Memo to Store Checkout Lanes: Stop Manipulating My Kids!

Rant 103

grocery store candy aislesIf there is one thing as a mom that I hate above all else, it's the grocery store checkout lane. No matter how many times my kids and I go to the store, be it the big box store or the bathroom/kitchen chain, no matter how many times I say, "No you can't have that candy/toy/sparkly notepad/pig with light-up eyes," my children always start to cry.


It's bad enough to have to take your toddler into a store. Most of us moms will try to avoid that at all costs. But every once in a while, we do and no matter how good my children are throughout the trip, the meltdowns always start in the checkout line. And for this, I blame stores.

In every aisle, there is something tantalizing. We can avoid the candy aisle, but then we end up in the small toy aisle. My daughter always knows I will say no to M&M's, but mini Barbies have no sugar! Why can't mommy get those?

Look, no matter how inexpensive it is, we don't need another mini Barbie in a pink jumpsuit. It sends the wrong message. I don't want to be on the hook for a "small present" every time we walk into the store.

But mommy! I was good! They cry. They scream. They stomp their feet. By the end of an hour-long grocery trip, all kids are tired. They are bored. It's the perfect time to tempt them with things they want and make their mouths water. The stores aren't stupid. They know they have parents in a weak spot. I am sure many parents give in just to stop that incessant whining. After all, wouldn't you pay $1 to avoid public humiliation?

So what is a mom who wants to send a message really to do? I stand my ground and I am often rewarded with an epic tantrum. If I buy them the thing, I may get happy kids, but I get a tantrum even more epic the next time I go into the store.

Here's a better idea: Stop manipulating my kids with store displays. Put small tools and things that appeal to grownups in the front of the store and hide the candy. I am sure the comments below will go on and on about how we all need to control our kids and all the "good" moms will say their kids never ask. But you know what? I live in the real world with real kids, and no matter how many times I say no, they STILL want the candy and small toys.

Personally, I prefer a store like Whole Foods where magazines and non-commercial sweets are less likely to catch my eye. So, yes. I frequent those stores. But sometimes I get stuck. And every time I remind myself that I am willing to pay a little more for groceries from a store that respects my children enough not to market to them directly.

Do you hate the checkout aisle candy displays, too?




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nonmember avatar kaerae

Memo to Parents: ACT LIKE ONE!

nonmember avatar blue

Here's a better idea, don't let your kid get away with fits!! If my kid was creaming, stomping and carrying on...I would grab hi I loathe parents like you in public. The ones who allow their kids to have epic meltdowns, and don't do a thing to discipline it. Be a freaking parent and teach your kid they can't get away with that kind of behavior.

LostS... LostSoul88

So you blame the store for your child being a spoiled little shit and demanding candy/toys? Learn to control your child and stop blaming everything/everyone but YOU on why your child act out of control. 

I NEVER have that problem with my kids. They like playing with the toys while waiting for me to check out but once I am checked out they put them away. They are 3 and 5.

nonmember avatar Shandeigh

My little guy could care less about the actual stuff... he just wants to play with the tags. However; some day he will... and I have a plan! *dada da da!* My plan is to make him use his own money! Once they have to use their own money... these things are less tempting, especially if they are saving up for something big they really want. It becomes the coversation of "Why yes, you can buy that... but it's going to take longer for you to save up for blah blah blah" You might wind up with a bunch of stupid little barbie dolls but your child has hopefully also learned some lessons on manging their own money. Because lets face it... the stores are never going to stop trying to temp your kids... because it works...

Rosamond Marie Yarborough

that's an actual sales technique there... so yes you can blame them, they do it on purpose.

nonmember avatar April

It's just like lining up kids cereal on the lower shelves to be more visable to the kids. It's marketing and it's never, ever going to end. It happens with anything that kids like, from toys, to food, to drinks. You're going to have to learn to live with it.

I'm not one of the perfect parents on here, who has the perfect kids. My kids ask for shit. They get pissed when I say no. But they don't have full on tantrums. I learned to head things off BEFORE we went shopping. "You may have a sample, if they have them, but I am not buying you candy or toys. Don't ask"

MrsRo... MrsRoberts413

Yeah, they do it on purpose, but what are you gonna do about it?  My parents didn't even take us to the grocery store until we were old enough to handle it!  One parent stayed home with us while the other went to the store, and it stayed that way until we were old enough to understand how to be have and what our expectations were.  If we threw a fit like that, our mom would have left the cart and taken us straight out to the car and home, even if it meant coming back later, just so that we would learn how to behave.  Plain and simple. Parents need to act like parents.  What next? Are people going to blame MTV for their kids doing drugs and getting pregnant?

chech... chechimansmama

What are you talking abour with ir i live in the real world with real kids comment. Is my life fake? Did I really not go through 10 hours of labor only to get a c-section? Please.. learn how to parent your kids. My son knows that if he wants to go to the store he better behave. I'm happy to say that i have never gotten a tamtrum @ the store

LostS... LostSoul88

She's pretty much impying those who act like parents are fake. 

canne... cannedtuna

I agree with the other comments. This isn't the store's fault--don't let your kids get away with it! I'm still very young so I remember my childhood years very clearly. There was a book in my favourite "The Berenstain Bairs" series that dealt with this exact problem...where Brother Bear and Sister Bear were throwing these tantrums at the checkout lane and making huge scenes because they wanted candy or whatever junk food. I remember cringing to myself as I read it, thinking "That's so embarrassing!" so I never did it. In addition, I knew that my mother simply would not tolerate such behaviour so that kept me quiet too. 

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