I havent been in the supermarket much at all, maybe twice in 6 months beause of COVID19. For me its where my anxiety can be at its highest due to lots of people and almost being trapped in the aisles when its busy. Add on a toddler with lots of emotions that can scream the store down if she wanted to. We all know it doesnt take much for a young child to loose their shit!
Luckily my child isn’t too bad and most of the times she will just enjoy looking around. However this doesnt mean it is a 100% not going to happen. So what do we do?
Well from past experience of actually working in a supermarket I have seen some very interesting methods. I AM NOT JUDGING!
I think there are three different types of methods that parents use when dealing with supermarket tantrums. Lets break it down…
- The Shouting parent– Lets face it we have all witnessed this. Screaming parent, Crying child. All the way from aisle 1-14. No seriously you can hear it from aisle one to aisle 14. Now to me that’s one loud and stressful shop on both child and parent.
- The Bribing parent– Now I must confess I’ve done this. If your good you can have a treat. EASY Right? Well this does stop the screaming however now the child always associates being good with getting a treat. Which can get super expensive! I probably only use this method when my anxiety is very overwhelming and just walking into the store is all my mind can take.
- Finally the Communicator– This is something I’m really trying to work on. Relating myself to my child’s feelings and trying to understand why she is feeling a certain way and then putting it into words for her. This I recently learnt from a self help book I read by Phillipa Perry ‘The Book you wish your parents had read‘.
So what anxiety tips and life hacks can I give when shopping in a supermarket or shop with a toddler that could have a tantrum.
- Take a deep breathe before you enter. This will help to calm your nervous system.
- Positive affirmations such as I am strong, I can do this and I am a good parent.
- Ingage with your child. Put the phone down! let them talk about what they see or teach them about what your buying.
- Let your child take a Toy. I know this is annoying when they drop it however to them its a safety net. Today my daughter carried her favourite elephant toy.
- Praise yourself! YOU DID IT! whether you had screaming or not, you tried your best and should be proud of yourself for actually going inside rather than ordering online so well done you!
So next time you go shopping with your toddler remember to do these 5 things. They are little but huge ways to just enjoy being out with your child.
Be caring to yourself xx