Demanding or drained?

Tips on how to handle your cranky tot

Q: My 2½-year-old has become very demanding. On a recent shopping trip, she started screaming, “Put it back right now, Mommy!” when she didn’t like a scarf I’d chosen for myself. I explained that she didn’t have to like it since it was for me, and eventually she calmed down. But I’m worried: Am I spoiling her? Or is this normal toddler behaviour?

A: When toddlers throw tantrums, it’s often because they are tired, hungry or bored. Your daughter likely didn’t care about the scarf at all, she just wanted the shopping trip to be over. She probably thought that if she hated the scarf enough, you’d put it back and she could go home.

Shopping with toddlers is a real challenge. For a toddler, 20 minutes can feel like a lifetime, particularly if she is bored. Try to be very efficient and pay lots of attention to her. Or, better yet, go shopping alone. She’s not spoiled; she was simply unhappy and not old enough to tell you in a more mature manner.

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