Tips for sucessfull shopping with children in tow

Samantha has asked me for some tips to make food shopping with her children a bit easier.

Food shopping at the supermarket can be quite stressful if you have young children with you.

When my 2 sons had to accompany me every week to the supermarket, my youngest who was almost 2 years old would have a temper tantrum as soon as I attempted to sit him in the trolley, he would make himself stiff and lie on the floor screaming, the reason behind this was because his brother who was two years older would walk around the shop rather than ride, in those days there were only trolleys available with one child seat. I tried to negotiate with him but this made matters worse, eventually I let him lie on the floor kicking and screaming inside the supermarket and we walked away letting him think that it was not a big deal. I must point out that I could see my child at all times and he was quite safe. He looked up, saw us walking away then jumped up ran after us and held up his arms asking to go into the trolley, I never encountered this problem again!

As my children grew older I came up with an idea to make shopping more interesting for them, we made shopping lists at home together before going to the supermarket. I would say that we needed sugar, for example, my 4 and a half year old would write an S mark on his list. When we started the shop and collected the sugar, he crossed the S from his paper, my youngest son, who was now sat strapped into the trolley didn’t have an S on his list to cross off, so the tantrum reared it’s head again, he threw the paper and pen onto the floor in frustration. In hindsight, if I had more time and energy I could have cut pictures from magazines and made him a visual list to use that he would have found easier.

When I was a child minder I didn’t attempt to do a full food shop with the children in tow, but occasionally we would pop in for a few items, I would encourage the older children to help weigh any fruit and vegetables. I once made a time consuming mistake of allowing a girl, of around 3 years to scan my shopping for me at the self service check out, she thought this was wonderful and wanted to scan the groceries of the customer behind us too, who was more than happy to let her oblige, if I hadn’t insisted that it was time to leave I think we would still be there!.

Once I was walking through the town after visiting the library with a child in a buggy, when I noticed that my favourite clothes store was having a sale, I took the child in his buggy into the changing room so I could try on a dress I gave the boy the token that the shop assistant issued stating how many items I had to look after, he thought that it was really important and held tightly onto it. As a reward for being so good while we were in the clothes shop I told Sammy that  we could either visit the toy shop or the pet store as a treat, he chose the pet shop and when he saw some cute baby guinea pigs he presumed that I was going to buy him one, luckily he was content to just watch and talk about them with me.

Back to the supermarket,on another occasion I was shopping alone before starting my day of child minding when I came across one of my minded children with her mother on seeing me the child informed her mother that she wanted to help me with my shopping as it was more fun and that is what happened , the girl came with me and the parent disappeared!

My tips, Samantha for successful shopping are try to make it fun by involving your children and reward good behaviour with lots of praise, there is more about this in my post on behaviour management.

As always questions/ comments are welcome

Karen

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8 Comments on “Tips for sucessfull shopping with children in tow

  1. Very good blog,made me smile at a lot of amusing things you said . I wouldn’t like to be doing my weekly shop with little ones now that I am older. The shops are always so busy and as well as looking for items on the list ,looking after the children and watching your purse there is usually a queue of people at the tills. With the added problem of all the sweets on display. Very good ideas Karen.

  2. Gosh l dreaded taking Meg shopping, hands everywhere, even now at 7 years old, l keep it to as little as often, l always end up spending much more when l have her with me. l always give her jobs like making a shopping list so she can tick stuff off as we get it, but still end up spending more !

  3. Great ideas! We’ve always thought it important that our children understand where their meals come from so they have been brought to the supermarket every week since they were babies. We have one of those scanners you carry around the supermarket and scan as you go and they love helping with that. Thanks for linking up to #EatSleepBlogRT. Hope you join again next week.

  4. Good helpful tips Karen and I enjoyed the humour you included. We all spend a great deal of time at the supermarkets and shops when our children are young. And fun is the key to successful trips!

  5. Greetings Karen! Great post as always – really enjoy reading up on your parenting advice and tips. I can totally agree with the fact that bringing the kids to the supermarket is no easy feat…but I’m glad to see that you manage well. Indeed, it’s never too early to start your kids to help you out when shopping!
    It can be challenging being a busy mom and sometimes a vacation is much needed. To upkeep your house while you’re gone I suggest hiring a house sitter! They can pick up your mail, water your plants and even look after your pets. I recommend visiting a website like Housesitter.com to view opportunities for you!

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