Everyone who has children knows that, like it or not, you sometimes have to take them shopping with you. Some kids are good when shopping, some are bad. I find that when I follow these 5 tips I have a good shopping experience.
5) Let them bring a friend - By allowing your child to bring a friend you will be saved a lot of whining and complaining. No self-respecting kid wants to be seen acting like a baby in front of their friends!
4) Be careful about offering bribes - Yes, we all do it, "just give daddy a few minutes of peace and I'll buy you that toy you want..." This is a dangerous thing to do, unless you word it correctly. If you want to insure good behavior from your child let them know what you expect of them while shopping. After you tell them what you want you can then throw in something like, "as long as you behave yourself, we'll go to the toy store. BUT! The amount of 'extra' money you get to spend, above what you bring, will depend on your behavior." By telling the child you will go to their store before you leave and that good behavior may earn them a few dollars to spend there you will find your child behaves better.
You need to be careful though, if you happen to tell the child that something they just did has now voided the toy store visit you might as well go home now. Once the carrot is taken away so goes the good behavior.
3) Tell the child your itinerary - Before you leave the house let your child know what you are shopping for. This lets them feel slightly more important in that you have let them know, before you leave the house, why you are going shopping. This will put the child in the proper frame of mind for your trip. If they know you are only going to the hardware store to pick up some nails they will not bug you to go to the mall in the next town over. It also allows them to make up their own mind as to whether or not they want to join you, if they have a choice that is!
2) Don't go to their store first - All children know that once they have gotten something on the shopping trip they are not likely to get anything else. The only exception to this rule involves school clothing shopping. Either way, it is better to hold off on going to the toy or game store until after you have purchased what you went shopping for. If you go to their store first they will be a royal pain for the rest of the shopping trip. As far as the kid is concerned they have gotten what they came for and now they only want to go home.
1) Don't shop with a hungry kid - This one is number one for a very good reason, nothing causes trouble like a hungry child. When a child is hungry they are easily agitated and distracted. Asking, "are you hungry," will not always get you an accurate answer so just be sure to feed your children before you start shopping.
I hope these 5 short tips help you enjoy your next shopping trip!