Tips for Going Shopping with Children
Whether this is your first trip out with a newborn or you are taking your kids to the mall parents should be prepared when they go shopping. If you are bringing a baby, make sure you have everything you need in case they need to be fed or need a change. Restrooms are user-friendly to parents with babies because most have changing tables. If you have small toddlers, parents can either bring a stroller or rent one at one of the malls. If you are grocery shopping, sometimes it’s a good idea for both parents to shop in case you need two carts. One cart for baby and one for your groceries. Make sure you have a plan if you are taking toddlers or small children to malls or department stores and keep an eye on your children at all times. Parents with very small children should consider using a double stroller if you are shopping at a mall. If you are bringing older children, most of them have cellphones and by now they know about the danger of strangers so set a meeting time and place. In addition, set some boundaries and ground rules for shopping as far as tantrums with smaller or even middle-aged children. Tell them there will be consequences if they misbehave.
It’s also a good idea to tell your older children that you are sticking to a budget if you are all shopping for clothes for school or another occasion. Parent’s should also inform their children that the rules don’t change in public. They are expected to be on their best behavior, respectful and courteous to other people that maybe shopping and also to store clerks. Malls have security guards and some malls have rules about teens being unattended during certain times of the day. Parents should check the rules of the mall before they let their teens and tweens go shop on their own in case the mall requires a guardian with kids that are older.
Small children can be needy at times and they love to dart around because their attention spans are short. Parents that are planning a day of shopping inside of a mall should remember to bring some snacks along with them. You can use them as bribery if your kids are getting cranky. In addition, bring along some books and a few toys to help kids sit still while you are checking out. The more things you bring to interest your young ones, the better. Every item should keep them busy for a few minutes to allow you to complete your tasks.
Parents can also give kids some tasks while they are shopping. If you are going to the grocery store, make a list for some simple things that your kids are able to pick up and put into the cart. This also helps keep them busy and if this seems to bore them quickly, pull out a few rewards if they remember to stay patient. You can always give them some quarters for the toy machines on the way out of the store if they behave. Parents can also give the kids a few dollars to buy something they might want as a bribe as well to keep them happy and help your trip remain stress-free.
Parents can always make up games as they go along and see if their kids can recognize the different items on the shelves and the older ones should be able to tell you the name brands versus the bargain brands.
The nice thing about malls is they also have kiosks as well that sell all kinds of goodies and arcades with games and rides. Parents should take advantage of these places in case their kids are starting to become impatient with a long day of shopping. You can reward them with a special treat and some rides and game time in the arcades if they behave.
Parents can also let their child bring along a friend on one of their shopping excursions. This usually works better if your kids are older. They won’t embarrass you in front of their friend and this actually may be quite productive for them because your child won’t get bored that easily. Your child and their friend can look at things they like together and there are always shops for kids of all ages that you can take them to. Of course, you should make sure your child is bringing a well-mannered child along with your family so things go smoothly for everyone.
When you are shopping during the holiday season, your child might need some money or might want to bring some of the money they saved for some shopping that they would like to do. Kids always enjoy buying gifts for their family and this helps build their confidence and shows them how important gift giving is. Giving a gift that your child picked out is a selfless quality that children should learn to have. There are so many inexpensive gifts that your child can afford but it’s the thought that counts. Parents love to see their children happy and also are interested and have fun watching what they choose to buy. All children have a unique sense of taste when it comes to purchases.
When parents let their children shop for other people, this takes away the boredom and may keep them occupied for hours because there are so many choices and so many stores to look through. This is also a good way to teach your children about the joy of giving.
Parents have to start teaching their children when they are young how to behave in a store. As they grow and get older, parents can build on what they have taught them so they are not bored and you have some leverage of your own to use in case of meltdowns. Shopping excursions might not all be perfect, but you can see what went wrong and work from there with your children. Kids are going to have a meltdown here and there but then take them out of the store or to a safe place for them to calm down and feel safe again. Don’t lose your cool because then you lose control of the situation. You’re the one in charge and your children have to understand and respect the boundaries that you set.