Tantrums and Emotional Upsets (Sale)

Tantrums and Emotional Upsets – 12: Going to the Grocery Store (Sale)

Going to the Grocery Store

We’ve all been there with an upset child in the grocery store. Naturally, I get a lot of questions about the grocery store, probably because we all need to eat. When the brain stoplight is applied to going to the grocery store, it becomes easier for all of us.

If possible, go to the store when you’re all well rested and fed, and preferably on green. Meltdowns can happen for you or your child when you are hungry or tired.

For some kids, the grocery store itself is dysregulating. Some children will need to be close to you in the grocery store- either in a sling or a cart if they need to go with you. If you can leave a child who doesn’t do well at the grocery store home with a caring person, that would be best for everyone, at least until your child is in a different developmental place. Or if you can, send someone else to do your shopping so you can stay home with your child. It doesn’t need to be forever, but sometimes the kindest thing that can be done for yourself and your child is to make your world a little smaller for a while.

When you notice your child is on yellow and you’re in the grocery store, talk quietly to your child. Connect with her. Engage her in the process of going to the grocery store. Slow down. You’re at the fork in the road. Take a minute here and you can avoid the red most of the time.

When you’re on red at the grocery store, this is a mayday moment. Stop shopping. This is probably where you’re going to pick up your child and carry her out of the grocery store and abandon your groceries. Or you’re going to have a screaming child through the check out line. If you can, go out to the car and regulate. Move your bodies and regulate so you can go back in and finish shopping. Or call a friend to help you finish your shopping.

Have you tried the brain stoplight applied to going to the grocery store? I’d love to hear what happens for you.

Listen in for our last video reminding you that there’s always hope.

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