As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m not much of a shopper.
I don’t take my kids shopping very often, except to the grocery store. But have you ever noticed how even a routine jaunt to buy grapefruit and tomatoes can turn into a power struggle extraordinaire?
Though my kids are pretty well-behaved (in public anyway), I find that our shopping trips–even just to the market–always go much more smoothly if I’m upfront about how I expect them to behave.
The key to successful shopping with kids is to make sure you talk to them before you enter the store.
(NB: These rules work at the supermarket too but they’re mostly for boutique or clothes shopping.)
Be sure to mention that:
1) You expect them to use indoor voices.
2) You expect them to look with their eyes but not with their hands. This means they can’t touch anything without permission.
3) You’re just browsing (if that’s what you’re doing) and you don’t want them to ask for things.
4) You plan to buy them something and you will spend only X amount on each child. This way they know in advance that they need to pick something in the appropriate price range.
5) No ad-ah-ho-chee-ko-da-ho-chee. This is Japanese for I-want-this-I-want-that. My sister-in-law taught it to me. There’s nothing more annoying than a child pestering you the whole time you’re shopping. Even if they may buy one thing, you don’t want any I-want-this-I-want-that.
Finally, set appropriate consequences if they misbehave: I have a one strike and you’re out rule for shopping, at the grocery store or anywhere else, because I don’t like to see rude or badly behaved children in stores.
If my children bicker or raise their voices, they have to wait outside until the rest of us are done.
They know that I follow through on this rule (as I have in the past), and I remind them of it before we shop.
It usually works.
Nine times out of ten the kids are careful to be on extra good behavior.
Readers, do you enjoy shopping with your children? Do you have any tips to add on how to make a trip to the store go more smoothly?
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