Sunday, April 18, 2010

Parenting Tip #35 Tips for Shopping with Children

Grocery shopping with kids-- Shudder. Scream.
Yes, we all know that “shopping” and “kids” should not be in the same sentence. But since most of the time they are, here are some tips I’ve gathered from parents like you.

Prepare before you go to the store. Bring stuff for bored kids, hungry kids, potty training kids, thirsty kids. Then you can anticipate and prevent drama in the dairy section.

Do not go into a store without a shopping list and do not buy anything not on the list. Not only do you save money this way but it reduces the amount of time it takes to drag your family through the store.

Here’s a tip for parents with skinny kids. My kids have all been skinny enough to wiggle out of the seat belt on the shopping cart and manage to stand up on the seat. I decided I needed something better so I went and bought a kid walking harness and a metal C-ring clip. I kept them in our van. The total cost was under $7. Whenever we went shopping I would put the harness on my child and then hook the clip (instead of the leash) onto the back of the harness and then clip it to the back of the cart seat on the metal bar. This allowed my daughter to be comfortable, but she couldn’t get out of the harness or stand up in the cart.

I keep Maya (age 3) entertained at the store by letting her cross off the things on our list and by putting the things we need in the shopping cart.

If I’m going to Walmart or Target, I let my daughter take a few minutes to play with the toys. Of course we always say that we are only going to look and not buy. However, if you think your child is going to have a total melt down and tantrum, then avoid the toys!

I usually shop with my preschooler when the older kids are in school. It seems that the more kids you have together, the more trouble you have.

During the wintertime I hang my coat over the basket of the shopping cart. My daughter likes to pretend that she is an animal living in a cave or that the covered basket is her fort. This works out great if you are only getting a few things or if the whole family is coming along and you push two carts.

Share any shopping tips you've discovered with us!

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