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If there is one thing as a mom that I hate above all else, it's the grocery store checkout lane. No matter how many times my kids and I go to the store, be it the big box store or the bathroom/kitchen chain, no matter how many times I say, "No you can't have that candy/toy/sparkly notepad/pig with light-up eyes," my children always start to cry.


It's bad enough to have to take your toddler into a store. Most of us moms will try to avoid that at all costs. But every once in a while, we do and no matter how good my children are throughout the trip, the meltdowns always start in the checkout line. And for this, I blame stores.

In every aisle, there is something tantalizing. We can avoid the candy aisle, but then we end up in the small toy aisle. My daughter always knows I will say no to M&M's, but mini Barbies have no sugar! Why can't mommy get those?

Look, no matter how inexpensive it is, we don't need another mini Barbie in a pink jumpsuit. It sends the wrong message. I don't want to be on the hook for a "small present" every time we walk into the store.

But mommy! I was good! They cry. They scream. They stomp their feet. By the end of an hour-long grocery trip, all kids are tired. They are bored. It's the perfect time to tempt them with things they want and make their mouths water. The stores aren't stupid. They know they have parents in a weak spot. I am sure many parents give in just to stop that incessant whining. After all, wouldn't you pay $1 to avoid public humiliation?

So what is a mom who wants to send a message really to do? I stand my ground and I am often rewarded with an epic tantrum. If I buy them the thing, I may get happy kids, but I get a tantrum even more epic the next time I go into the store.

Here's a better idea: Stop manipulating my kids with store displays. Put small tools and things that appeal to grownups in the front of the store and hide the candy. I am sure the comments below will go on and on about how we all need to control our kids and all the "good" moms will say their kids never ask. But you know what? I live in the real world with real kids, and no matter how many times I say no, they STILL want the candy and small toys.

Personally, I prefer a store like Whole Foods where magazines and non-commercial sweets are less likely to catch my eye. So, yes. I frequent those stores. But sometimes I get stuck. And every time I remind myself that I am willing to pay a little more for groceries from a store that respects my children enough not to market to them directly.

Is she raising a spolied child or are stores in the wrong for doing an obvious marketing attept the is geared towards chilfren?


Asked by LostSoul88 at 4:14 PM on Apr. 22, 2013 in Parenting Debate

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This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • She is raising a spoiled child, I use to go everywhere with my kids, not once did they ever cry or ask for anything,or cause a scene in at home they drove me insane, but when they were out in public they behaved like perfect children...stores will do anything to get a buyer and you can't expect them not to, but you as a parent have to set your standards correctly in order for these scenes not to happen. I myself as a reward to the children would ask if there was anything they wanted, and most of the time they would ask me if it was too expensive (and we had $ to spare) or inquire if it could be bought for them...they were considerate first and children second, this my dear is taught from day one.

    Answer by older at 4:22 PM on Apr. 22, 2013

  • Well, she isn't doing the right thing, when my kids were little I would say, we could pick out one thing, or nothing, and if it was nothing, I reminded them of it at the check-out lane. I mean NO is NO? Is that a hard concept to teach, there will be NO toys, NO candy today!

    Answer by jerseydiva at 4:36 PM on Apr. 22, 2013

  • My 5yo dd asks for things all the time, but I'm fine with telling her no. If she throws a tantrum, she gets put in time out, so she rarely does it in public anymore.

    Grocery stores have it down to a science where to shelve items. Sure it is annoying, but it's MY responsibility to raise my daughter to learn she can't have everything on demand. Toy stores are even more challenging along with tv ads, so I'm teaching her how to live with the bombardment rather than shelter her from it all.

    There's not enough here to pass judgment on how she's raising her kids. I'm glad to hear she's not giving in to every demand. It's a losing battle.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 4:39 PM on Apr. 22, 2013

  • Stores are in business to make money, end of story. How they market their wares is up to them, and if the writer doesn't like it, she can go to another establishment or wait till someone else is watching her kids. Or say no and stick to it.

    I usually get my daughter sa little treat when we go to the store, unless she's misbehaving or not listening, and then the privilege to buy something is taken away. Shoot, I like a treat now and then, I don't see a problem with my kid getting one. It could be candy or a small toy, or it could be a ride on the bouncing horse at the front of the store or a try at the skill crane. But one means one. If she sees a second thing she wants, she has to decide whether to put the first item back, and so on. It teaches her to prioritize what she wants, and make choices. Since it's always been the consistent rule, she doesn't have tantrums over it. She just decides and moves on. No sweat.

    Answer by Ballad at 4:44 PM on Apr. 22, 2013

  • The whole point of a store is to market things to consumers. Is it inconvenient? Heck yeah, but so it taking your toddler grocery shopping, and for reasons other than the candy at the checkout. Will I buy a candy bar for a dollar to save humiliation? Nope. Do my kids ask me to buy them candy every single time we go through checkout? Not every time, but more than half the time they do. Have they gotten over the meltdowns? Yes. They know its not worth it. Do I care if someone else's kid is having a melt down because they aren't getting a candy bar? No, I actually find it a little amusing. We don't get everything we want in life. Yet, it goes on.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 5:00 PM on Apr. 22, 2013

  • Yeah, kind of spoiled but it's not too late!! So far my 6 yr old has never thrown fits like that, have probably just jinxed myself though. I always told him while still in the car that he is not getting any toys or candy while we are in the store and if he has a fit we will go to the bathroom for a time out. I don't leave the store just because he as a fit. He has always been pretty good though. I have a 10 month old so we will see how he is in another year or two

    Answer by cassie_kellison at 4:32 PM on Apr. 22, 2013

  • I've never had a problem.

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 4:37 PM on Apr. 22, 2013

  • My son was pretty good when understanding NO meant NO and stayed NO until I decided it was going to be YES.

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 4:18 PM on Apr. 22, 2013

  • My son rarely throws a fit at times he does, and he pays the consequence. He gets treats every now and then at the store, maybe a free cookie from the bakery etc. But he knows that no means no.

    It doesn't matter what the store does it only matters what I do.

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 5:07 PM on Apr. 22, 2013

  • Spoiled

    Answer by NotPanicking at 5:27 PM on Apr. 22, 2013