Ever been held captive by a three year old tyrant? Gotten them strapped into a stroller so you can run errands and they decide to LOSE it in the store of the mall that is quite possibly the FARTHEST away from the car? In a restaurant and the two year old goes nuclear in their high chair? Driving down the road and junior has seismic temper tantrum while at 70 mph down the interstate?
Most times this becomes a factor when junior has gotten wind that you can be held captive. They somehow sense that in a crowd or in a public place that your word is mute. So now you have to teach them that they are wrong and you won’t be scared to walk out of any situation!
Learn my secret weapon. Put on your party face. Get ready to rumble. Cause today, you’re gonna end all that jazz.
It’s a classic bait and switch.
Get dressed, get them ready and talk about how today we have to go to the mall to get mommy new shoes. But here’s the thing: This is a training mission soldier! You KNOW junior is going to go postal. You have no intention of buying any shoes. You have every intention of walking the entire mall knowing that at any moment they are going to erupt. And then you will determinedly (shamelessly, boldly, smiling knowing in the end this will be worth it) walk the whole length of the mall with a screaming kid out to the car to administer “justice.”
If a restaurant is your weak spot, then tell them how today we are going to meet a friend for pancakes at IHOP. At 3pm since it is virtually a ghost town at IHOP, so your collateral damage is minimalized. Put them in their highchair knowing soon little Napoleon Bonaparte will rear his ugly tyrannical head and then leave that waitress a fat $10 tip for the cup of coffee and walk out with junior to take care of business. He won’t believe the swiftness of your action.
You put junior in his carseat. Drive the neighborhood knowing his earthquake is coming. When it does…you pull right over. He’ll never see that coming. Guaranteed.
All it takes is a few secret missions and their rule is overthrown. The element of surprise and the swift justice gain back respect and put a little bit of “uh-oh…that woman isn’t capable of being held captive anymore!” into their psyche.
I have had to do this with children as young as 18 months who would decide to pitch epic fits in their car seats the minute I pulled out of the driveway, and with children as old as five or six. After that, the jig is kind of up. Either you’ve become known by them at that point as a woman of her word and earned/deserve their respect or these simple ploys will no longer be adequate.
Caveat: PLEASE remember context. If your kid throws fits every time you are out around 2pm, likely they are TIRED and you need to get them home for a NAP. If it has been a crazy week and you have been on the go too much, at too many late softball games for big brother, or the wee one is sick…please do not even think about disciplining that child. This little trick I have had to pull on all of my children is something I have had to do when I see it becoming a character trait rather than a result of some known factor which caused exhaustion or illness.