In a viral post, a mom from Washington state explained how a couple swipes on her smartphone shuts down her daughter's seasonal begging at the store.

By Maressa Brown
December 04, 2019

Pretty much any parent who has ever entered a retail establishment has fought the battle known as a severe seasonal case of the "gimme"s. With the gift-filled holidays a matter of weeks away, kids are bound to be even more entranced by every LOL doll, Star Wars toy, or tech device in sight. Trips to Target or the mall often lead to begging, which can quickly veer into meltdown territory. But a mom from Washington state named Kristina Watts recently shared a brilliant way parents can cope during the holiday season.

Watts shared a post with a gallery of photos of her daughter with items she'd like to see under the family's tree later this month. "Once again my camera roll is FULL of pictures of Emerson with every single thing she wants for Christmas," Watts noted. "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."

She acknowledged that trips to the store had previously been more painful. "Toys are out in full force, and of course my kids WANT IT ALL," Watts wrote. "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."

She continued, addressing parents who have kids like her who "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":

"Take a picture," Watts explained. "It’s that simple. 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."

Her daughter Emmie "magically" smiles, says cheese, asks to see the photo, then "PUTS THE TOY DOWN AND WALKS AWAY." She won't cry or throw a tantrum, and she forgets about the item she was fixated on within minutes, the proud mom noted.

"Maybe you’ve been doing this for ages, and you selfishly didn’t share this tip with me," Watts joked. "Or maybe you’re like me and this is about to rock your world. For real, try it friends. You’re welcome."

The post has been shared over 53K times and earned 16K comments from parents who are in total agreement with Watts—either because they've used the trick themselves, or they can't wait to.

One commenter noted, "I started doing this over four years ago during our vacation to Disneyland. I told every parent who saw me taking a picture how well it worked! I'm not sure if I came up with the idea or if someone's been doing that before me. But I'm so glad to see that it's getting shared around the world!"

Another said, "Simple child psychology. You have acknowledged her wants and taken them seriously. And you did it in a clever way. Way to go, Mom!"

A parent was concerned that some children might freak out if items that were photographed are missing come Christmas. To that, a fellow commenter shared, "All you have to do is remind them that these are 'Santa suggestion pictures' and that there is no way of knowing which ones, if any, he will decide to 'build.' My kids have always understood that their vast, two and three page lists are obviously not going to be completely filled. It's all up to the big man at the N pole."

Brilliant. Clearly, this smooth move is already preempting headaches for a plenty of parents. Here's hoping that thanks to Watts' viral post, it'll make holiday season shopping trips painless for many more.

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