Shopping with children can be a nightmare. It’s often a time if intense stress and for good reason…
Try these tips to help your child learn how to behave in the grocery store.
Leaving them at home is always a good idea when you’re doing a large grocery trip. It also begins the teaching process. When your child cries and says, “I want to go with mommy!” You say, “I only take children with me who stay with me and don’t cry. You can try next time.”
When you use grocery shopping for teaching make sure you have plenty of time and don’t need to buy anything that’s essential. Then, when your child acts up, leave the groceries in the cart and both of you go sit outside on a bench. When the tantrum subsides simply ask, “You ready to try again?” No need to say anything else since I’m sure you’ve already talked about how they’re supposed to behave. This is about teaching through action, not punishment. If you leave the store at this point you’ve switched the lesson from a teaching moment to showing them who really holds the power: your child. They will assume, using a child’s immature reasoning, I’m powerful—I made mom mad and leave the store.
You now know what you’re doing and you can be calm instead of embarrassed or mad. The main thing is to stick to your boundaries and make sure your child knows who the adult is.
If both of you eat a snack before going shopping things will go much smoother. Neither of you will be hungry so you won’t be as likely to suffer from lack of energy and your child will not be so ready to ask for treats!
For example, allow them to push a kid’s shopping cart and get one thing you need from a low shelf. If they run away, go and get them and repeat the bench process. Repeatedly doing this shows your child what you expect when they shop with you.
Games are an excellent way of tricking your child and most kids can’t resist them. “Let’s see who can stay in the cart the longest” is an unbelievably easy way of getting children to stay in the cart… and they will fall for it again and again!