Toddler Tantrum Advice and Tricks
Tis the season for errand running, party going, and, sadly, toddler tantrums. Try these genius survival strategies and tricks from moms-in-the-know. Still having trouble wrangling your tot? Get more real-mom toddler temper tantrum advice
You know those moms you see at the mall with the über-obedient, halo-wearing, indoor-voice-using kids? You look away from your less-than-angelic tot and wonder, How does she do it? What does she know that I don t? Lucky b****! I always assumed I would be one of those women. Then I had a rambunctious, loud-talking, nonstop-testing toddler named Alex. We have our Hallmark moments, but we also have our meltdowns and our tantrums and the constant negotiating. Now I live in fear of being the other mom:
You know, the one with the sweat on her brow and the screaming kid squirming to get out of her arms or the stroller. The mom I used to look at and think, OMG, control your kid, woman! How hard can it be? Turns out, very.
Since keeping your child under house arrest is not always an option, especially during the holidays, we asked real moms--the ones who get the approving looks, not the eye rolls--to share their in-the-trenches tricks that make those public outings less painful. So go ahead and pack that diaper bag--we've got your back.
At the Grocery Store
Because we all know kid behavior can go from good to god-awful in the time it takes to read the ingredients list on the bread, the key here is to get in and get out. I always make a list ahead of time and plot my course meticulously so that there's no hovering--or backtracking. As long as we're moving, we're good.
For Christi Wampler, a mother in Knoxville, TN, the trick is strawberry milk, something her son only gets at Kroger. "I purposely don't keep it at home so that it feels like a special treat," she says. They also discuss ahead of time that getting out of the cart is not an option (the carlike carts most stores have now make this more doable). If her son pitches a fit, she doesn't budge, no matter how mortified she is. "I figure the grocery store is the one place most people have seen a toddler have a 'moment,'" says Wampler. "I don't give in. I'll either ignore him or distract him."
For distraction, Parenting.com "Mama's Boy" blogger Christine Coppa plays I Spy--the celeb version. "I give Jack a tabloid and tell him to look for red shoes, a car, a blue jacket," the Riverdale, NJ, mom says. "Later, I get to catch up on what Lady Gaga's been up to, so it's a win-win." As your kids get a little older, you can have them help--crossing things off the list or picking out stuff for their lunch.