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My son's screams in stores when he doesn't get something. He just had a little brother and is very protective of him, but he yells and throws himself on the floor. What should I do to help him?

My son was my only child for about four years, then I got pregnant. And had my second son Alex. Well latlely he has been throwing tantrums and screaming his head off for everything he doesn't get. Don't get me wrong he still gets things, but even if I buy myself something he wants everything in the store.

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Asked by zackalexmom23 at 6:08 PM on Jun. 21, 2008 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (8)
  • My 3 year old son will scream if he doesn't get something he wants. I guess you have to make the choice before going into the store if you are going to let them have something or not. Do not let their screaming let you give in because they will keep doing it. If you stick to your guns they will eventually learn that crying doesn't always get them what they want. They may have to cry 5,000 times before they learn this but it will eventually work.

    Answer by ckramer at 6:50 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • Before you go INTO the store, tell him "Mommy is ONLY going to buy the things on this list. You are not getting any toys/candy/whatever." Let him hold the list, even if he can't read. And when he starts to throw a fit, tell him "No no... we are only buying these things today." And if you're at a store with a cart, put him in the cart (I know that's not always possible) and if he wants to get down and walk like a big boy, he'll need to stop throwing the fit. I don't know if that helped or not... just stick to your guns.

    Answer by crazysocks830 at 8:08 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • Let him know before you go into the store what you're going to buy and what you're not going to buy and that's the end of the story. If he asks for something and you tell him no and he starts throwing a fit, leave immediately. I don't care if you have a cart full of stuff that you just spent an hour shopping for. Be tough and when you get home, spank his little hiney good for throwing a fit and making you leave your groceries there. Tell him you don't reward fits. Be consistent and stick to your guns. Next time you go to the store, tell him the same thing, this is what we're buying and this is what we're not buying. If he tries the same business, do it again til he gets the idea. Believe me, it will only take once or twice if you mean business and don't give into his manipulating fits. You're the parent, you're the boss, act like it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:16 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • First, set expectations before entering the store. Let him know you may have a blank but thats it. I don't want you to ask for things while we are here.

    Second, never cave in to his demands. If he screams and you buy, the only thing you have done is taught him he will get what he wants if he screams.

    If her is making a scene don't hesitate to just walk out of the store. If you have your husband with you he can take your son out to the car to wait while you shop, if you are alone simply abandon your shopping cart and get him out of there. This teaches him this behaviour is not acceptable and you will not be held hostage by his demands. Remember every person out there who has kids has been there so don't feel embarassed if your son has a public meltdown.

    Answer by Eliza34 at 8:38 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • i'd not buy him anything because it is not his entitlement. lisa whelchel in her book Creative Correction says she even takes happy meal toys out of the box before giving the food to her kids. she keeps them for times when her kids have really deserved a treat, lets them choose one.

    Answer by TXdanielly at 9:18 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • one more thing-
    I let my kids look at the books most of the time, at the store and they know we will not buy any. We go to the library and there they can get WHATEVER they want! i let them sit on the floor by the books, and look through them for a while. if I really have time, we'll go through and look at toys. I'll say "is that a toy you'd like one day?"

    Answer by TXdanielly at 9:19 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • My daughter does the exact same thing. We cut her off so to say. Everytime she throws one of her lil fits we do not allow her to have anything new for 2 weeks. She is now figuring it out, and when we tell her she cant have something, we remind her of the new rule and she usually chills out. Hope this helps.

    Answer by redtang912 at 8:43 PM on Jun. 22, 2008

  • I have found that empathizing with my kids usually has a much more positive effect on their behavior than reprimanding them. Sometimes just acknowledging their wants is enough. Stating "you really like that ____" when they say "can I have it?" will work most of the time. Sometimes I need to take it further by asking them what they think it would be like to have it. I carry a list of things that they want to get "someday". If they really want something, they will ask me to write it down. Sometimes I let them carry whatever it is all over the store and play with it in the cart. By the time we get ready to checkout they will be done with it and we can put it back. Letting them put it back themselves is usually preferable to me putting it back for them. I try not to say "no" unless it's REALLY necessary because that just makes them resist. We also discuss what we are going to buy before we go in and I ask them to help me find those things, kind of like a scavenger hunt.

    Answer by jessradtke at 11:43 PM on Jun. 22, 2008

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