Who else dreads running the Christmas shopping gauntlet with the kids in tow? The stores, not surprisingly, cart out all their most tempting stock and showcase the most wanted toys all over the store. The “I Want, I Want’s” drive me crazy and invariably ends in some full-blown meltdown.

One mum had enough of the tantrums and has shared her hack that is resonating with parents all over the world.

Kristina Watts, from Washington in the US, shared her clever strategy on Facebook and it’s gone viral.

“Once again my camera roll is FULL of pictures of Emerson with every single thing she wants for Christmas. Why…because it’s the most amazing parenting hack ever and has stopped MANY meltdowns! If you aren’t using this hack…listen up friends,” Watts said in her post.

“Our trips to the store used to be a lot more painful this time of year. Toys are out in full force…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. So drop your judgement Karen, and stop reading if you have kids like that. 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.”

So What is this miracle solution?

“Take a picture. It’s that simple.”

mums meltdown hack Kristina Watts

“Pause for a second, comment on the thing they’re pointing out, and say, ‘Let’s take a picture with it and send it to Santa so he knows you want it!’ Note: you can send it to Santa, grandma, TeeTee Stephanie or whoever it is you can pawn it off on. Totally up to you and can be different every time,” explains Watts.

“Magically, Emmie smiles, says cheese, asks to see the picture, then PUTS THE TOY DOWN AND WALKS AWAY. It’s magical. No tears. No tantrums (by either of us). And she forgets about all of them within minutes. Maybe you’ve been doing this for ages, and you selfishly didn’t share this tip with me…or maybe you’re like me and this is about to rock your world. For real, try it friends. You’re welcome.”

Parents have responded enthusiastically to this suggestion, calling this “life changing” and “genius”!

“GENIUS!!! im gonna clear my memory for santas photos,” reads one comment.

“Omg. Why haven’t I seen this before??? Could have really used it before,” said another.

“I always do this and it works perfectly and helps me remember what they want,” one mum agreed.

The post has been shared over 52,000 times and has attracted more than 16,000 comments.

facebook post prevent meltdowns

Would this meltdown preventative hack help in your family? Tell us in the comments below.

  • Inspired, and multi tasking so she amuses and distracts, communicates with family and friends and send out her Christmas list.


  • What a great idea.


  • What a great idea! For present shopping, I usually tried to do it while my kids were being babysat, simply for the element of surprise. It’s a long time ago now and my memory isn’t so great, but I don’t recall my kids having tantrums in public


  • Brilliant! Sometimes it’s a matter of ‘out of sight, out of mind’, and in this case the child knows you have paid them attention and taken a photo of what they want.


  • It seems too simple to be true. I’m definitely going to try this one


  • This is a good one. Never think of it. I always tell my kids I’ll buy it next time when there’s discount. We dun buy them in full price. With the discounted amount we can buy more toys with the same amount of money.


  • Oh my gosh, I would never think to do this!
    Thank you for the tip as now I know what to do when my little one is old enough to ask for certain things.


  • Oh my goodness. I take photos of what my son wants for xmas too. Not because he has meltdowns – but because it helps me to work out what to get him.


  • I was lucky enough to have kids that didn’t have meltdowns about what they wanted but that is a brilliant idea and I’m sure will help many parents/carers


  • Clever idea.I pass that hard time.


  • Luckily enough for me, my two and a half year old is just happy browsing the aisles of toys and testing them out by pressing allllll the buttons :) … When we are out at the shops he tends to say “Look at Cars” and I use that to my advantage & use the browsing as a reward!


  • This doesn’t sit well with me. Isn’t it just raising false hope?


  • It really works !
    My miss 4 has been so much easier to take to the shops using this tip. Thank you !


  • Good idea! I find distraction the best way of snapping my kid out of a tantrum so doing something different like taking a photo would probably work


  • Well I may just have to remember this for when the tantrums start over toys with my daughter!


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?
No picture uploaded yet.
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by you browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating