'Magical' mom hack stops store meltdowns about Christmas gifts originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com
It's a tough time of year to be a kid.
Everywhere they go and everywhere they look, the latest and greatest toys abound. Waiting for the holidays to potentially receive said gifts can be a difficult concept for a kid who wants what they want -- and they want it now.
So one mom, tired of in-store meltdowns when she told her daughter "no" to purchasing gifts, came up with a super-simple parenting hack that's been shared almost 50,000 times on Facebook.
Take a picture. That's it.
She wrote in part, "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."
Watts told "Good Morning America" she wanted to share the hack because she is "by no means a perfect mom, not even close."
"I’m the mom in yoga pants, running late, drinking all the caffeine, soaking in the crazy days of motherhood, while also trying to avoid the inevitable meltdown when we walk past yet another Frozen toy in Target," she explained.
She wrote the post from inside Target, where she had just snapped a photo of her daughter, Emerson, while overhearing a meltdown and argument between a child and her mother an aisle over.
Watts came up with the idea last year when she and her family were organizing Christmas toys for a local elementary school after their town was devastated after Hurricane Michael. About $45,000 worth of toys were donated and being housed by Watts for the 500 kids.
"[Emerson] wanted to open and play with everything, and did not understand that they weren’t for her, I mean, she was two. So, I started to take pictures of her with the ones she liked and told her that maybe she can get one too. It worked. She stopped trying to get everything out of its package. She’d carry it around, take a picture, and put it back," Watts told "GMA."
While most of the more than 15,000 comments are positive, there have been some detractors which, Watts said, initially bother her "a lot."
"People telling me I’m raising spoiled kids, and I should just tell her no, and some other judgmental things," she said.
But she's moved past that and hopes it will work for other parents as well as it's worked for her.
"Emerson does not get all of these toys, I’m not promising her anything, nor does she expect to get everything she gets a picture with," Watts said. "She’s 3. It’s the modern day way of circling everything in the J.C. Penny’s Christmas catalog, or writing a wish list. That’s it. A fun way to avoid tears by both of us while out running holiday errands. I’m not one to give parenting advice, I’m just trying to raise decent humans, and get by."