Oh Yeah...Mall Meltdown

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by April, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. April

    April New Member

    I forgot to mention in my last post...we went to Sears for a little retail therapy/Christmas shopping. While in the store James had a total meltdown :soapbox: Between the grabbing, the screaming, and everything else...it was obviously too much! The ladies in line behind me mentioned "that baby isn't happy"...all I could say was that it wasn't a baby, it was my 9 yo son, and he probably just didn't get his way... :smile: was the look I got...

    Well as daddy dearest proceeded to escort difficult child to the car, of course difficult child is kicking and screaming all the way :bag: Well there was another lady in the parking lot who starting yelling at my husband...big mistake LOL He very promptly and politely told her where to go, and just how she could get there :bravo: She then wrote down our lp# and called the cops... :rofl: luckily they didn't get involved...it might have gotten ugly :whew:

    just thought I could add a bit of humor to our days!!!
  2. onmyknees

    onmyknees New Member

    Don't ya just want to scream when that happens. I cannot take my 16 y.o. difficult child to the mall...she gets mad at the smallest things and flips her head around a walks off...it takes hours to find her. I swear...uggg.
  3. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Oh gotta love the license plate write down. For me it was easy child that had a tantrum in a store and I got that one. They called dhs and sure enough we were investigated. Of course nothing came of it but darn people that can't mind there own business. If they can't be helpful they should just butt out.

    Sorry you had to deal with that.

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Your post reminded me of a funny experience I had with my son when he was two or three. He was running through the mall halls like his pants were on fire screaming bloody murder. And he didn't have a normal screen. He sounded like he was being tortured. Now my son is adopted and he is African-American and I'm Caucasian. So I'm running after him, a half a hall away, and he's looking over his shoulder screaming, "HELP! HELP! HELP!" Fortunately, cell phones weren't as popular back then because I could FEEL the people thinking, "She's trying to kidnap that poor terrified baby!"
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We've had our shopping centre problems...

    We do our big shopping expeditions to a centre which until a few years ago was the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. You can imagine what THAT place does to a difficult child, let alone a family of them.

    Can't remember exactly what occurred, only that I left toddler difficult child 3, who at the time was on a harness and leash to keep him with us (he did not respond to hearing his name, thanks to his autism) in the 'care' of difficult child 1, aged about 12 and easy child 2/difficult child 2, then 10. She had no diagnosis and was alleged to be very intelligent as well as socially smart. We had left the three in an open area for a few minutes and returned to find easy child 2/difficult child 2 swinging difficult child 3 round in a large circular sweep on the floor, swinging him by his leash. difficult child 3 wasn't screaming, but he wasn't too happy either. A few adults had stopped to stare and a couple were about to intervene to tell this girl to stop mistreating her baby brother, just as we turned up. The looks of disgust we copped were everywhere (close to Christmas). First, we had this kid on a leash (they had no idea how badly we needed it) and this older girl who clearly should have known better, was using it to have her own fun AND greatly disrupt the shopping centre's human traffic flow.
    At least the leash was attached to a five point harness, and not merely around his neck!

    I think we got out of there two steps in front of security...

    And when easy child 2/difficult child 2 was a toddler, she seemed to have an affinity for men with facial hair, she would run to a total stranger as if he were her father, simply because the bloke had a beard.
    Of course, we know now she has facial blindness, but never realised until a recent documentary that this is not common.

    Malls and difficult children do not mix.

    Mind you, we've never told people off for being concerned. After all, if there really WAS a problem for the child I would want that degree of vigilance turned to help my child. In our news at the moment is a couple being investigated for the death of their 7 year old autistic daughter. She weighed 9 Kg at autopsy. The media haven't been very vocal about her autism - I just read that in the paper, back on page 6 - and knowing how a lot of autistic kids really have trouble with food, I do wonder what the eventual story will be. However, DOCS (our CPS) already had this family under investigation and other kids (not autistic) had already been removed, so this story has more to it.
    If only someone had been more vigilant, the girl could still be alive, and getting the treatment she needed.

    If someone DOES start yelling when really, it's not appropriate - we just say, "Thank you for being vigilant, but this situation is actually under control. Life with a disabled child is never easy and he's just had enough of shopping for the day."

    And if they REALLY get difficult, we just ask them how much experience they have had, with special needs kids. If they continue to be armchair experts, we've even offered to let them take the kid home. By this stage they've often mysteriously lost enthusiasm for being helpful, and gone away.

    Humour works best, even when someone is being offensive. I avoid being angry or offensive in return because all that does, is confirm that person's bad opinion of me. And while I really don't care what people think, I DO mind when it is likely to cause me inconvenience (such as a police interview, or DOCS).

    I flash a smile and simply say, "My mother warned me there would be days like this." Or, "I'm farming him out for a commercial for birth control!"

  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This reminds me of the time difficult child was throwing a tantrum at an Oasis stop and husband was having to deal with it. A guy started screaming at husband and said he was going to call the cops-never did but I remember being really ticked!

    Sorry you had to endure a mall meltdown-not fun!
  7. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I gotta tell ya.

    I walk into the mall, and in 2 seconds, I...ME...am about ready to have a meltdown.

    I can't STAND the mall.

    No sensory issues to my knowledge. But the mall is just too much. I would not DARE bring a difficult child there.

    Oh, and people need to keep their noses in their own business.
  8. maniacmansion

    maniacmansion New Member

    We've had very similiar things happen. Back when I still had a cell phone I used to offer to dial for them when people would threaten to call the police or child services. They'd usually just walk away.
  9. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    been there done that! We had someone call the cops on us on our way to Florida. They thought we were kidnapping our kid because we had to carry her out of a restaraunt like a football and we could barely get her into her car seat, because she was kicking and screaming so much. She was 3 at the time.

    Now, when she pulls this at the mall, I can't get her into the car, so she's just screaming bloody murder in the middle of the parking lot and everyone usually just stares. She did this back in June and I have not taken her to the mall since, without her dad with me. I refuse. If someone said they were going to call the cops, I'd say go right ahead, maybe they can get her in the car.

  10. whateveryousay2007

    whateveryousay2007 New Member

    Oh....mine when he doesn't get his way uses the line.....

    "Help.....get this crazy lady off of me."

    I want to beat him....but I don't. I just grab him by the hand and escort him to the car. I tell people to butt out. I know how hard it is to have people look at you like "why can't you control your child?"
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well there was another lady in the parking lot who starting yelling at my husband...big mistake LOL He very promptly and politely told her where to go, and just how she could get there She then wrote down our lp# and called the cops... luckily they didn't get involved...


    I agree, if they can't be helpful they can butt out.
    They watch too much TV and think someone is being kidnapped.
  12. stepmom47

    stepmom47 New Member

    We were in F&F and trying to get little p/c into the front of the cart and this lady catches us a few aisles later and says we are abusing our little girl and that she is gonna call the police.
    At first I thought she was jokeing!
    husband is like: Hugh...(He was looking at something)

    I was like: first of all lady this is a boy and second of all
    all husband did was raise his voice and p/c started screaming!

    She kept saying husband hit p/c.

    Finally after husband gave her a dirtly look she took off.

    Later I was looking for her at the back of the store to give her a bigger piece of my mind!
  13. April,

    All I can say is we avoid malls and crowded stores like the plague!! difficult child taught us around 3 years of age that he can't tolerate that kind of environment and we soon learned that we couldn't if he couldn't. We're strictly online and small local shop (or farmer's market) buyers now - it's wonderful... but wasn't really much of an option when he was younger.

    I can't count the number of people who wanted to "help" us with a sensorily overwhelmed, out of control difficult child. None of them had a clue of what they were talking about. Now (when I'm shopping alone) and I see a parent struggling with a younger child in a public place I give them smiles and say some prayers for them. I know better than to judge their situation. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone could do that?
  14. prayerful

    prayerful New Member

    my son had a meltdown in the grocery store when he was about 3years old because i would not by him candy and he feel on the floor and he kicked and screamed and my ex picked him up and took of his belt and spanked him and i walk out of the store before i could get to the car the police was there . and the lady that called the police said that she felt that was cruel what my ex did to my son so my ex said you take him home then since you know what is best for him and the lady looked confused i just laughed because when she get him home and he start acting out she would call the police in order for us to pick him up ! so know when my son has outburst and people try to explain to me how to parent him i tell them all of his issues and what medications they will have to get him when they become me and how many doctor appoinments he has a month and that they would have to go to the school twice a month and about time i tell them that they look and say you are stronger than me and they keep going .

    so i just cut out the middle man i go shopping late at night when i know he is to tired to act out or i leave him with my next door neighbor when i see that he is on hyper over charge then he will act out , but he knows that if he stays and don't go to the store then he doesn't get to choose breakfast items i do !whatever works . he calms down .
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    In New Zealand now, they will arrest you if you spank your child in public. That law was passed in June this year, while we were there. I'm not sure, I think they will also arrest in New Zealand for ANY spanking, even in your own home.

    In Australia, they will arrest you if you spank your child in public particularly vigorously, or if you use something other than your open hand.

    They will especially arrest you if the child is under school age.

    We've generally avoided spanking, especially in public. I used to use a red fly swat (red - nice bright colour, waving it around gets the kid's attention; fly swat, because it's soft plastic and does less harm than a hand but the aim isn't to hurt, it's to send the kid a clear message). The fly swat would now be illegal here, except for flies.

    A crowded mall - most kids especially when really young, will find these more than they can handle. For difficult children, it's even worse. We always took that into account and would leave the mall rather than stick it out with a meltdown. Since our kids like the mall (even when not coping) then leaving punishes the meltdown.

    To try to stick it out at the mall with an out of control kid - not good for anybody. It doesn't teach the kid anything about self-control, either.

    The best option, if you can manage it - leave the mall BEFORE the meltdown. And if the meltdown is over the kid wanting something he's not permitted to have, we just ignore it and pretend it's not our kid.

    But we know that this is likely to happen - so before we go anywhere near the fast food or the junk food (or the supermarket) we make sure the kid is fed and watered thoroughly, so he will look at food with a detached air of indifference. If that means we buy the kid a full roast dinner and a pint of milk before we go to the mall, then so be it. On a full stomach he is not likely to pester us for a burger & fries. And if he DOES - he can buy the toy, on its own, out of HIS pocket money, so we don't have to waste the food (which he would be too full to eat).

    Taking a hungry/thirsty kid shopping is a total disaster. Expecting a hungry/thirsty kid to wait and accept "no" when clearly surrounded by plenty, is also asking for trouble. Research shows that when adults shop on an empty stomach they make many more impulse purchases (even non-food purchases). So we shop to a list, AFTER we've eaten. And if hungry adults can't control themselves, how can we expect kids to?

    Sometimes the best cure is prevention.

  16. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Marg, I'm rather surprised that something wasn't done if indeed someone used a belt on the child in public.

    There was a case not too long ago where a woman was caught spanking her kid with an open hand in a mall parking lot, and DCFS stepped in. They took the child away.

    Not like 20-30 years ago. I DISTINCTLY remember a kid I was in school with, he was a year behind me. He was 14 or 15 at the time, and he had just got caught stealing a car. His father chased him and cornered him in the front entrance of a K-Mart. He was BEATING this kid. Nobody DARED look at him the wrong way, interfere, or anything. The cops stood there and waited until dad was good and done before they took him.
  17. navineja

    navineja New Member

    Before the arrival of my dear difficult children, I used to be one of "those" people who always wondered why those parents didn't do anything about the "horrible screaming brat" in the store. Then a few months after the twins came, we were in the store and J wanted a candy. I told her that we were not getting any now and IT began. I was in the checkout line and thought that I had to finish my shopping (now I know that I should have just left- live and learn,huh?). She kept it up thru the checking out and all the way to the car and home. I had never been so mortified in all my life. I just knew that everyone around me assumed that I was one of those parents that said no but then gave in when the child tantrumed (because that is what I always assumed). Needless to say, I gained a whole new understanding and empathy for other parents that day and it has just continued to grow over the past 3 years!
  18. coalminer1235

    coalminer1235 New Member

    My interactions with the "justice" system where we live (northern Utah) have convinced me that they do not exist for the benefit of the child, they exist to preserve and extend their own welfare. Our Utah system is designed to prevent you from taking any serious action that would help control or limit your childs behavior while at the same time tying you to the child as legally liable for anything that results from that childs behavior. Given an opportunity to introduce that child into the justice system they will gladly do so, happily connecting that child with other kids who have the same or worse problems and attitudes and cheerfully billing *you* for it all. I am not naive enough to think that there are not some situations in which Child Protective Services are a godsend, but I do believe that in the majority of cases the structure of the system actually prevents the child from being helped.

    Before I met my wife when she was a single mom they removed one of her sons from the home, billed her for foster care and sent the child to a home with alcohol accessible and he returned with a "battery tattoo". You have to wonder how many times that is repeated and even if the intentions are good, the underlying motive in this (and most all) government bureaucracies is self-preservation.

    Personally I am unable to make clear black and white decisions when I see a kid acting up in a store or even when I hear a child abuse story on the news. While 99.99999...% of me is horrified and outraged when one of these stories appears, that last 0.000...0% wonders what that kid did. On all sides of these issues are humans, imperfect creatures just like me struggling on all levels to deal with life in a society defined by constantly being barraged with advertisements telling us we need more stuff to be happy. We are set up for failure by our culture and society and the "system" that is supposed to "protect and serve" is using liability and CYA paperwork as an excuse to protect and serve its own interests. All done with the best of intentions, of course.

    Not that I'm bitter in any way...

  19. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    My daughter was fine in a store until she heard the word no and it didn't matter who said it -- someone saying no 3 aisles down would set her off. When that happened, the rage would start. If possible, I would leave the store. However, if she was completely out of control there was no way I could physically remove her. I've had the police called because someone truly thought I was trying to kidnap my child. Oddly, I was thankful they cared enough to do something.

    However, I could merrily strangle the idiots who made stupid comments about my lack of parenting skills, that my daughter needed a good spanking and the like. For those, I would happily respond (if I could be heard over my daughter). The kindest response was an offer to let them try to manage her while I stood and made comments.

    Today, if I see an out-of-control child in a store, I try to assess the situation and see if the parent needs help. If I think they might, I offer. I've helped block aisles, shown a mother how to hold her son in a safe restraint, held and rocked both mother and child, stood by the mother's shopping cart for over an hour while she got her daughter under control. Not once has anyone yelled at me for offering but I have had a man break down in tears because he wasn't being judged. If it seems that the parent has control, I offer a gentle smile, a "hang in there" and try to stay out of the way.
  20. ShakinThingzUp

    ShakinThingzUp New Member

    My daughter began raging in the store when she wasn't getting her way also (not always about buying something either, it could have been because her brother was standing too close to her or because I wouldn't let her go down a different isle than me)....

    My policy became this for shopping with my daughter:
    1 - Before leaving the house, we discussed the rules... she had to agree to follow them. (Yes Ma'am)
    2 - In the car before entering EVERY store, we discussed the rules and what would happen if not obeyed... she had to agree to follow them.
    3 - If a rule was broken, there was one warning, and a request to remain calm was given.
    4 - If she threw a fit ONCE or broke the rule the second time, we left the store immediately and returned to the car, and then returned home.

    This was ridiculous the first several shopping trips. But, when my daughter learned that the rules were not changing, and I was NOT bluffing... she learned that she would never ever do ANY shopping if she did not follow my rules. They were STRICT, and the consequences were set, and followed strictly.

    My daughter had to walk beside me with her hand on my cart, using all her manners.

    Until she learned to do that, I shopped without her. I tested it occasionally to see if she would behave. When she did not, we left, immediately.

    Eventually, she behaved quite well.
    Once she got that down (many shopping trips with hand on cart, behaving) - I allowed her to not have her hand on the cart - still beside me....
    When she got that down....... she could go one isle away, etc.

    The trick is developing a plan that is structured and sticking to it.......

    My daughter has Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) (for similar problems, ODD, etc. this ought to work).... but, its difficult.... I felt like pulling my hair out so many times... and had to have sitters handy just to go to the store...

    God Bless!