Last week I discussed the current reported trend that children are bullying their parents. I used an example of a 9-year-old flipping out because they couldn’t get their parent to buy the cereal they wanted. The child then became disrespectful and even started hitting.
Thank you for your ideas and suggestions. Viki’s response was pretty typical of what you, my readers, thought: “I would leave the store and the child would lose privileges at home - whatever their currency was. Friends, screens, whatever made the most impact. I realize they aren't necessarily natural or logical consequences for the described behaviour, but with that level of disrespect, they need to feel the consequence of their actions.
I had to carry a screaming toddler from the store because he didn't get what he wanted. He kept screaming, but he never did get what he wanted. He eventually stopped screaming and the behaviour stopped. He's still very demanding, but as a 9-year-old now, he would never dream of behaving as you described.
The 9-year-old would stop too and still not get the cereal. I'd hope they would have learned that before getting to age 9.....”
Here are some additional ideas that I think may help:
It’s important to know the child you are parenting. For some children, going to the grocery store isn’t an option because of the potential for behaviours. At other times, you may have no choice because there is no one to baby-sit for you. You may want to pick a time when there is not a lot of people in the store.
You need to stick to your “No.” As Viki explains, once the child is consequenced for their actions, they may quickly learn that this behaviour won’t be tolerated.
Respond in a relaxed calm manner. When you display excessive emotion or anger, it will take away your ability to think clearly and put things in perspective. Never respond when angry, and never discipline your child when you are still angry.
If you have to leave with your child before finishing the shopping or paying, ask the staff to kindly hold your shopping cart of groceries for a few hours when you will return without your child.
Remember, as Viki points out and I emphasize in my book, the younger your child is when you start implementing a discipline plan, the easier it will be. It is never too late; just make sure you put things in perspective when that 9-year-old hears “No” for the first time.
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