Supermarket meltdowns

When you take the kids grocery shopping, you know it’s only a matter of time before there’s a supermarket meltdown. But these kinds of outings are a great time to teach your child valuable social skills, so avoiding them altogether can do more harm than good. You can try these few things to help make shopping – and other trips – run more smoothly. 


Take your child shopping when they are most likely to enjoy it – not during sleep or meal times. Think about how long you will be and whether you might need a friend to help you. 


Keep the first few trips short; perhaps go to the corner store to buy milk and bread. It might even be useful to make shopping part of your child’s daily or weekly routine to help them get used to it.


Tell your child where you are going, what you are getting and when you will be back. You could even use pictures and photographs to help explain the routine. 


Involve them in preparing for the trip. They could help you with the shopping list, like choosing which flavour ice-cream to buy.


Decide on two or three simple rules. They could be “Stay close”, “Walk in the shops”, and “Ask before touching”. Tell your child what they are and ask them to repeat the rules before they go shopping. Praise and reward them if they tell you. Stay calm and repeat them again if they cannot.


At first, you might like to reward your child for following the rules. Let your child know what they can earn if they follow the rules. 


If your children misbehave while shopping, you can tell them what to stop doing and what to do instead. Praise them if they cooperate, or follow through with a consequence, such as quiet time, if they don’t.

Stepping Stones Triple P’s Seven Steps to Positive Parenting

This hot parenting topic sure is a conversation starter! It relates to Stepping Stones Triple P’s sixth step to positive parenting: “Be part of the community.” Read more about the seven steps to positive parenting. Here are more hot parenting topics to get you thinking about how you can be part of your community:

Don’t just take our word for it!

See what other parents are saying

Do trips to the supermarket lead to a meltdown?

Primary Care Stepping Stones could help