Thursday, August 25, 2005

Tantrum in the Aisles!


Yesterday evening, I needed to pick up a prescription and some photos from Walgreen's. My 3-year-old daughter was none too happy about this errand and would not get out of the car. I thought about using the drive-thru to pick up the prescription and wished there was also a drive-thru for the photos! But, I felt I could not give into her pouting-what would it lead to? I placed my son in a buggy so I could retrieve my daughter from the car. I managed to unbuckle her from the car seat and picked her up. She immediately turned into a limp rag doll and just about slipped through my arms to the parking lot asphalt. I told my daughter we had to run in and that I would appreciate it if she would be my helper-usually worked, but not this time. As I carried her through the door while pushing my son in the buggy, my daughter began to wail at the top of her lungs. It was like an alarm went off inside the store and all patrons and employees turned to see what was happening. I don't respond to her tantrums in any other setting and firmly stood my ground as I carried her all the way to the photo counter. It was humiliating and I don't recall ever having so many evil stares directed my way, yet I kept a smile on my face. If I give into my daughter's tantrum out of embarrassment, what kind of example am I setting? THAT SHE CAN DO IT AGAIN AND GET HER WAY! I recently read an article

  • Parenting by Intention
  • by Barry Neil Kaufman. The author addresses this exact issue-by giving into tantrums or crying, we're teaching the art of manipulation. I can't change my parenting just because other people are watching with unapproving eyes. And though her tantrum seemed to last for hours, it really only lasted about a minute or two. I didn't respond so my daughter had no reason to continue. Once she calmed down, I asked her to use her words and tell me what was upsetting her. She simply said she didn't want to go. I thanked her for coming with me. Then, we got our photos and proceeded to the Rx counter. While we were waiting in line, my daughter started coughing. I kindly asked her to remember her good manners and cover her mouth. She did, with my face. I reminded her to use her hands to cover her mouth. A couple sitting near by chuckled. Finally, it was our turn and the pharmacist gave my daughter a coloring book along with our prescription. She loudly said, "thank you." What good manners I told her and allowed her to keep it as the pharmacist had already given it to her. I also explained that she wouldn't have received that coloring book had she not gone to the store with me. Though I added that she won't always get gifts from a store (I didn't want her thinking it was an every time occurrence). Now, let's see if I can stand my ground if she throws a tantrum on our next airplane ride!

    3 comments:

    Anonymous Mary said...

    I don't know how you do it Kelley! I am so proud of you. You have strength far beyond your tiny little frame. (Although with stories like these, it's gonna get harder and harder to find a sitter...ha ha)
    Mary

    Kelley said...

    Oh, the kids are absolute angels at home (wink, wink)

    Micah said...

    So NOW I know what is going on when I see this happening in stores... it's ALL so clear now... wow, the power struggle beings...