Simplifying Shopping with Your Child

Do you dread taking your kids to the store? Do you fear the whining and tantrums that inevitably happen on shopping trips? Fear no more. Following these easy tips can help make your next shopping trip a breeze!

1. Prepare, prepare, prepare

Before heading out to the grocery store, set some clear expectations for your children. Make it clear they are not allowed to whine, scream, or cry at the store. Let them know what your shopping goals are so they are aware they shouldn’t ask for toys. Give them something to look forward to after the trip, such as playtime at the park, if they behave well. Also, consider the time of day that you make your trip. Try to avoid the crowds by shopping in the morning or early afternoon on weekdays. The less crowded the store is, the less pressure you and your child will feel.

2. During the trip

Hungry children are especially prone to grumpiness and difficult to shop with. Try bringing along a snack for them. Remember also that idle hands make for grumpy children. So, bring along a toy or game to distract them. Just don’t forget it when you leave! If these fail and a tantrum ensues, don’t leave the store, as tempting as it may be. By leaving when they throw a fit, you reinforce that they have power by fussing. Sit them down until the tantrum stops, and then ask them if they are ready to try again.

3. On the way home

You’ve made it through your trip! If your child did well, remember to express your appreciation for how they behaved themselves. Consider offering them a treat or reward to reinforce how they should act in the future. If things didn’t go as hoped, talk with your child about what they should have done differently. Reinforce your expectations about how to behave at the store, and give them another chance next time!

Even if it’s tough, don’t give up! Stick to your rules, and have patience. The grocery store tantrums won’t last forever, and you can make shopping with your kids effortless with the right steps!

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