Tips for Shopping With Your Child
Anyone who has shopped at a grocery store or a mall with children – especially young children – knows that the experience can sometimes be trying, even highly stressful.
Here are some steps that can change potential misery into potential mastery of shopping with kids.
Check attitudes – Is your child too tired or hungry to
shop? Are you? If yes, postpone your trip or find a sitter for you
Explain the Rules – Before entering the store make
your expectations clear, such as “Stay close to me” and “Use your quiet
- Agree on Rewards for Good Behavior – Keep it simple, such as a choice of a favorite snack food, or a stop at the park. Promise to read a story or play a game at home.
At the Store:
Make a Game Out of Shopping – Who can see the bananas?
Who can find the shoe store first? Who can see a person wearing red?
Which store begins with the letter “t”?
Give Children Some Choices – When possible, allow your
child(ren) to make some decisions. Blue or red socks? Chocolate or
vanilla ice cream? Be prepared to bargain or compromise.
Play – “I see something.” Then ask you child(ren) what
- Praise Your Child – “You are being so helpful.” A hug can be reassuring and say more than words at times.
If All Else Fails:
Remember: Kids will be kids – they are not perfect. Of course, neither are we, but we are the adults.
Ignore inappropriate behavior unless it becomes dangerous, destructive,
annoying to others, or truly embarrassing.
Remove a child who is out of control. Take him to the restroom or out
of the store. Tell the child quietly, eye-to-eye, that bad behavior is
Wait (say nothing at all) for the child to calm down, then ask if he is
ready to try again.
Remember kids will be kids – they are not perfect. Of course, neither
are we, but we are the adults.
- Go home if the child cannot calm down. If the shopping cannot wait, find a sitter and return alone.