How to Stop Toddler Tantrums with One Question?

Let’s face it there may be nothing worse in the world than your toddler having a tantrum in public. It usually happens when I’m shopping. My kids change from adorable little people into crazed monsters. If they see any sort of toys, candy or books they turn into a crying mess because they can’t take it home. They cry so hard I find people in the store giving me judging looks as I turn my quick shopping trip into a marathon run for essentials only. I thought to myself there had to be a better way. What was I doing wrong?

Then I discovered the magical question that shut all in-store tantrums down immediately. One shopping trip my son started screaming about a toy he absolutely couldn’t live without, I turned to him and asked, “Do you have money to buy it?” I was amazed at his response. He stopped his crying and said a simple, “No.” Delighted by how quickly he calmed down I continued, “Well when you earn money you can come back and purchase it if you’d like.” The amazing thing was he was totally satisfied with this answer. It was freaking genius!

When we got home I typed up a list of chores along with the money he would get for each one. For example, if he sets the table he gets 5 cents. Having chores and earning money keeps him accountable at home and he honestly gets excited about it. Now every time he mentions a toy I just say, “Do you have the money to buy it?” The great thing is he might actually have enough to buy it but he may not. It’s also interesting to watch if he decides to save his money for something big or spend it on the toy of his choice (Being 4 he almost always spends it). It’s a win, win. My days of shopping with screaming toddlers has been significantly reduced because of this magical question. Try it out and let me know if it works for you.


More about WesternChronicles

My life is simple and that's just the way I like it. I don't always have correct spelling or grammar and I really don't care. If you enjoy a good cup of coffee, amazing wine and excellent food, then we can be friends. If you want to know more email questions to

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