Shopping at the Grocery Mart with children has been memorable for all of us, especially with small children. Here are some tips that can change your stressful into a win-win situation for you and your kids.
- First and foremost, explain the rules such as, speaking softly, no begging for candy, no loitering etc. Then, create your secret sign/ gesture or word as a signal to get the immediate attention of the other. Also create a similar secret code for a “No!”
- Good behaviour deserves a reward and offer to pick up their favourite snack/ fruit if they behave well.
- If possible visit the stores during afternoons or at times when it is less crowded as children tend to get uncomfortable in crowds.
- Children like to feel they are important. Hand them a small shopping cart and ask them to fetch one thing that they need from the shelf. Doing so will help maintain their interest in the chore.
- Remember that children are naturally curious. Don’t scold them if they touch or examine an attractive item. Instead, help them hold it and explain what it is. Let them know if it’s breakable and reasons why not to touch it.
- In case you will be shopping for long, carry a snack such as dry-fruits, an apple or peanut-butter sandwiches for your child. Bringing a storybook or a toy along will be helpful too!
- Make up your own games! Ask your child to ‘spy’ and find five vegetables that are green and once the task is done, you may take the cart to them!
- In case your child loses patience and starts throwing tantrums or starts crying, try to calm her down by showing things of her interest yet there are times when she won’t. More than the parents, such incidents seem to bother other shoppers who either mutter away or give looks of displeasure. Instead of feeling embarrassed or guilty, make eye contact and speak with a smile “Yes, we shall soon be okay!”
- It is important to say a “No!” to your kids but make sure you don’t say that all the time. At times, do let them put what they want in the shopping cart or else they will start feeling dejected. Also, your denial should not be offensive. One suggestion would be to ask the child to make a wish-list and add up what she likes. It can be purchased as a reward on your next shopping trip!
- Always check emotions before you decide to go shopping with your children. Postpone it for a later time if they are hungry or sleepy and same goes for you too!
Image courtesy – https://www.colourbox.com
- Sheetal Bidaye
- March 10, 2017
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