Woman shares genius hack for stopping tantrums when shopping with kids

A US mother has shared her genius shopping hack for avoiding tantrums in the toy department when shopping with young children, and mums everywhere are applauding. 

Cristina Watts took to Facebook to explain that, like many mothers, going on a family outing to the shops can be "a lot more painful this time of year".

"Toys are out in full force... and of course my kids WANT IT ALL," she 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,' she added. 

Watts recommends that if you also have children who "want the shiny amazing things" which fill stores at this time of year, the key to avoiding tantrums is by simply pulling out your phone. 

"Take a picture. It's that simple," says 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!'"

By taking a picture of her daughter with the chosen toy, Watts says it leads to a miracle. 

"Magically, Emmie smiles, says cheese, asks to see the picture, then PUSTHE 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."

Watts recommends you do send the picture to 'Santa' - grandad, grandma, godparents or whoever might be buying your little one a gift.

"Totally up to you and can be different every time," she says. 

The post has racked up over 30,000 likes, 50,000 shares and 16,000 comments from impressed mothers. 

"It couldn't come a moment sooner because I was about to lose my sanity in the stores," wrote one grateful mother. 

"I love this idea. How excited will they be when they open it thinking it's from Santa," raved another.

"This is genius! The girls love pictures too, so it serves as a distraction and then I never have to buy the outrageous toy!" added another.