My dear Homemaker
I am sure you have often found yourself in the situation where you have to go shopping with the kids, knowing it is not the best combination? You dread that moment, because you already know what is going to happen. There is always the whining of wanting something or how long before we can go home?
You are the role model you kids will follow and they will repeat the pattern you set. Surely there are ways to make it a good experience for all. This opportunity can be used to teach the children valuable lessons how to plan a shopping trip. Including them in the whole process from planning the list around the table.
Be never in a hurry when they are with you, have patience and make it an enjoyable event. You can teach them valuable shopping lessons for their future.
Shopping With The Kids
At home, you as the parent should teaching them from a young age their behaviour habits in different situations. The reasons, why, should be explained to make them. Make them understand what are proper behaviour and what are expected of them.
How to behave for instance in a car, in the shop, in church, when adults are having a conversation. Respect for other people are the important thing to teach them.
Also teach them safety habits when out in the street. Take their hand and explain what to do when crossing a street. Teach them a ritual to do before crossing a street.
They should be aware of cars and other people around you, how they behave. Keep your purse and phone hidden away, where it can’t be seen. Always stay in the moment and focused, never act on impulse.
If they are good and comply with these etiquette rules there will be a reward waiting for them. Make it a treat and not things, something they will enjoy.
Discuss this at home, hang the carrot in front of their noses. If you leave it until inside the shop, it is a bribe and will have no value. Be consistent in your behaviour, they will only get it, if they are good all the time.
Before going shopping have a snack and let them use the bathroom. Never wise to go shopping on an empty stomach.
Shopping with the Kids
How Planning can Help
Always take great care with children in the shopping trolleys. Secure the baby chair, strap it to the trolley if necessary. Make sure it is safe when you push the trolley.
Take the time and make your toddler feel comfortable in the trolley seat or sitting in the trolley. Be aware of them standing up because they might fall out the trolley and get hurt.
The best time to shop with a baby is when it is time to sleep. They will get used to the noises and sleep all the way in their little baby chair. Have a bottle of their favourite juice or water handy as well as a clean nappy.
Make sure they are well rested and fed. Arrange your shopping trip around their schedule.
Discuss and tell them why you are going to the shops and you want them to help you when old enough. Make the shopping list short to get them used to go shopping with you.
Make sure your toddler sits comfortable and will not fall out. Have a harness or Velcro straps, loosely attached to make your child safe, sitting in the trolley, not to fall out.
Never leave your trolley to find something or chat with a friend. In that fleeting moment something can go horribly wrong. Push the trolley everywhere you go. Always keep your child in your eye sight.
Show them the items on the shelf and let them help decide, get them involved with the choices. Show them the options to choose from, if they point to a different tomato sauce brand, select their choice.
Allow them to pick four red apples and four green apples. Show them if there are bad marks on it and select a better one. Do the same with potatoes and tomatoes.
Pack a snack box for them at home with a few of their favourite sweets without paper wrappings and chippies. Keep it in your bag, hand it to them when they get irritable or peckish.
Even a colouring book with one or two colouring pencils tied to the book with a string helps to keep them occupied.
Start your shopping by selecting the most important items on the list first. The moment they say they want to go home, you know the shopping trip is over, rather come back later to get the rest. Pay and go home before a tantrum, you can not reason with a tired bored toddler.
Keep the experience enjoyable. Involve them wherever you can and soon they will start enjoying it.
Praise them for their effort. Tell them how proud you are of what they have done. They have helped you to buy food for daddy. It gives them a feeling of self-worth and pride.
Shopping With The Kids
3. Young Children
At home when writing the shopping list ask them what are their favourites and add that to the list, or even better let them make their own list and compare.
Sending them off to check on the stock still available in the cupboard, discuss and decide how much to buy. This will help them to estimate what is needed.
Getting the bags and containers to put in the car, and knowing they can select something for themselves get them excited to go. As they grow older, change it to get something for the family instead.
Engage by letting them help you find the products on the shelves, but keep a close eye on them and don’t let them out of your site.
As they get older and can read and write, let them make a list of their needs, toiletries, snacks for school, may be stationary for school.
Get them a small trolley and they do their own shopping with your assistance. Teach them how to select, what to look for. What is the best value for money and discuss why is it the best. Make sure the product or package is not damaged, the fruit is not over ripe or rotten.
You and your children have decided to bake some cupcakes for the weekend. At home, let them write the list of ingredients from the recipe, see what is in the cupboard.
Mark it off what is already at home and keep what is needed on the list to get from the shop. When shopping let them find it on the shelf and mark it off the list as they go.
Let them place their goods from their trolley on the counter at the cashier, Mum will pay.
They can pack the goods in a bag, put it in their trolley and push it to the car. Tell them how proud you are of their achievement, they have help you tremendously with a big task.
Making them part of the team. It gives them confidence knowing they took part in an important aspect of the household and shared the responsibility. They have helped to make it all possible and they shared in the the control.
4. Older Children
Give older children an allowance with their pocket money. An allowance to buy their own personal goods like toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream, shampoo, conditioner, body spray, etc.
Teach your child how to budget. Make a list and never spend money you don’t have. It teaches them discipline and self-control. First buy what is needed, and if there is money left, put it in a savings box or account. Save all the little bits of change until you have enough to buy what they want.
In the beginning let them do their shopping with you from their own list and be with them when they pay. Soon they have confidence enough to do it all on their own. One day soon they will go and do the grocery shopping for you.
If they want some new clothes, send them on a photo shopping spree. Go to town with a friend and take photos of all the articles they want. They have to bring photos of three different options of the same item they want.
At home download it on the computer and discuss what and why. Let them sleep on their choice. Double check in the morning and get the goods they want that same day. That is an informed decision and not buying on impulse.
Teach you child never to trust anybody, for their own safety and reputation. Don’t believe what someone says, always double check and make sure for yourself. As a good friend once said, my dear don’t even trust your shadow.
Shopping With The Kids
Your child will be so grateful one day, learning from you how to shop, it will be a valuable lesson learned. Planning the trip, taking care of the bags, most of all making your shopping list and enjoying it. Inside the shop it is essential to know what to look for in a product, how to select the best items within a budget.
Shopping is a continues act as long as one lives, there will always be a need for something. Good practical shopping habits are an art and not everybody is successful. Every household should be frugal to save wherever they can.
Teaching your child to shop wisely will help them buy quality goods at the best price and know how to balance their budgets.
Until next time, happy shopping!
Empower to Walk Tall with Pride and Confidence