As moms, we love our children dearly. No one can overestimate how much they mean to us. However, no mom (or parent) can deny that kids do when we’re shopping. They become even worse at shopping malls/outlet centers – treating them almost as if it’s they’re personal kingdom. Here are several ways for making shopping day with your kids a lot easier.
1. You Are A Role Model
Like it or not, every action you take (and every move you make) serves as an example of how to behave. Your children will react the same way when presented in a similar situation. Therefore, it’s never a good idea to show your at them impatiently. This shows other moms that you don’t know how to be responsible.
Everybody—even people who have no children—recognizes the signs of a tired child. From throwing tantrums to general crankiness and unexplainable moodiness, children who are due for a nap are difficult to deal with. This is why it is important for your sanity (and the experience of other customers) to shop with a child only when he/she/it is well-rested.
3. Make Time
As parents, we quickly figure out that going “in and out” the store for shopping is but a dream. In order to decrease the likelihood of tempers flaring, allow for an hour (or two) of shopping time – especially at outlet malls (like the , for example). Realizing that you have no other time constraints or commitments due for a while will make you rush a lot less.
4. Make Time (For Your Kid)
On the other hand, your child may tire him/herself/itself out after only an hour. Do not plan on attacking your day’s agenda with child in tow – the grocery store alone may tucker the poor thing out. That’s why making time for shopping with your kid should be the only task on your to-do list right now. That means no taking it with you to the dry cleaners, picking up a new appliance, going to the bank “for a few minutes”, etc.
5. Minimize Whining
There is no magical pill for making kids stop whining. (I really wish there was!) Instead, you can minimize whining by promising to buy your special love only one thing and one thing only. However, you must make sure they understand that you are buying this one thing as long as they promise to be on their best behavior.
6. Involve Them
When you enter a store—any store—there is bound to be a flyer, listing which items and products are on sale. Show them these discount flyers, pointing out the items that you need. You can “hire” them to find these items, involving them and making shopping a lot more fun. And, because you’ve given them an important task, they will be more likely to take it seriously and less likely to run around screaming and causing havoc.
7. Reward Good Behavior
When your child is being helpful, quiet, or is representing your excellent parenting skills… reward that behavior by offering to take your child out to the park later in the day. Or perhaps offer them 30 additional minutes of game time before bed.
Implementing these simple techniques will keep you and your children’s sanity intact. While there is no doubt that children can be a lot to handle, especially in stores (where they are stimulated from every direction under the sun), by following these tips you can make the shopping experience pleasurable.