How can you get a three year old to understand that he doesnt get a “present” for being good at the store.?

How can you get a three year old to understand that he doesnt get a “present” for being good at the store.?

Question by Mommy2351: How can you get a three year old to understand that he doesnt get a “present” for being good at the store.?
Everytime my husband or I go to the store, our 3yr old feels intitlement for a toy or treat of some sort. When he realizes that he isnt going to receive anything he goes in to full tantrum, embarrasing us. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Best answer:

Answer by S.K.
Ah, the down-side of rewarding good behavior at other times with a little present rears its ugly head!

Threes are capable of logic, actually. They also benefit from repetition.

“We are going to the store today. I know you’ll be a good boy.” Later, “It’s not too long until we go to the store. I expect you to be a good boy.” Later still, “We’re going to the store now. I’m sure you’re going to be a good boy, and if you are, then before bedtime Daddy or I will read to you for ten extra minutes.” As you enter the store, “Remember, if you’re good while we shop, extra reading tonight. But no toy, good or bad. We are not here to buy toys and treats.”

Later, whether he behaved or not at the store, “You’re a big boy, and smart enough to know that you’re good nearly all the time. We can’t give you a present every time you’re good or our whole house would be filled with presents. Wouldn’t that be silly? Where would we sit? I’m still very proud of you when you’re good at the store. Daddy is, too.”

Giving your attention as a reward, and praise when it’s earned, works really well.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

  1. Faith4jesusNov 03, 2011

    Tame the tantrums at home and they will be easier to tame out in public

    First let him know that when he throws a fit he is only going to get in more trouble. This starts at home. At 3yrs old he is old enough to be taken to his room, sat on his bed and told “You can come out as soon as you are done” these room time outs should last around 3 mins. Stand at the door and let him know he will not come out of his room until the time out is over. If he messes up his room, kicks the door or gets out of control then you got bigger problems and need to address those quickly.

    The room time outs should be given each and every time he has a tantrum.

    Once he learns at home he won’t get his way by throwing a fit then he will know throwing a fit outside the home is useless. But if he does then he should be punished right away. My husband & I use to do car time outs. One of us would carry the fussing child to the car, put them in the carseat and wait a few minuets depending on the childs age.

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