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Taking kids along with you while shopping can be one of two things. One, it can be the most fun you’ve had in your life, or it can be your worst nightmare. The difference lies only in your perception and ability to manage the situation. Here are a few tips on how to shop with kids towing along.
In This Post:
1. Be Alert To Your Kid’s Needs
Remember, children have their limits. They get tired pretty quickly, have short attention spans, get hungry, and overexcited. Sometimes crowds bother them and they’ll get cranky just when you’re about to have a good time. There’s no point in getting upset with them. Be alert to their needs; feed them before they start getting really hungry. Check if they’re getting bored; kids who are bored can get destructive, pulling and breaking things at a shopping center.
2. Channel Your Kid’s Curiosity
When you take your kids shopping with you, you must be prepared for their natural curiosity to come out in full bloom. A shopping mall, full of goodies! They can hardly control themselves and might touch things and pull items out of shelves unnecessarily. This can lead to breakage with you paying up for the item. Don’t get upset at your kids when they’re curious.
Channel the curiosity positively. While examining glassware, ask them to look for the colors of the rainbow where the light hits the glass. Ask your kids what kind of drink they’d drink in the glasses. Listen to their imaginations run wild as they come up with everything from orange juice to ice blue liquid jell-o! Instead of restricting their curiosity, let them know that you’re liable for breakages if any. Ask them to admire from a distance and refrain from touching.
3. Coping With Babies While Shopping
It’s one thing to take a preschooler or a 10 year old shopping with you, and quite another to tag an infant along. With an infant, it’s best not to embark on any shopping trip till he or she has been fed and is fully rested. The air is usually dry in shopping malls, making your infant or small child feel dehydrated. Make sure you carry plenty of water and juice with you. If you have an infant, you may have to take frequent nursing breaks to soothe his or her cranky tummy.
Carry your baby as much as possible; the warmth of your arms and body will keep your baby feeling emotionally secure. If you need to focus on something, give your child a small toy to play with. Stop now and then and talk to your baby.
4. Coping With Toddlers While Shopping
You can include toddlers in your shopping decisions, to keep them busy. Ask your toddler which color looks better on you and how many bananas to buy for the week. Toddlers like being part of shopping choices. Always carry water, juice and favorite snacks along with a picture book or story book to keep your toddler hydrated and entertained. Carry your toddler in a child carrier backpack to make them feel more secure. Toddlers can feel intimidated being surrounded by adults in a crowded mall.
5. Avoid Crowds
Do your shopping when the stores are least crowded, such as early morning or afternoon on weekdays. Don’t shop with kids at the end of the day when they’re tired, hungry and stressed. Bring a snack along from home to avoid the check-out lane temptation. This is where all the colorful candies, the gum packets and the small toys are kept. If your kids are full, they might not be tempted to ask for any of these.
6. Learn To Say No
When kids hear “No” from their parents, they usually react negatively. Don’t say No bluntly to their faces. Rather, encourage the child to add a desired item to his or her wish list, to be considered for purchase later. Remember to say this with a hug and a smile so that the child doesn’t feel rejected.
When You And The Kids Reach Your Limits
When you reach the limit of your patience, it’ll be so easy to give in to irritation. Don’t give into this impulse. If your shopping is not done yet and you’re feeling cranky, take a break with the kids. Eat something, or just sit around idly at the café for a bit till you feel better.
If your kids have had enough, they’ll certainly not be so controlled. They will get cranky, throw tantrums, make unreasonable demands and get your goat. Remember that your child is not out to punish you. He or she hasn’t yet learnt to communicate needs to you. What your child is trying to say is that he or she is tired, fatigued and has had enough. It’s time to call it a day when this happens.