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Old 06-07-2009, 09:58 PM
Location: Here... for now
1,747 posts, read 2,621,991 times
Reputation: 1208


The Meltdown on Aisle 7. I'm sure we've ALL been through it, either as an active participant (parents) or as observers (other customers and store personnel).

The Location: the store. Take your pick, supermarket, toy store, home improvement center, doesn't matter just so long as it's fairly big.

The Players: Kid(s) and at least one parent.

The Scene
: Parent has a full cart and is almost done with shopping. Suddenly, Kiddo has had enough, flips out and has full-blown, arms flailing, feet kickin', screaming at top volume meltdown .

The Decision
: Should Parent try to continue shopping? Or just head straight to the check-out? Or abandon the cart and rush the Kiddo out of the store?

************************************************** ***

Although I've been Observer many times, it only happened once where I was Parent. Kiddo was maybe 2-3ish. I don't remember what set him off, but he simply disintegrated. My decision was to run the cart up to the Service Desk and quickly, but sincerely, apologize for having them have to put everything back. My reasoning was I figured they'd rather inconvenience one clerk than have an entire store full of disgruntled customers who might rush through their shopping. It didn't seem fair to me to subject everyone else to the disruption.

So, what have you done when you were in the situation? How have you handled it when you were Parent? Did you leave or stay? Did you try to act like nothing was wrong or out of order?

How have you handled it when you were Observer? Did you rush through your shopping to get out? Did you glare at Parent and grumble about their rotten kid and/or parenting skills?

How does the store view it? Would they prefer Parent leave and come back another time (meaning Store has to restock everything currently in the cart)? Or would they prefer Parent finish up the order, even though other customers are subjected to a less than peaceful shopping environment?

Old 06-07-2009, 10:18 PM
Location: under Grace
142 posts, read 245,516 times
Reputation: 131
Run, flee with said child. I would gladly put away a cart of items. Last night I was having a lovely meal out with my friend. We're in the far corner, everybody around us is peaceful and enjoying their meal. Lots of smiling people. Enter a family whose kid hates the highchair. Screams and tears. Mom just sits there trying to wait out the tantrum. Meanwhile all the diners have gone silent, there are no smiles, but plenty of plate studying. Finally its quiet, Mom had taken the kid outside. Management should have made her do that right away. We were finishing off our meal by then, had we just got there we would have left immediately. We eat out at a nice place out of town once a month. No way am I sharing that time with a screaming kid.
Old 06-07-2009, 10:29 PM
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,907 posts, read 35,027,121 times
Reputation: 42372
Heh, I just wish I could pick my daughter up, tuck her under my arm and flee. She's autistic and occasionally will make a scene. She's the size of a grown woman and at least as strong, and she bites when she's upset. The terrible twos were a piece of cake.
Old 06-07-2009, 10:55 PM
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
9,535 posts, read 13,377,961 times
Reputation: 20050
As a retail employee, please, take your child somewhere to calm down. Even if it's just out to the parking lot or the restroom. It's not fair to the other customers, the employees, or to the child, to continue on with your shopping in that situation.
Let the store know whether you'll return to make the purchase later in the day, or whether they should return the mdse to the shelf. Many stores don't mind holding non-perishable items for a few hours.
I've been there as a parent too. It's no fun to have to abandon your trip and have to come back later to finish the shopping, but there's no way I'm hauling a screaming kid around a store.
BTW, I almost always feel more sympathy for the poor kid who's being dragged around shopping than I feel for the parent(s). Amazing how many parents will ignore the fact that their little darling is hungry, or needs a nap, and will blithely wander around the store for over an hour, yet be surprised when darling has had more than enough and loses it.
Old 06-07-2009, 11:02 PM
2,466 posts, read 4,206,054 times
Reputation: 1300
Depending on the age of the child and why the possible melt down.

If child is a toddler or younger and obviously is tired from being drug all over the store, I would leave with said child if it was mine. If I was an observer I would try and do something to catch the child's attention and get them to stop crying. Like play peek a boo.

If child is preschooler to kindergarten age and they are throwing a fit because I won't buy them something, I would give them warning to quiet down or we are going to the car. If they did not calm down I would take my cart and kid and talk to a clerk and tell them I'll be back in 15 mins. If I'm not then please go ahead and return the items to the shelves. Then I'd promptly leave the store, go out to my car and wait until child calms down. If child does not calm down within 15 mins. I'll just head for home. If I'm just an observer, I'd thank the good Lord that it's not my kid throwing the fit and go about shopping as usual.

If the child is 1st grade or older and is throwing a fit because I won't buy them something, then I would give them one fair warning to stop the fit, if they do not, then I'd just go about shopping after I stepped over child while throwing a fit on the floor, acting as if the child wasn't there or affecting me. (give a child an audience and they will milk it for all it's worth, ignore it and don't cave in and it usually makes them stop.) If I'm the observer I would continue to shop, again thanking the good Lord it's not my kid.

I guess I'm so used to kids and them having melt downs that having someone else's have a melt down in my presence doesn't bother me much. Now what bother me most is when kids are running amock and the parents aren't trying to do anything to stop them. Melt downs are going to happen, heck I've even came close a few times in having a melt down in a store because I can't find what I'm looking for and it's something I really need and the store has moved it and I'm in a hurry and don't have time to go hunting for it. But kids running around and climbing onto things is totally unacceptable, they are risking the safety of themselves and the folks around them. I've seen little old ladies almost upended by a grade school age running past them. When I see kids running around in stores or resteraunts, I always say something to them, I don't care if it pi$$es off a parent or not.
Old 06-08-2009, 03:09 AM
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,767 posts, read 21,823,917 times
Reputation: 27840
I've taken my cart to the courtesy desk and asked them to put it somewhere until I could come back in and get it. If I didn't have a cart full, I just left.

It's annoying to hear parents repeatedly tell children that they will leave unless the tantrum ends (like that works) or they behave themselves and then they don't follow through, just keep repeating the same threat.
Old 06-08-2009, 05:38 AM
Location: Ca2Mo2Ga2Va!
2,736 posts, read 5,795,182 times
Reputation: 1776
I've been pretty lucky with mine. I always had to do my grocery shopping with a baby, toddler or pre-schooler and they always behaved fairly decent. My twins, who are 7 now, would behave better when they were little than they do now at a store. I guess they were so used to going with me. I refuse to take them now as they act like maniacs when we get in a store. My older 2 would fight each other constantly, which drove me crazy while shopping, so I refuse to take them together with me now.
When any of mine did act up inside the store, we'd make a trip to the bathroom if I couldn't control it and have a little chat. Also, it's not fair on the child if you are dragging them through the store during nap time or or close to it.
And I think it's plain rude when other shoppers glare at the parent as if it's their fault the child is misbehaving. I haven't really experienced that but have friends who are good parents, but for one reason or another their child acted up and everyone in the store acts as though it's the first time they've seen something like that.
And as a parent, other people's children who are acting up in public, really doesn't bother me. It happens, it's life...
Old 06-08-2009, 06:57 AM
Location: (WNY)
5,384 posts, read 9,595,496 times
Reputation: 7646
I answered this in another thread just yesterday... my three year old had a tantrum... and my four year old just started to add to it with constant questions and other things.... I was actually in tears by the time I got to the register. I HAD to get the groceries done- and I only had two aisles to zip down at that point but I knew what I needed and just grabbed and ran. Zoomed to the check out and fled the scene...... That was my day from HeL# at the Grocery Store.... Luckily I have never had another one like it. But I did finish the last two short aisles since I knew I could just grab and go.... It wasn't fun... but I did it... and was it right or wrong? who the heck knows or cares two years later.... it was horrible and I don't wish that experience on anyone else!
Old 06-08-2009, 07:01 AM
2,893 posts, read 5,171,188 times
Reputation: 1973
Walk the cart to the service desk, say, "I'll be right back to collect this," and take kid outside to calm down. Make sure to point out to kid that the trantrum did not get him out of shopping (no reward for bad behavior), then return, collect cart, and finish.
Old 06-08-2009, 07:11 AM
467 posts, read 845,706 times
Reputation: 227
kinda depends on the age and size of the kid and what's going on during this tantrum. If they are little and just laying on the floor or preteens having a violent fit.

But I'd probly attempt to remove myself and the child from the situation as neatly as possible. Save the confrontation for later when your alone with the child in the car and THEN you can verbally lay into em without cellphone carrying busybodies around
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