Surviving a department store tantrum

Posted on November 8, 2011


Toddler tantrum kit

Welcome to the sixth instalment of WTF Wednesday where the advice is totally free and worth every penny.

Today’s question comes to us from ThinLine via the blog, who writes:

Dear IBMP,

Here’s my question: how do you handle it when your toddler decides to have a tantrum in the middle of a department store?

Well my first response would be to freak because I don’t have a toddler. But enough about me; let’s talk about my opinions.

The answer depends on whether you have adequately prepared for your trip to the department store or whether you are in the unfortunate majority who have not yet taken the time to prepare an emergency tantrum kit. It only takes a few minutes but the peace of mind lasts a lifetime.

Let’s go over the list.

Duct tape. One roll is sufficient for the average sized toddler but be sure to check it regularly and replace it when it gets  down to about a third.

Bullet-proof vest. It seems a bit extreme until you find yourself standing in a crowded store surrounded by angry people who have either not yet had kids themselves or have managed to forget that their kids were just like yours back in the day.

Xanax. Whether you or the child take it is up to you. It’s also good to have enough on hand to offer to the employee that’s helping you try on those shoes.

iPod with noise-cancelling headphones. This is more so you don’t have to listen to the angry childless people who actually have the nerve to approach you to suggest you and your offspring take it outside.

Until stores wise up and install these kits alongside defibrillators, in the restrooms and behind the counters, you’ll need to be prepared. Now, I’m sure you’ve got emergency tantrum kits in each car, but it’s always a good idea to keep kits at the homes of relatives as well.

But there are times when even the best planning can leave you caught without a kit. In those cases, it’s about damage control.

There are a few techniques you can try:

1. Always try and shop with a kid that’s louder than yours.

2. If you have a stroller, roll your child up next to a childless couple and quietly sneak off. The more they act like it’s not their child, the more people will be convinced that it is.

3. If your toddler is a boy, you can postpone your department store shopping and head to a women’s shoe store. There isn’t a male alive that can manage to stay awake in a women’s shoe store. The kid will be out in three minutes.

Problem solved. Glad I could help!


Got a question for the parenting experts at IBMP? Ask it below. Yours might just be the one to be answered next week.

Check out previous WTF Wednesday questions and answer-like-things in the WTF Wednesday Archives.

Posted in: Advice (bad)