Living11 essential tips to go shopping with children and...

11 essential tips to go shopping with children and not die trying

When it’s time to go shopping , surely the last thing we want is to take the children . Both going to the supermarket to stock the pantry, and going to a shopping center to do any other errand, are boring and tired plans for the little ones.

However, sometimes there is no choice but to go shopping with them, so to prevent them from getting nervous, crying or stressed, we share the following tips.

Take children to shops only if strictly necessary

There are adults who love to go shopping. Visiting one and then the other, stopping to look at shop windows, comparing prices, looking for the best sales, buying one thing here and another there…

For many, going shopping or spending the afternoon in a shopping center brings pleasant sensations, helps to release tension, relaxes and allows you to spend some time entertaining.

But this hobby, so widespread among adults, logically does not apply in the same way to children, for whom shopping is a real boredom.

Therefore, before going shopping with the children, ask yourself if it is really necessary, or if, on the contrary, you can wait to do it alone at another time. In this sense, having to go to the supermarket to fill the family pantry is not the same as spending the afternoon in a shopping center making purchases that can most likely be postponed.

Short and concise purchases

Young children do not like immobility very much and are easily exasperated if they are forced to remain in one place without doing anything for too long.

Therefore, regardless of the type of purchase you have to make, try to be as brief and concise as possible , avoiding large shopping centers, supermarkets with endless aisles or long distances by road.

It will help you to keep a list of the things you have to buy or the stores you have to visit, as well as to make a rough estimate of the time you will be out, always bearing in mind that time for children does not pass in the same way as for children. Adults.

Choose the most suitable time of day for children

When it’s time to go shopping with the children, we must be the adults who adapt to their schedules, routines and needs, and not the other way around.

Thus, if we talk about going to the shops with a baby or small child (whom we carry in a stroller or baby carrier), we can take advantage of their nap time to shop, but as long as this activity does not disturb their sleep.

When it comes to older children, we can ask them what time of day they prefer to join us , trying to avoid as much as possible the central hours of more crowds.

In any case, if the child is hungry, tired or sleepy, it is necessary to respect their needs and leave the purchase for another time .

Don’t forget the stroller or the baby carrier

Although your child can already walk, if he is still small, it can be very helpful to bring his stroller . It will be essential if you get tired, bored or want to take a nap.

The baby carrier is also a great help, even for older children, since its back carry will allow you to have your hands free to be able to shop while your little one is protected.

Bring some of his toys

The stores are full of visual stimuli for children, so they will want to touch everything within their reach . To avoid this, take a bag with a couple of toys or stories that allow them to be entertained and play while you shop.

In the case of babies or very young children, it is also very helpful to put their favorite blanket, object of attachment or rattle in the stroller bag. Catching him at a difficult time can save him from throwing a tantrum.

Have the child participate in the purchase

Children need to feel useful and contribute to the family. And there is nothing that makes them happier than knowing that they are taken into account and that their help is important to us.

This feeling will not only improve their behavior during shopping (they will no longer be bored because they have a task to complete, and that they also know is necessary for the family), but it will help them strengthen their self-esteem, confidence and connection, while they gain autonomy.

For example, if you go to the supermarket, turn your child into your assistant and assign him specific tasks that motivate him and make him feel useful (pushing the cart, weighing fruit and vegetables, choosing the type of fish you are going to have for dinner… )

If you are buying clothes , ask them their opinion, ask them for help to find a certain size, ask them what color they think is best… If the clothes you are buying are for him or her, their involvement must be maximum, because this also contributes important Benefits.

Inform the child in advance and avoid rewards, punishments and blackmail

“If you let mom/dad do the shopping, I’ll give you a prize later”; “I promise we’ll only be in the store for five minutes” (knowing this is a false promise) ; “As long as you’re not quiet and calm, you’ll be left without television later!”

Blackmail, rewards, punishments… unfortunately adults use this type of manipulation when we want children to do something that suits us; in this case, “behaving well” while we shop.

To a large extent, we use this type of behavioral “tools” as a result of anxiety, haste and the maelstrom that engulfs us , and that prevents us from connecting with children and their needs.

But as we mentioned above, children want to contribute and feel useful , so sometimes it is enough to calmly explain to them what we are going to do ( how many times do we put them in the car and take them from one place to another without any explanation ? ) and what we expect from them.

For example:We have to go to the store to buy a gift for Grandpa’s birthday. I know that going to the stores can be boring for you, but I need to go today and I could really use your collaboration. Would you like to help me choose a present for him?

When you finish, praise the child’s behavior

When you finish shopping, show your child how important their help has been to you and thank them for their effort and involvement . You can also value the work you have done during the purchase. This will strengthen his self-esteem and he will feel predisposed to help more often.

For example: “Thank you very much for helping me so much at the supermarket. You have made my task much easier by weighing the fruit and crossing off what we were buying from the list. Without your help it would have taken much longer to buy”

Take advantage of the moment to educate the child in responsible consumption

Any situation, moment and scenario can be a great life and learning lesson for children. In this case, we can take advantage of going to the shops to talk to our children about the importance of responsible consumption and the value of money.

For example : we must teach them to compare prices and opt for products that offer us the best value for money; we have to teach them that it is not always possible to buy what one wants; because entering a store does not mean leaving with your hands full; and above all, to value and appreciate what they have without entering the wheel of consumerism.

lower your expectations

Avoid expectations, otherwise, if things don’t go as planned, you will get frustrated, stressed and lose your temper with your children.

It is essential that you always keep in mind the needs of the child , and understand that it is more than likely that at any given moment he will explode in a tantrum, not want to sit in his cart, protest if you do not buy him something he wants, run down the aisle of the Supermarket…

These are completely normal attitudes typical of childhood , so it is time to arm yourself with patience, accompany them with empathy and respect, and abandon the task if it becomes complicated or causes discomfort for the child and/or the adult.

Photos | Cover (Victoria Borodinova on Pexels); Photo 1 (Andrea Piacquadio at Pexels); Photo 2 (Sunbae Legacy on Pexels); Photo 3 (Yan Krukov at Pexels); Photo 4 (Gustavo Fring at Pexels); Photo 5 (istock); Photo 6 (Gustavo Fring at Pexels); Photo 6 (istock)

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