Today started off with us remembering the Anzacs.
By lunchtime it was quite clear that we needed to do something with the MonsterSquad on their day off. They were starting to get ‘bored’ and the nonsense was looming.
So I made the call that we should go for a drive to the ‘big shops’ and get some things done that I haven’t been able to do in town.
* Buy fabric to make the car seat covers for the van.
* Make a clothes lay-by for the kids at Kmart.
* Let the 3 older kids choose out some birthday pressies and put them on lay-by so all I have to do come the time, is pick them up.
Sounds simple enough doesn’t it?
Well you would think so.
We gave the kids the usual warning about sticking beside us, doing as they’re told and not touching everything in sight.We asked them not to ask for everything and promised them a drink once we got to the shopping center.
First stop was Spotlight. Now I know that unless you’re running wild through the craft section, this is probably not an exciting store for kids but with the quantity of fabric that I required, I needed hubby to come with me into the store to lug it around for me.
I chose the fabric relatively quickly and we headed for the counter. Where we waited…… and waited…… and waited some more. It had to be nearly 20mins before we were even served. Not because the store was exceptionally busy, but because they had one lady behind the counter.
Eventually, a young girl served us. It became apparent very quickly that she had no idea what she was doing at all. So while she fluffed around and went to find someone else to help her, the monsters began their nonsense.
It took us 10mins to find what we were looking for and 45mins to get served. Un-Freakin-Believable.
We finally ushered the kids back to the van and explained what we would be doing in the next shop.
The guidelines were clearly outlined and the expectations were perfectly reasonable.
We entered Kmart and headed for the kids clothes. They chose out a few bits and pieces and we moved on towards the shoes. The girls quickly tried on some boots, and I decided to grab us all some slippers too.
Next stop…. the toy section. (Insert ‘dundun’ Law and Order type sound here)
Within 2mins of the monsters raiding the aisles, we had a screamer. 2 more minutes and we had another one. Why?
Because I said no. Nothing harsh or unexpected. The same things that were said back in the van.
Now, I will not tolerate tantrums in the shops. I have seen countless times when parents in shops give in and give up when the almighty tantrum is produced, but I am not going to let the monsters manipulate us like that.
So I said time was up and we headed to the lay-by counter. By this stage the screamers were in full blown tantrum mode. So loud that I could not even hear the lay-by lady over them, nor could she hear me. One last chance to stop was given with the threat that dad would take them back to the van.
With no change in behavior, hubby picked them up, dragged them along, as best he could, kicking and screaming and chucking the mother of all tantrums.
Here comes the funny bit…
The Kmart security guard followed and stalked him all through the store and towards the carpark!!! WTF!!!
Perhaps he thought my hubby was stealing them….
errrr no, if we were going to pinch a child it would be a lovely well mannered quiet one… not two possessed psychos letting the whole shopping center know they were unhappy with mum’s decision to be firm and stick to her word.
I wonder what the guard was going to do? I mean if hubby was stealing children, this guard really did very little to deter him. Bit strange really…
So I finished our lay-by and headed back to the van where the 2 tantrum chuckers were quite happily creating more chaos and nonsense. It’s like they didn’t give a bugger what they had just done, the embarrassment they had caused us all or the stress they had put on hubby having to drag them out of the shops.
Next stop was Big W. I took the well behaved children in with me while hubby sat in the car with the others. I have no idea how he kept his cool with this second round of tantrums, because I was getting very close to… ahem…. “Losing my shit”.
I have seen this technique in so many parenting books, on shows like The SuperNanny and in parenting techniques such as 123Magic, in which they all promise fantastic results. Except I am left wondering how many attempts of this it is going to take for these monsters of mine to realise it’s just not on.
I am at a loss as to what to do next.
Do we just never allow them to go shopping again? Surely this can’t be helpful as there will be times when there is no other choice, and I guess they need to acquire these life skills at some point.
What would you do to deter this kind of behavior when out shopping?
Do you also put up with tantrums and chaos when you take your children out?
How do your children react when you put your foot down and say NO??