Parenting Advice on Shopping with Children
Every parent knows that shopping with children can be very challenging. Tantrums can be excruciatingly plentiful in the shortest of shopping trips. However, parents can ensure a more peaceful supermarket excursion with the following guidelines.
1. If you're planning to shop with your children, plan it ahead. Determine beforehand where you'll be going and what you'll be looking for. Inform your children the kind of shopping trip they can expect. But if your kid is not especially comfortable in supermarkets and tends to get cranky every three minutes, then it's best to go shopping alone.
2. Shopping with your kids can be totally stressing. Before you go ahead with that shopping trip, be sure that you aren't stressed out yourself, have eaten something and have the patience needed to survive the trip. Shopping with the kids is also easier if the children are well-rested and have been fed.
3. Shopping with children also mean that you have to be attentive to their needs. They might get hungry or thirsty so be sure to have a snack or drink on hand. Children may also be intimidated by the supermarket crowd and be overwhelmed by the surroundings, most especially when activity in the stores are hectic. Give them a reassuring hug once in a while.
4. Since children are innately curious beings, they might want to reach out for every colorful item that takes their fancy and play with it. Instead of scolding them, teach them how to hold it safely or inform them gently that they can only look at it and not touch it. While the item may not necessarily be part of your shopping list, it's helpful to share in the child's interest in it and explain what it is, what it is for and why it can’t go into the cart
5. If you're shopping with pre-school children, get them involved in counting and choosing items. This will be a learning experience for them and would also keep their attention away from other unnecessary activities like reaching out for items you don't have a need for.
6. When your children want something they can't have, saying no without being subjected to temper tantrums can be mighty difficult. It might help to promise the kids that they can have it the next time you go shopping, but only when they promise to be good. When turning down your children, be sure to accompany the act with a smile and a hug.
7. If you have reached your limit, deal with your negative emotions positively. Go outside with your children, get refreshed and enjoy a few minutes of fresh air away from the shopping crowds. This will improve your shopping mood greatly.
8. If after all the well-meaning suggestions have been put to use and you still cannot stop your child from throwing tantrums, don't force it. Postpone your shopping and tend to your child who might be feeling exhausted and just wants to go home. Pushing it would only lead to more stressful situations.
Shopping with children could be an unnerving experience. But by working their way around it and setting the pace appropriately, parents will find that even with the youngest child, shopping can be enjoyable. Plus, shopping is also a good opportunity for them to connect with their kids.
by Veronica Fisher