As a parent, at some point you have probably had the blessing of experiencing the “in-store melt down” when your child wants something and has a complete meltdown, making you want to crawl and hide on an empty shelf. Sadly, this isn’t a teaching moment but a survival point. However, some activities you can engage in before the store adventure will hopefully help you from experiencing the embarrassment of a child having one of those dreaded meltdowns.

It’s likely to happen at some point. Anticipating that it’s going to happen is parenting at its best. When heading to the store, before or while in the car, prepare them for buying the birthday gift. Let them know the task: “We are going to the store for a birthday gift. Remember, we are not getting anything for ourselves.”

Scott Smith, doctor of education, is a

40-plus year Umatilla County educator and serves on the Decoding Dyslexia Oregon board as its parent/teacher liaison.

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