Mom Shares a Magical Parenting Hack to Help Stop Holiday Shopping Meltdowns

The holidays are one of the most exciting, memorable times of the year—especially when you have kids. Isn’t it so wonderful to see their faces light up in the magical spirit of Santa, elves, and reindeer? When they bake cookies with you and sing carols with you and help you wrap gifts?

Sure, those things are great. But it’s all fun and games until you take a kid to a toy store around the holidays. You know the drill: Your sweet, angelic child might see a toy they want and demand to have it “right now,” and then proceed to have a tantrum in the middle of the aisle.

Ring a bell at all? Of course it does. Chances are, your child has done some form of melting down in the toy store aisle. It’s only natural when you’re a kid. But don’t worry, there’s actually a foolproof method to stop meltdowns from happening right in their tracks.

Recently shared with the world by Washington resident and mom Kristina Watts, it’s a truly simple hack pretty much guaranteed to work—and it makes holiday shopping with kids that much easier (and calmer).

“Our trips to the store used to be a lot more painful this time of year,” Watts explained in her now-viral Facebook post. “Toys are out in full course…and of course, my kids WANT IT ALL. Obviously, I would love to have sweet, well mannered, non-greedy, chill kids that don’t ask for all the things…but I don’t.”

Raise your hand if you can relate.

“Now if you have kids like mine that want the shiny amazing things that fill Target, the grocery store, Office Depot, the gas station, and pretty much everywhere you go this time of year, this is for you,” Watts continues in her post.

Moms, are you ready? Hang on to your hats…or actually, your cameras (because that’s really all you’ll need for this to work).

“Take a picture,” Watts advises. “It’s that simple.”

What exactly does she mean? Well, the moment your child starts telling you that he or she must have that Barbie doll or firetruck, pause for a moment, and then offer to take a photo of them with it.

“Say, ‘Let’s take a picture with it and send it to Santa so he knows you want it,’” Watts explains. She also notes that if your kids don’t believe in Santa, this can be replaced with any relative who buys gifts for them, really making it accessible to all.

Watts swears by it working on her kids. “It’s magical,” she says. “No tears. No tantrums (by either of us). And [your child] forgets about all of them within minutes.”

Could it be that something this simple could really work and eliminate meltdowns over toys for good? There’s only one way to see if it works: Try pulling out your camera next time you’re in the toy store (instead of your wallet and giving in)!

Do you have any tips or tricks for getting your kids to behave in a toy store? What do you usually do when your child throws a fit over a toy in public?