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A Grocery Store Saga: Emily's Easter Egg Meltdown

It was a typical Saturday afternoon, and Sarah decided to take her energetic four-year-old daughter, Emily, to the grocery store. Emily usually enjoys helping pick out the fruit and placing items in the trolley.

Things started off smoothly as Emily happily chattered away, pointing out her favourite snacks and cereals as they made their way through the aisles. But as they reached the Easter special section, disaster struck.

Emily's eyes widened with excitement as she spotted a colourful display of Easter eggs all displayed at her height level. Without hesitation she screamed with excitement running up to the eggs, taking them off the shelf and throwing them into the trolley. "Mommy, can we get all of these! You know I love chocolate?"

Sarah looks around at all the people shopping, some of whom were looking pointedly at her, turned to her daughter, said with a gentle smile "I'm sorry, sweetie, but we're here to buy groceries today," she explained gently, putting back all the easter eggs on the shelf and pushing the trolley forward. Emily's disappointment turned into a full-blown meltdown. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she stood in front of the shelves filled with Easter eggs and cried out loudly for the chocolate eggs.

Sarah pushed aside the thought that half the store's eyes were on her wondering why she couldn't control her daughter, and instead wondered what Emily might be feeing. It looked like disappointment and thwarted desire, Sarah, took a deep breath, knelt down beside Emily, hugged her tightly "Emily, I can see you're upset, it is a little overwhelming with all the Easter chocolates in the store but we cannot have all these eggs, we have to put them all back so other children like yourself can get some from Easter too'.

Emily, sat on the ground, wiped away her tears and replied "This is not fair, I haven't been able to have Easter eggs all week mum!' Sarah sighs, seeing things from Emily's point of view and thinking how Emily has been feeling, "Emily I did not realise we have been saying 'no' all week, you must feel frustrated and disappointed. How about we pick out one egg that you can have for tomorrow? Which coloured one would you like? I'll make sure that it is ready for you.

Look! we are nearly at the fruit aisle and I know how much you like to pick the apples for me, so why don't we go and pick out 6 apples'. Emily, stands up with a slight smile and nods her head. Happy to move on with the shop.

Despite being busy herself and being surrounded by shoppers who were also busy and keen to move on and get out of the store, Sarah, managed her own emotional response to the situation- embarrassment and a desire to continue with their shopping task as quickly as possible. Sarah was able to shift her attention to how her daughter might be feeling and used the busy supermarket at holiday time as a real-life opportunity to support the development of her daughter's self-regulation skills.

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