The Christmas Shopping Tantrum Trauma Triangle

I don’t normally like to speak of Christmas this early in the year; mostly because between now and then I have so much chaos and crazy and stuff and things going on between now and then, that it’s further down my list of things to speak of … or even think about.

However, as the rest of the world seems intent on reminding us that Christmas is fast approaching sometime in June and there are people out there who are already sorted for this most festive of seasons, I figured the thought of Christmas shopping would be entering the minds of many at around this point.

Alas, with the Christmas shop comes the increased risk of Public Tantrums; whether from your toddler, fellow grumpy shoppers or your dear self.

There is, of course, a plethora of information out there on how to reduce the inevitability of your toddler tossing a tanty whilst embarking upon the hours long expedition that is the Christmas shop.

The two main tips being:

  1. Ensure your child is well rested, and
  2. Ensure your child is well fed

Fabulous advice, particularly when coupled with suggestions like ‘time your shop’ in order to meet the above requirements. Because we know this is always achievable.

There is always, of course, shopping online or ‘go shopping at a time when you don’t have to take the kids’.

Great advice, except that you can now be fined, arrested and/or gaoled (jailed) for leaving your children home, unsupervised by a responsible adult. It’s not always an option, and sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

My favourite bit about the advice about shopping with toddlers, and the helpful tips is that they focus entirely on the toddler (or child – regardless of their age).

There are, in fact, two other highly important and significant contributors to the potential for Tantrum Traumas during the Christmas shop and I feel it is somewhat remiss of the ‘experts’ to neglect to mention them. Whether it is ‘too hard’ or a deliberate avoidance, I have no idea.

Regardless, don’t necessarily dismiss the advice related to the child in the mix, because it is useful. We just need to consider the other factors that are heavily involved.

The first of these being the Shopping Centres themselves. Really, it’s not fair to blame the shopping centres, because they’re just large buildings full of stuff and nice places of employment for a wide range of people. It’s the owners and managers of those shopping centres, large chain stores and boutique shops whom, for a variety of reasons, need to sell a lot of stuff. They have sales figures to meet, budgets to adhere to and a ruthlessness that many of us cannot fathom.

They will do what they (legally) can to sell stuff, especially at this time of year. They have invested, and continue to invest, squillions of dollars on human behaviours and psychology, marketing and more to determine the quickest, easiest and most efficient way to sell this stuff.

One of these ways is “Toddler Tantrums”. Although, really, they probably didn’t need to spend this money as most of us with common sense would realise that a toddler chucking a tanty in public will more likely result

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