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What's a good method to keeping your 3 yr old in line at a store?

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She's almost 4 actually. But if she's not in a cart she will run away or just run in general. It drives me crazy! Its exhausting having to constantly tell her to stop and to come stand next me and to quit running or we will leave. I mean I gotta get stuff done ha. I avoid taking her shopping with me esp to old navy Bc she doesn't stay in those carts. Or they don't have one.

I can't bribe her Bc she thinks she gets whatever she wants now if she is "nice" or "good" and that's another tantrum in itself.

Are there any nifty methods I could use to end these battles?
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by on May. 1, 2012 at 2:15 PM
Replies (11-20):
by on May. 1, 2012 at 3:24 PM
I do the same thing we do at home. It doesn't even phase her =\

Quoting SouthTxPrincess:

What discipline do you use at home when she doesn't listen? My dd either gets a time out or a spanking. I enforce those rules even in public.

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by on May. 1, 2012 at 3:51 PM

this might sound really mean but it is what i had to do to get it to "sink in" for my 4 year old: i talked to the management at wal-mart and had them help out with not wandering away from me. i just kept walking and walked up to the service desk and told them that he wasn't really lost but to act as if he was while i go to another part of the store. when he realized i wasn't there and the wal-mart people "helped "him find me that was all it took and he hasn't  wandered off since.

by on May. 1, 2012 at 4:05 PM

I scared mine straight. I let her run off and I just followed behind her while she looked through the store for me. When she started to panic, I went up to her and told her thats exactly how I feel whenever she runs off. She has held my hand ever since. 

by Gold Member on May. 1, 2012 at 5:30 PM
2 moms liked this
Instead of threatening to leave... Leave. She'll get it. I left a cart full of groceries at customer service twice. Then my son got the point. Don't bribe her, show her you're the boss
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by on May. 1, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Make it a game. She is pushing the cart have her hang on to the side. as you walk. then have her protect it while your picking out what ever. Ask there thoughts on what your getting. Involve them they love to help... also when walking with your young one play red light green light. lets them run ahead a little and you control when they stop. and they have to be a statue till you touch their head. you keep em close and run off some energy at the same time... just my thoughts here.

by Member on May. 1, 2012 at 6:17 PM
Quoting BaileynMe:

This and she will drag big items thru the store like suitcases or quilts with handles.
by on May. 1, 2012 at 8:14 PM
My girls don't do that because they know with no doubt that if they do we will leave. At that age they had to have a hand on the cart or mom at all times unless told otherwise. One warning and the next time I would just walk out of the store with them. I would take the cart up front, explain the situation, make my child apologize to the worker for having to restock the cart , and we were out the door. I think that has happened once per kid and that was it. They know that at a restaurant if they are disruptive that either me or dh will remove them to the car while the others finish the meal and pack up the stuff for the parent who is outside and pay. That happened maybe twice and now they know mommy doesn't play that game!
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by on May. 1, 2012 at 8:21 PM

make sure she knows the rules before you go in the store. in the car, before we get out, i ask my son (hes 3 1/2) "what are the rules?' he says "no running, no screaming, and no jumping" (he added the no jumping rule haha). then he knows hes expected to follow these rules. as far as staying with me, because just because hes not running doesnt mean he doesnt want to wander, he has to stay behind the front of the cart. if he gets in front of me he gets one warning. if he does it again, he has to hold the cart. sometimes i make him hold the cart as soon as we get there if im in a hurry. he knows that if he runs off or gets crazy then hes sitting in the bucket. sometimes he wants to sit, and thats fine too. i also have a 2 year old, shes always in the cart if its just me. but shes already learning that we "walk slooooowly" as she says if my husband is with us. my kids actually behave better in the store when its just me and them. when my husband is with us, my son feels like he can stay with one or the other of us, but then starts running between us. he doesnt mean to really, he just gets confused. having the rules set before going in is key though in my opinion.

by Silver Member on May. 1, 2012 at 8:53 PM

My daughter is 3.5yr.  Ever since she was old enough to play with toys I would pack her a 'fun bag'.  :)  It has color books, markers (b/c they don't melt if left in car), small toys (hotwheels, strawberry shortcake, barbies, etc), and few other things.  I rotate out the toys every few weeks so its a nice surprise each time we shop.  I also put snacks in the front pouch if she wants something to nibble on.  Now that she's getting older and I have a Kindle Fire, she will sit and 'play games' while I shop.  I do allow her to get out at the grocery store and 'help' mommy.  She will pick items out and put in the buggy.  She knows what certain things are and what we get.  Its really fun!  Plus its teaching her how to shop and what we will have in the house.

by on May. 1, 2012 at 8:55 PM
Who knows ! I have an almost 3 and almost 4 year old. I try to avoid taking them both to the store by myself at all costs. Or I risk being THAT mom with the screaming misbehaved children
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