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Melt Downs Inside Stores

By Jodie Lynn


My four-year-old seems to have more and more meltdowns lately. I don't really remember her doing so when she was younger. I am not sure how to handle it when we are out in public. Do I leave the mall or grocery store or let her cry? Any suggestions?


My five-year-old is doing the same thing. All of a sudden he is emotional about everything. Kids have a lot of free time during the summer and believe it or not, I finally figured out that he was just plain old tired. We started making him go to his room and lay down on his bed each day at the same time. He usually falls asleep in five to ten minutes. He only sleeps for around thirty minutes and is good again until time to go to bed. See if your daughter might do the same, especially since she is only four. She may object in the beginning, so give it some time. - Rachel Turner in Wichita, KS


It sounds like your daughter may be overwhelmed from her activities on the days you choose to go out. By the time you get in the car and drive to the mall or to the grocery store, she has pretty much already had her fill for the day and really has no other way to handle it but to simply melt down. She may have developed a no-return agitation level and is simply showing frustration and stress to the level of noise and people in a public place. Sometimes it just happens, especially if she has had a busy day and is tired, hungry, thirsty, hot, sun-burned or just not feeling well. If this happens when you are out, please do take other people's feelings into consideration and leave, if possible. However, if there are certain days when she is not as busy, maybe consider going on short shopping trips. Maybe someone else could go shop for you or she might stay with someone while you do the shopping alone. If neither one of these are options, maybe break up the trips into days or evenings when she has already eaten lunch or dinner and has had a good, but not exhausting, day. Try to go when stores are not so crowded. Usually in the mornings or later in the evening, there are fewer people and much less noise.

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School will start in only a few short weeks. With five kids to buy school supplies, shoes, and clothes for, I am at my wit's end. Are there suggestions from other families that also have a large family that could possibly work for us? The kids range in age from six to fifteen.

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© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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