Poppy Montgomery’s Blog: Attempting to Handle Public Meltdowns (Without Ending Up In Jail)

10/18/2012 at 07:00 PM ET

Poppy Montgomery's Blog: Attempting to Handle Public Meltdowns
On the farm – Courtesy Poppy Montgomery

Thanks for welcoming our new blogger Poppy Montgomery!

Best known for starring as Samantha Spade on Without a Trace, she’ll be back as Det. Carrie Wells on the second season of Unforgettable, returning to CBS next summer.

In addition to her acting work, Montgomery is also producing a show, Sworn to Silence, for Lifetime.

Montgomery is mom to son Jackson Phillip Deveraux, 4½, with her ex, actor Adam Kaufman.

In her latest blog, the actress takes a comical look at handling public meltdowns.

“Always end the name of your child with a vowel, so that when you yell, the name will carry.” — Bill Cosby, Fatherhood

My son Jackson and I recently attended a wedding. My friend’s 4-year-old daughter was the flower girl. She was angelic, tossing rose petals from a basket as she followed the bride down the aisle, giggling, dancing, spinning in circles and eating way too much wedding cake.

When the time came to say goodnight and leave, the angelic flower girl turned into a cracked-out, off-the-wall, one-fry-short-of-a-happy-meal psychopath, ripping her mother’s top down — exposing her breasts — scratching her mother’s face, wetting her knickers and finally kicking her father and screaming all the way to the car.

As I stood with Jackson, witnessing this display of total insanity (if an adult behaved that way in public they’d be arrested. Or committed. Or both.), I asked myself — is there a remedy, a “cure” to these irrational and sometimes inexplicable public outbursts? And what was my friend, now soaked in pee with a bleeding face, ripped blouse and hysterical, over-stimulated child screaming and kicking everyone in sight supposed to do?

Threats? The silent treatment? Therapy?

I felt terrible for my friend; but I must admit, I thanked my lucky stars it wasn’t my child behaving that way. I’m ashamed to say that I fell into the “smug mommy” trap and silently gave myself a pat on the back at what a well-behaved, polite, wedding-friendly little man I had raised.

Not. So. Fast.

“Kids let you know it’s coming. Their eyes grow dead and dull, like a killer’s. Their limbs jerk, and their sticky hands begin frantically searching for hair to pull … You have only seconds to decide. Do you finish up what you’re doing, or do you leave?” — Sh*tty Mom – The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us

A week or so after the wedding, Jackson and I were having an early dinner across the street from the local toy store. Midway through the meal, his eyes zeroed in.

“Mama,” he said. “I want bubbles.” “We’re in the middle of dinner, baby,” I replied. “Maybe we can get bubbles tomorrow.”

Well. You’d think I had burned him with a red hot poker.

Move over, Incredible Hulk. The public meltdown, tantrum, tirade, hissy fit, call it what you may — Jackson had one right there in the busy restaurant. Crying, yelling, shrieking, kicking, frothing, howling, flailing, thrashing and finally holding his breath (though sadly not long enough for him to pass out).

As Jackson has gotten older and too heavy to carry rigid as a board in the throes of a public tirade, I can no longer just remove him from the situation. Besides, I had to pay the check — didn’t want to be arrested for dining and dashing.

So what to do?!

I chose the path of least resistance. I asked for the check. I simply waited for the hurricane to calm.

Eventually, he ran out of steam. I put him whimpering and exhausted into the car. (Thankfully the toyshop had closed, so giving in and buying the bubbles was not an option. Besides, I don’t negotiate with terrorists.)

We drove home and as soon as he was asleep, I frantically called my mother in Australia. She single-handedly raised six of us and was constantly outnumbered. But she managed to keep us all in line without getting arrested. I needed some advice.

Poppy Montgomery's Blog: Attempting to Handle Public Meltdowns
My angel – Courtesy Poppy Montgomery

The Threat

“I’m right and you’re wrong, I’m big and you’re small, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” — Roald Dahl, Matilda

My mother had various intimidating stories that never failed. If we started to lose it in public, she would lean down and in a gentle whisper threaten us with one. Scariest of all? Aunt Josie’s for the weekend.

Aunt Josie lived in a large, dingy basement apartment of a massive old house with a dark overgrown garden. It used to be a private hospital. For the deranged, we all imagined. She was an alcoholic academic with a very bad stutter and serious anger management issues.

She terrified us as kids. We would’ve eaten glass before spending a weekend with her. At the slightest sign of a public tantrum, my mother would whip out this nightmare-ish threat and voila! Meltdown averted.

Traumatizing? Yes. Necessary? Maybe. Her theory was to never allow the situation to escalate where things became out of control … The threat worked. The reason it worked was because we knew deep down that she would have carried it out.

“There is no point in threatening if the intent is not there,” she told me over the phone.

“You understand that your child has a personality. His very own personality. He was born with it. For a certain period this child would live with your personality and you would live with his and you would do your best to survive each other…” — Nora Ephron

The Silent Treatment

“Silence is true wisdom’s best reply.” — Euripides

My mother reminded me of an incident from when I was a child. We were in the school uniform shop. There was a girl my age — I remember her name, it was Miranda. It was our first year out of kindergarten and we were all feeling extraordinarily grown up.

Miranda’s mom was tall, thin, extremely glamorous and had a very loud voice. Miranda was short, plump and quiet with frizzy hair.

Miranda’s mother announced to the sale assistant (and the entire store) that Miranda was to have her school uniform “…two sizes too big to enable her to expand because as you can see, she’s going to need it!” Those were her exact words.

As my sister Rosie and I stared, Miranda silently disappeared behind her mother’s skirt in the agony that only this kind of vulnerability can inflict.

Her mother was having none of it and shoved Miranda in front of the mirror, the large navy blue, lower mid-calf uniform swinging around her ample body. Poor Miranda — she looked like a circus tent.

Suddenly and with no warning, Miranda hurled herself screaming, fists flailing at her mother, hitting her in the solar plexus rendering dear Mama speechless and slightly blue. The Chanel sunglasses went in one direction, the designer purse in the other. Miranda then proceeded to bite the sales assistant and spit on her dress.

Her mother said nothing. She picked up her sunglasses, retrieved her purse, walked slowly to the mirror, fixed her hair and left the store and her daughter behind.

This is the silent treatment.

I saw Miranda on the first day of school and she had a perfectly fitting school uniform on … did she win? Did this teach her that her behavior was acceptable?

My mother said that whilst she could understand Miranda’s humiliation, if we ever behaved like that in public, she would send us to Aunt Josie’s for the weekend.

We all felt really sorry for Miranda.

“Do not teach your children never to be angry, teach them how to be angry.” — Lyman Abbott

Poppy Montgomery's Blog: Attempting to Handle Public Meltdowns
My devil – Courtesy Poppy Montgomery

Therapy (of Sorts)

Cassie was my best friend in kindergarten and I would frequently sleep over at her house. She was obsessive about her clothes being “smooth.” Unless her clothes were “smooth,” she would not put them on.

One morning she would not get dressed for school because her clothes were not “smooth” enough. Upon her mother’s insistence that she “get dressed now! We’re late!” Cassie threw herself and her cornflakes at the wall and proceeded to bang her head over and over again. Her mother, without a word, picked her up, put her in the car, drove her to school, took her into her classroom and left. Cassie only had her underpants on. It was winter.

Extreme measures? Yes. Embarrassing? Sure. Cassie did, however, learn to iron at a very early age and is now an occupational therapist.

There are so many different kinds of meltdowns. Dealing with them in the privacy of our own homes is always easier than in public, where it feels like everyone is looking and thinking, “What a horrible mother and/or child.”

I try to look at Jackson’s rare public meltdowns as a lesson in understanding my boy and what pushes him to the breaking point (too much sugar, not enough sleep). I look at what my triggers are, and what pushes me to the breaking point (too much sugar, not enough sleep…). And I try to avoid these things for both of us.

Sometimes I look back at the way I’ve handled some of these outbursts and say, “Okay, I blew it that time.” By blowing it I mean (among other things) making empty threats, giving in to keep the peace (and stop everyone from staring) and losing my temper. But I am working on it.

“Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.” — Anonymous

There is no set answer or cure for the public meltdown. They are, for the most part, irrational and inexplicable.

Luckily these are not a regular occurrence for most of us, but it happens to almost all of us. Every parent I know with a child over the age of one has experienced these public emotional earthquakes.

The only way I know how to deal with them is to judge each situation as it arises and handle it the best way I can (with minimum collateral damage). But most important is to acknowledge that my best is going to change from day to day, depending on the circumstances.

My life, my son’s life, are a series of lessons. We are learning together and that is what makes the journey so sweet.

— Poppy Montgomery

P.S.: “If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” — Winnie the Pooh

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Showing 73 comments

momaswell on

loved the part about taking a kid to school in their undies and the breath-holding unfortunately not being long enough to pass out. made me laugh.

snežka on

what a lovely blog, great writing and parenting skills 🙂

Carolyn on

LOVE the quote about teaching your child how to be angry! Such a good reminder!

K on

I laughed until I cried, every bit of that was accurate. Great quotes and personal stories mixed-in.

mamabagas on

Love the article. Very well written and FUNNY! * I don’t negotiate with terrorists..LOL* I once had to carry an angry dissapointed toddler from a shop in mall to its parking lot. Oh, the drama…love my boy. Look forward to more articles from Poppy and I love Unforgettable. Keep it coming!

judy on

great blog. good to remember the triggers and always look to improve how we handle these episodes….

deborah on

I remember those day scary threats until we figured it out….Been through terrorists ,not fun, now looking back they make me laugh….Jackson looks like u, (:

Bugsmum on

Really funny!! My 15mth old is just hitting this stage so I’m sure there are going to be plenty of these situations coming my way. Going to share this with my mummy friends.

Sarah on

Once again, this was hilarious! I love how your blogs, Poppy! And Jackson looks SO adorable!

Looking forward to reading your next blog. ❤

Dee on

LOL, I love “I don’t negiotiate with terrorists”…LOL

Very well written and funny….I have a holy terror of my own and it’s very trying….thanks for reminding me that celebrity moms are moms first and deal with the same drama rama with their kids like the rest of us do…

KD on

As a kid I actually DID hold my breath till I passed out..was the last time I ever did (so mom tells me).

I get some terrorist action at home too..recently had my flat screen tv busted due to someone’s behavior…I wanted to turn him over to child services myself. 🙂

I do laugh alot but also get that humiliated feeling at times..but I always leave the store, restaurant, playground…I think I get some joy when I see others go through the same, I’m not alone.

PAT on

I hope that a grandmother’s behavior will not be too annoying to you all. However, it worked. My grandson was having a screaming fit over something. Doesn’t matter what it was.

I was in my well-lit kitchen. He was in my adjacent dining room, well-lit, screaming and kicking the wall until the chandelier was shaking. Seeing that this would not stop until he got his “way” I left the kitchen, turning off the lights. I proceeded through the dining room, stepping over him, and not acknowledging that he was there. I proceeded through the dining room, turning off the lights, and headed for the den, sat down, turned on the lights and picked up the book I had been reading.

The screaming started to lose its power, the intensity of the wall kicking was quieting down and soon I heard a little voice calling “Gramma, Gramma, where are you?” I walked back to the dining room, turned on the lights, and said “I wondered where you were”.

Meltdowns never occurred again (at least in my home), Scary….I suppose so. Effective..100 percent.

RachaelMall on

If I had thrown a tantrum like that in public or in the house, my mother would have knocked me senseless.

Zindagi on

omg this is so true and a great reminder on how to deal with unruly children. I often need a reminder since I’ve been known to throw my own temper tantrums in response to my child’s.

Tracy on

That was hysterical!! You are such a good writer. I wish you would write a blog every week. “I don’t negotiate with terrorists”…..I’m going to make a plaque of that.

Lora on

What a fantastic style of writing! Lovely blog Poppy and so true 🙂

Lyoness on

LOL! I don’t have children but I love the “I don’t negotiate with terrorists” line. More parents need to take that advice. My mother’s fave mode of discipline was the quiet whisper. You know you’re in trouble when your mother breaks out with the whisper.

Jess on

Our mom (there are four of us, all born within 5 years of each other) would give us “the whisper”, “the look”, and “the nuclear staredown of the century”. And I don’t remember any of us throwing tantrums although I’m sure one (or two or more) of us had them. Great blog, Poppy!

Becky on

love the “my devil” photo! adorbs!


hmmmmm…a good old-fashioned butt whooping would have worked like a charm!

Eric on

As I read this article with my door closed my son is outside of it having a tantrum….

Aneta on

Pat, I really enjoyed your story 🙂

Carrie on

Good job Pat!! Ignoring it is one of the best solutions. If they don’t get the response they expect they usually give up pretty fast.

Sara on

Try speaking “toddlerese”, a concept from The Happiest Toddler on the Block. It deals with this exact issue.

Meena on

Sorry, but by 4, kids should have grown out of full on tantrums.

Ashley on

Loved, loved the article. Made me laugh and smile. As an Asian adult now, I remember when my brothers and I were children in public, we didn’t dare have meltdowns. All it took was a “look” from my mother and that was it. It was like watching a Japanese horror movie, you don’t get your mother mad…LOL. There were consequences and trust me, we didn’t want to pay it.

Jo on

Love the blog, loved the topic even more! I’m just getting to the tantrum phase and will keep this in mind when the craziness takes over my toddler!

BeeBee on

LOVED this blog!! I needed the laugh tonight for sure as I was about to walk out of my house for good…..well, for a while anyway!

My almost 12 year year old threw a fit in front of her friend. All because the “haunted house” that she and her friend worked on for 3 hours failed. Her younger brother and his 2 younger buddies started crying when my daughter yelled BOO after I had told her no screaming. The best part as she called it (bowl of noodles and jello brains) didn’t get to happen because the boys got scared. So BOTH kids were hateful to me!! Aargh. No sleepovers for a while at our house.

To top it off my husband got snippy with me because all of the above was interrupting his football game. I asked myself “how did I get blamed for everything!! Life, good times.

LOVE LOVE LOVE this blog. The whisper and the “look” are SO powerful. The bottom busting always worked too when they were younger. Now, NO IPads for 3 days. They straighten up everytime. 😉

Sandy on

NOTHING worse than the combination of to much sugar and being overly tired- that is a melt down waiting to happen!!!

The ONLY thing you can do (forget the reasoning) is pick your child up and take them home! My child had only one melt down in a grocery store. I left my cart picked him up and out I went-without looking back. After a good nap he was all better!

Parents who sit in public places and allow their child to scream and pitch a fit are just plain rude.

Take your child and leave for the sake of everyone around you.

Sandy on

I hate when I see parents drag very young children out to late at night. You see these poor tired children who should be home in bed with a baby sitter. Due to the high cost of sitters, you now see kids in all sorts of places- like inappropirate movies, bars, concerts, etc….

Sandy on

In my day you got a good swat to the back side and got sent to your room! nothing wrong with that! all kids try and cross that magical line and it’s very important how you handle it. my child tried to have a temper tantrum in a store once- I kept right on walking and turned a corner. The tantrum lost steam real quick when he was not being given any attention. Never happened again- because I never paid it any mind.

Sandy on

EVERY mother has the look. All it takes is that one look and you child knows they better stop what theyre doing. Sometimes it doesn’t work and then you just carry them away.

Tiffany Hurtado on

Hilarious! I really enjoyed this.

reba on

Now this is a great mommy blog I can actually relate to!

Jennifer on

I wish I had a crazy aunt to threaten my kids with when they lose it in public or otherwise. Mine also attack me physically when they’re having a fit. So it’s good times.

Anonymous on

lol, @ Sandy, I have two girls, now grown. Both of mine tried to act out in stores, I did the same thing, just kept walking. They picked themselves up and came walking behind me before I turned the corner.

Nancy Batchelor on

The four year old’s tantrum at the wedding is not normal, not even for an overtired/overstimulated preschooler. Kids who viciously hit and kick their parents at that age should be checked out to see if there is something medically wrong. Once that is ruled out and violent behavior continues, counseling is a good idea. If not dealt with before kindergarten, this kind of dangerous behavior becomes a real issue in grade school.

Jessica on

This might very well be the perfect blog!! I loved it! Keep them coming…

Crystal on

Hilarious!! I was crying laughing. Poppy is a great storyteller. However, the wedding story was awful. My friend said she would have called security on her own daughter and had them escort her out. Lol! I don’t know what I would have done in that situation and am glad I won’t have to find out anytime soon! Whew! 🙂

melissa B on

I have a 4 yr old and 7 yr old and am really just now starting to grasp HOW MUCH they pick up from us. Even when we’re upset, we should watch how we act, bc THEY WILL do as they see. Even when upset, maintain control. Show them how to handle stressful situations by handling them well yourself. This is advice I wish someone would have given me. Maybe they did, and I didn’t realize the weight of the words.

Reyna Reyes on

Poppy Montgomery, you are a talented blogger, combining wisdom and witticisms in a totally relevant way, about a totally relevant topic. People is totally wise to have added you to their roster. Bravo!

Stefanie on

He is soooo cute! Very well written & just in time as my 18.5month old seems to have some of these suddenly (but thankfully not frequently…yet!) Looking forward to reading more! 🙂

wendy on

this made me smile

remember having my youngest in the top buggy half of a grocery cart and she wouldn’t stay seated. Gave her a slap on the behind after getting sooo frustratrated. This woman started glaring at me…stopped and said…I GUESS YOU WOULD RATHER SHE FELL ON HER HEAD!

francablog on

this was great – well-written, funny…. keep ’em coming, poppy!

blessedwithboys on

Was this blog supposed to be funny? Cuz it wasn’t.

Poor mildly-autistic Cassie! Her mother should be repaid in kind for her ugly “parenting” behavior. 😦

Maiasmom on

My daughter (5 next week) RARELY has public meltdowns for the simple reason that I ignore her and do not give in to her demands. I also use the phrase that I don’t negotiate with terrorists. 🙂 I don’t leave anywhere because she’s having a fit. I just let her cry until she gets over it. Meanwhile, I get my shopping done. If you leave the store/restaurant/ wherever else you may be, then they win, too.

Kathleen on

Awesome writing and so funny. I remember when my own boy became too big to carry out of places, I just had to finish up and have him walk out on his own two feet. Pray for a decent drive home.

olivia on

Lol! Great writing, Witty, funny and entertaining. Will certainly read more blogs from you!!

anonymous on

OH HELL NO!! The child needed to have her ASS BUSTED!!

Sharon on

Well done! I avoided most public meltdown but watching for warning signs and having threats handy (like Poppy’s mother used.) For the most part my children were a joy to take in public but it took a LOT of work to get them that way. Of course I worked with autistic children for a living so they really didn’t have a chance. Not to mention I have a Mom look that still makes my children stand up and pay attention to.. and their both in their 30’s!

Gamby74 on

This is a good piece, but I take issue with lines like “I simply waited for the hurricane to calm.” I have a toddler and yet I still go out to dinner. I was the person 2 years ago who would complain about being sat near the table with the loud kids. So now that I have one of my own, I’m particularly sensitive to not having my child screaming like a maniac and disrupting everyone else’s meal. And you may not be able to take a kid outside when you’re by yourself, but you can take it to the bathroom and discipline it. Of course, my mother would discipline me on the spot and embarrassed me in front of the entire restaurant. And I turned out a heap better for it.

Del on

Great article. Funny yet informative. I grew up as the only girl with five brothers until the age of 15 when my sisiter was born. My mom told the boys if she found a drop of urine on the toilet seat after they’d used it, she would hold them by the scruff of their neck and make them lick it off. That threat was enough to ensure dry toilet seats and thankfully she never had to carry it out.

Julie on

Love this blog and everything is so true and something every Mom goes through. My Mother had this look on her face that stopped you in your tracks no matter what you were doing, you didn’t even have to be facing her and you knew you were getting it. I did try it on my Son but I think it kinda looked like I had a bad case of gas not scary at all.

Jen on

I also loved this article. It’s good to hear that all parents have these situations. It’s so hard to deal with your child when you’re worried about other people looking at you and judging you. I will say my past judgements have certainly changed since I had a child. I love my son, but he is 100% boy and is going to be a handful.

eyeshadowjunkie2 on

It always amazes me when parents give their young kids sugar and get upset when they don’t act like thinking human beings. The effects of sugar on the body isn’t too far removed from alcohol. We won’t give a kid a beer, but allow them to overindulge in sugar.

Mary on

I’ve always loved Poppy Montgomery as an actress – it’s good to see that she has such a level head and realistic perspective on children as well. The quotes she used are fabulous, and as a parent you can empathize with each point. More Poppy Blogs please!

Karolina on

Love this blog! Hysterical and completely right on point. Thanks for the laugh and the insight for this soon to be mom!

Felice on

I love the article and it brings to mind a fit my then 15 month old daughter attempted to throw in the mall. She was out of her stroller, toddling through the mall, when we came upon a little boy laying on the floor screaming and yelling. His mother came out of a store, waved a bag of something at him, he inspected the bag – them got up and went on his way. My daughter’s face registered, “Wow – so that’s how to get stuff” We continued our trek through the mall, and stopped in one of the many stores. She got her hands on something she had no business, and I took it from her. The whining started – I ignored her – it got louder – I continued to ignore her – the crying started – again I ignored her. She crossed the line by attempting to start yelling – I got right into her face, put the bass in my voice and told her “we will have none of that – shut it down!” She did quite quickly. As we continued to walk – she has this look of confusion on her face, as if ti say, “Where did this all fall down? He got stuff and she jumped in my face! Moms – do not be held hostage – take no prisioners!

Joyce on

This is one of the best mommy blog entries I’ve read. Great stories, great quotes and wonderful insight. Lessons I can use when my son has a meltdown. Thanks, Poppy!

Anonymous on

Great Blog! Love the sense of humor she seems to use to her advantage in her parenting!

loli on

loved, honestly.

Courtney on

Poppy – Your blogs are the best! So funny and witty. Thanks for sharing.

Twittles on

Every hear of Spanking? If I had ever attempted to “scratch my moms face until she bled” My butt would have been set on Fire!!!! I NEVER pitched a fit in public because I knew what would happen when I got home. My brothers and I knew that we would be spanked, NOT ABUSED (as i’m sure I will get some comments about this) My parents never gave us more than 3 swats. I just can’t see letting a child claw your face until you bleed. That is ridiculous!!!!

Jenn on

I know I’m late, but that was hilarious! I love your sense of humor. More moms should have your attitude towards parenting.

Beth on

One time while shopping with my 2 year old son, he started to have a tantrum. I leaned in and said ” Nathan, do you see that corner over there ?” He said yes. ” Well, if you do not stop screaming you will be having a time out , in that corner, in front of all these people.” That did it ! He never had a tantrum in public again. Of course at home, it was a different story……hahahaa

Kevin on

my mother would threaten, stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about

Shannon on

Nicely written. These tips are handy – though I silently hope I would not be needing to use them. No meltdown so far with our 3.5 year old girl. I used to be annoyed by tables with misbehaving kids until I became a parent. Count our blessing if we happen to be blessed with children with no/few meltdowns. The challenge perhaps come in a different form 🙂

rose on

Your blog was so refreshing to read, I really enjoyed it and its nice to remember you’re not alone.

Amy on

“….I don’t negotiate with terrorists.” LOVE this! It’s so true, too. The empty threats are the WORST and the fastest way to ensure that your child will never take you seriously.

shannon on

none of my children ever threw fits like that, in public or at home. Why? Because they knew i would knock the stuffing out of them. Remember who the parent is.

Janeen on

What a great blog!!! I laughed out loud at times and felt so good knowing I’m not the only one!!!

Christina on

Loved reading this! It cracked me up! I have a 2 and 1/2 year old, so I can definitely relate. What seems to work best for him is taking privileges away. He loves going to the park and watching movies, so bad behavior means not being able to do what he likes.

Curbdiver on

I was out to dinner at this Italuan non chain family resturantin a booth type arrangement the people in the both behind me where the parents only attempt to control there children was to ask them to please be quiet! When my son was young and he wouldn’t calm down we worked things out with the waitress and left he knew people realized why we left (not in a way that would have embarassed him in public we discussed ut privately embarassnent may make the issue wirse) that behavior never happened again you can out think a child and you should be concerned about how your childs behavior is effecting the people around you! A child needs to be shown how to act in public it can be done without physical punishment although an occasional undercontrol spanking is OK you can’t let your children control your, they need to know what behaviors are proper in what situations! Nothing I find worse than watching a parent trying to explain to child why they can’t have a toy, they have to learn when Mom Dad say no that’s what it means we have to be consistent! Hiwever we cant akways say nooccasional saying you can pick out a toy in this price range we can discuss and agree to, just don’t say no occasionally give them a yes before they ask it will help them accept a “no” better!