Shopping with children can be an onerous task even at the best of times. Besides the endless stream of “Can I have’s….” you can also encounter other problems. For instance, many people find that shopping with children can lead to a higher incidence of temper tantrums.
No parent wants to deal with a child having a tantrum, particularly in such a public venue. So how do you deal with this? Is punishment really the best option? Actually, there are a couple of ways that you can make shopping with children easier, without resorting to punishment.
1. Have A Talk
One of the best ways to help make shopping with children more enjoyable is to have a talk with the child before you enter the store. If they are old enough, explain to the child what you expect in terms of behavior. Explain the punishment that you will give if they do not act appropriately, as well, so they are not surprised when you ground them for a week for knocking over all the cans in the frozen vegetable isle!
2. Offer A Reward
While this strategy for shopping with children might not meet with approval from all parents, it does work in many instances. Tell your child what sort of behavior you expect, and offer them some type of reward if they do. This does not have to be candy or a sugary treat – perhaps they can play an extra game during the day, go to the park afterward, or stay up an hour later tonight to watch their favorite TV show.
3. Plan The Trip In Their favor
Every child has their weak spot – perhaps your 8-year-old is obsessed with model airplanes, or your 14-year-old has a love of horses. Plan your trip so that the most fun activity is kept for last, and make sure it involves your child’s favored activity. It only takes fifteen minutes of your time to stop off at the model train store after you’re done with the supermarket, or make a stop at a nearby farm so your daughter can feed the horses, but it will make for a much quieter and more relaxing shopping trip for you, while your children eagerly await their reward.
These are just a few of the ways that you can make shopping with children easier and less troublesome. With a bit of creativity, you can likely think of many other ways to make shopping with your children more fun for all the family.