acting nuts and I need to buy something quickly and move out. I find it very helpful when someone distracts them so I can get "the job" done.

 

Once again, one-on-one leave me be, one-on-two(plus) PLEASE help me! smile.gif

post #24 of 60
I also would appreciate people letting me ahead in line when this happens. I was one at the post office in a situation like this with a baby and almost cried that no one thought to just let me pay and leave.

It takes me two hours in the car round trip so coming another time is not an option.
post #25 of 60

Some children have mental issues and sometime the advice from the therapist is to just continue to go with the activity as much as possible  until the child understand that his tantrum have no effect.

 

So, if someone is not interested in your advice, I would leave them alone.

 

I  was that mother in the store many times. Why did not I leave? Because I would never be able to do any shopping since opposite defiant behaviors was  part of my son.  After a few weeks he learned that dysfunctional behavior get him nothing.

 

So, unless you walked in my shoes, do not tell ,me how to raise my child.   A child screaming in the store is not abuse or neglects.

post #26 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleZB View Post

Oh my goodness, why would someone want to bug a poor woman trying to get her shopping done while her child is screaming?

I love that! I mean really as if it's not stressful enough?
post #27 of 60

HappyMonkey- I agree with letting the sreaming baby ahead of you! I have stood there with just a couple of things and a screaming baby, and no one would let me pass. Guess the screaming didn't bother them. It sure bothered me...I turn red, and sweaty, and stay on the verge of tears LOL

 

It is so rare that I come across a tantruming toddler, I can't even remember a specific time. It's always mine nowadays :oP I assume most parents just try not to bring theirs out during this phase. On another parenting board I'm on unrelated to MDC, the toddler board is full of parents asking why their toddler is so unhappy sitting peacefully shopping or eating out! They see other toddlers "behaving" and wonder what's wrong with theirs...I feel like all-capping the answer...BECAUSE WE DON'T TAKE OURS OUT DURING THIS PHASE! There's nothing wrong with them, we just really try to live peacefully and that requires no eating out and juggling the shopping for awhile. It won't last forever...then I can go on my huge bimonthly grocery shopping trips again, sigh. My older two kids were usually very peaceful in public, I could just bring a snack and pop them a bite every few minutes. Boy did they trick me, I thought that was the norm lol Then I had two more...

post #28 of 60

I was *just* at a children's poetry recitation yesterday, and right at the end, the very last kid up (after 38 other kids), a toddler in the front row HAD ENOUGH.  It started with a whine, and within 15 seconds as the mom tried to gently shush the kiddo it was to a full on rager - a screaming rager as she carried the kiddo out the emergency exit as quickly as quickly as she could (maybe another 15 seconds that probably felt like an eternity to her) and we heard them outside as she carried the kiddo all the way around the back part of the auditorium, just raging.  To his credit, the reciter did an excellent job of both doing his poem and keeping our attention!

 

 

10 years ago, before I had kids, I would have said, "GOD!  WHY CAN'T THAT WOMAN CONTROL HER CHILD??"

7 years ago, after I had my easygoing son but before I had my daughter, I would have said, "How sad, that that mom isn't connected enough with her child to calm them down.  I wish I could tell her about AP."

 

 

Yesterday...I wished I could go hug that woman.  

 

 

Some kids are just INTENSE - and no matter what you try, and you try everything, sometimes the only way over it is through.  Leaving is sometimes an option, but not always.  

 

My daughter?  Would have gotten 10 times WORSE if someone tried to interact with her or make funny faces.  She hated being approached by people in public at that age (now I have to peel her away from conversations with people - lol).  Putting her down to walk would have led to me needing to abandon the cart to chase her around the store, trying to keep her from being hit by a cart or knocking stuff over.  I already ALWAYS had snacks, so clearly that wasn't going to do it when we got to that point, either.  Offering advice on what might calm her down would make me want to either cry, or kick you in the kneecap.  About the only positive thing I could think of would be an "Been there."  or "It's so hard sometimes." For my daughter, ofering me help wouldn't even help, because trying to address her in the moment when she was in full on lemtdown just amplified it.  Once I sympathized/empathized with her about whatever it was (yet maintained the gentle but firm limit of whatever the situation was), my only option was to either leave wherever we were, or just plow through becasue the more I tried to talk to her when she was like that, the worse it got.  So no, I would *not* be trying to actively comfort my tantruming toddler in the store....if I'm still shopping it means we NEED that stuff, otherwise we would have left. 

 

Sure, there are some people who are jerks to their kids and ignore them.  But you can never possibly know someone's situation, so offering a supportive "I'm sorry." or "There but for the grace of God" or even 'Is there anything I can do to help?"  Is about ALL you should do.  On the off chance it's a kid that CAN be distracted or otherwise helped by a stranger, I'm sure the mom will take you up on the offer...if not, whatever you're doing or saying is only going to make things worse and sympathy will be the only thing that will fill her heart instead of wrecking it more. 

post #29 of 60

I think TheOfUs has it right on, until you've been there, it is easy to believe that there is some simple advice that will help a parent calm their screaming child. 

 

Before I had DS, I often thought "that mom just needs to XX, YY, or ZZ and their child wouldn't be freaking out."  Now I know that there is NO advice someone could give me that would make things better, because I have literally tried it all.  I also think people with relatively easy going kids can convince themselves that it was their parenting that created their quiet, easy to console child.  But I know enough people who had an easy going first child and were rather smug about their parenting, then they had a second or third.....and they learned that a big part of their first child's behavior was just that child's nature.

post #30 of 60
Quote:

 Is it not my business? Or am I not offering the right help or words? What do you do when you see such a situation? 

 

Yes it is not your business, do not offer any words or help. When I see such a situation I am thankful that I am shopping without my 3 year old or that he is behaving while I am shopping that day. 

 

When my first child was a toddler and would throw a tantrum at the grocery store I would leave, even if my cart was full. Partly I left because that is the prevailing wisdom, your child is screaming, leave the situation, but also I am sure it was partly out of embarrassment. Would wants to walking around the store with a screaming child and have everyone staring at them. Now, with my 3rd, I do not have time to return and re-shop later. I walk around the store with a screaming child and I don't care who looks at me. The reason my child would be screaming is because either he had the little child cart and was running with it or purposely running into people or objects, or he is running away from me and refuses to walk nicly beside me. Any of this means you don't get to walk, you ride in the cart and this means I walk around with a screaming child in the cart as I finish. I would be extremely displeased for you to come to me and offer any advice or words. 

post #31 of 60
Yeah rude and not your business (imo as a mom of 3 with one having autism).
post #32 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post

I was *just* at a children's poetry recitation yesterday, and right at the end, the very last kid up (after 38 other kids), a toddler in the front row HAD ENOUGH.  It started with a whine, and within 15 seconds as the mom tried to gently shush the kiddo it was to a full on rager - a screaming rager as she carried the kiddo out the emergency exit as quickly as quickly as she could (maybe another 15 seconds that probably felt like an eternity to her) and we heard them outside as she carried the kiddo all the way around the back part of the auditorium, just raging.  To his credit, the reciter did an excellent job of both doing his poem and keeping our attention!

 

 

10 years ago, before I had kids, I would have said, "GOD!  WHY CAN'T THAT WOMAN CONTROL HER CHILD??"

7 years ago, after I had my easygoing son but before I had my daughter, I would have said, "How sad, that that mom isn't connected enough with her child to calm them down.  I wish I could tell her about AP."

 

 

Yesterday...I wished I could go hug that woman.  

 

 

Sure, there are some people who are jerks to their kids and ignore them.  But you can never possibly know someone's situation, so offering a supportive "I'm sorry." or "There but for the grace of God" or even 'Is there anything I can do to help?"  Is about ALL you should do.  On the off chance it's a kid that CAN be distracted or otherwise helped by a stranger, I'm sure the mom will take you up on the offer...if not, whatever you're doing or saying is only going to make things worse and sympathy will be the only thing that will fill her heart instead of wrecking it more. 

 

yeahthat.gif

 

I once started a thread here, some years ago, about how painful it is for me to see a mama pushing a screaming newborn through a store in a pram, acting as if nothing were happening. I always think PICK YOUR BABY UP!!!!!!!

 

Well, the response I got was 85% "You have no idea what that woman is going through, think twice before you judge"

 

Now, I still cringe when I see a woman ignoring a screaming newborn in a buggy. But I also still remember that I am only seeing a snippet of their day and I can't truthfully say what's going on there. Yes, intuition would say to just hold a screaming baby. But who's to say she hasn't been holding it all day and is just desperate to get out of the house for 15 minutes and needs some toilet paper? It's a tough call but I try to remember that.

 

A newborn is one thing. They are absolutely helpless. But a toddler is a whole other can of worms. Haven't we all been there? Sometimes you can't just drop everything for some tantrum SOS.

 

I would also cringe in desperation. It triggers my own helplessness, abandonment and pain to witness such scenes. But really we are only seeing a few moments of those peoples' lives and I think the best we can do is stream sympathy, both to the child and the mother. One of the worst things about a toddler tantruming in public is feeling like others are judging us. I can't say I wouldn't judge a mama ignoring a tanrum like that, but I don't think it's necessarily fair to do so.

post #33 of 60

When my son was between the ages of 2 and 7 months, he HATED being in the car seat, stroller, shopping cart, and baby carrier (I tried all the different types). He would scream about 90% of the time, and it was such a hard time for me. I couldn't participate in outings with other moms, take off to the mall for a break, or walk our dogs. I would never have even tried to grocery shop, so DH did it all the time on his own. I would try going to the mall, but then the situation left me so stressed it would take me days before I got the nerve up to try again. Everything would be fine as long as he was in my arms, but then my arms would get so tired they felt like they would fall off-- and that meant that I couldn't do anything but walk and window shop because I didn't have any free hands. So I would eventually have to put him in the stroller to get a break. But then he would scream-- and it was LOUD and INTENSE. People stared, and some people made comments-- mostly "Aw, poor baby is hungry". Yeah, right. One person even said to me, really loud, "Do something for that baby!" Ugh, it was awful. Sometimes I just wanted to disappear, but then other times I wanted to yell something in anger at them, but I never seemed to have a response until after the fact. All my energy was tied up in the situation trying to help my son, so I often would just kind of nod my head and say, 'Yah' letting the person think I was in agreement with them. It was a very hard time, and I felt so isolated. So I didn't need strangers judging me on top of it all. Now, I am much more assertive and confident, and I would say something. Oh yes I would.(Turns out our son has some sensory processing issues, and so NOTHING anybody could have offered would have helped. Well, maybe some distraction but there was a fine line between what would work and what wouldn't.)

post #34 of 60

I repeat to myself, "We are all doing the best that we can" if I find myself with the inclination to judge the situation.  I agree with the previous posters that the mother has probably tried everything in her repertoire for calming/soothing her child and is not seeking out advice from fellow shoppers.  If my DS is with me he will often go over to the child and try and talk to it or soothe it, with mixed success.  He is just like that, and always has been.  That's not to say he hasn't had his shining performances in stores!

post #35 of 60

mama505-my lo LOVES for other kids to talk to her! that would probably help more than anything I could do besides letting her run free lol

post #36 of 60

This has actually happened to me, numerous times. Sometimes I think I can make it in and out of a store before DD melts down, but I just cant. The best option at that point is just to quickly gather the things I came for and get out of the store as soon as possible. I've had mom's say a variety of things to me, try to ask if they can buy DD a cookie, ask if she's okay, ask if they can help, etc. I usually feel really embarrassed and just want to get out of the store and dont want any more attention drawn to me. "Been there done that", "Its gets better," "We've all been there," are comments that I've appreciated. 

 

Most of these times occurred when I was pregnant with the twins, right after my son passed away. There were days when I just didn't feel like showing up for parenting. It was just a "how to just get through the day" mentality. And if someone had asked me if I'd ever thought about wearing my kid, she would have heard an entire litany of why my life sucked so much at that moment. There were a few times when someone called my parenting in to question that I just had an absolute breakdown in the target bathroom :) Just sayin', you never, ever know what somebody is going through and if you are going to be their breaking point that day. 

post #37 of 60

Yeah I'm actually annoyed that this hypothetical situation was brought up.  I originally thought it was about OP's own kid by the thread... but come on.  A parent can look dismissive when they're just trying to make it through the next 5 minutes.  And maybe if she lets the toddler out of the cart she's faced now with a runner.  Ridic.

post #38 of 60

I pull out the bottle of wine and plastic cup I carry and offer the mom some. 

:D

 

 

No, really. It's not my business. I ignore it and if I happen to make eye contact over the banana display I give a smile and move on. Some days are just bad days and stuff has to get done regardless of mood. 

post #39 of 60

I thought this was referring to what would you do it if was your own toddler and helpful hints and tips for dealing with toddler tantrums that happen.  

I was not expecting to be given tips on how to handle someone else's toddler in public when their mom is right there.  I don't do anything in those situations.  

post #40 of 60
My son isn't a store tantrumer because he's totally thrilled to be in a store under any circumstances but I get really embarrassed when I'm trying to maneuver around somewhere in public and it's not working for whatever reason. Stairs and doors are the usual suspect. The only thing I've ever found helpful was if someone offered an actual solution or an old woman makes a sympathetic comment like "I'm glad those days are over!"
2 weeks ago I was on a plane trying to change a poopy diaper without getting out of my seat while an old woman stood there and watched because she was in line for the bathroom. My brain was so full of blood I don't even remember what she said but it was some kind of compliment... Something aboit wanting to help but she'd just make things worse... but I felt a ton better. She even disposed of the diaper for me which was super helpful.
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