Grocery Shopping With Kids
Ahhh ... grocery shopping with kids. Whether they're begging for cookies or trying to become a stunt-toddler, taking children to the store isn't always fun.
If you must bring your children to the grocery store, there are a few things to keep in mind. Don’t go to the store near nap-time or before a meal. Tired and hungry kids are more likely to have a tantrum.
Make sure everyone visits the bathroom at home before you leave for the store, and ask your child again when you get to the store if he or she needs to go to the restroom before you start your shopping. Whenever possible, shop during one of the slower times for your store. Make sure your child has eaten before you go, or bring a healthy snack with you so he or she can eat while you shop Set up rules before you go inside, including where you expect your child to be when you shop (walking next to you, sitting in the cart, etc.) and what to do if you get separated.
Also establish how many items your child can choose and don’t allow negotiating. To complete the shopping as quickly as possible, keep kids busy. Coupons can help with that. When kids are young, use coupons and create a bingo game. Attach 16 coupons to a bingo. When your child finds the product on the coupon, they can remove it. Four in a row means your child has a bingo.
You can also play I Spy with shapes or colors in the store. This is a good game to play while waiting in a long checkout line. Older children can subtract the value of a coupon from the price of the product for a quick and easy subtraction drill. Then teach comparison-shopping by asking if the product with a coupon is a better deal than another brand. Older children can calculate savings in percentages and figure price per unit. Know your child’s attention span and do everything you can to keep the length of your shopping visit within those parameters.
If your child misbehaves and has a tantrum, do not feel bad about leaving your cart in the middle of the store and going home. If possible, let a member of the store staff know where the cart is and whether or not you can come back shortly to complete your shopping trip. Zero tolerance for misbehavior sends a message to your child and helps to prevent this from happening again. And be sure to reward good behavior with praise, a treat, or a ride on the mechanical horse. Positive reinforcement helps set the stage for the next shopping trip