Stress-Free Shopping with Kids

Do you find shopping with your kids stressful? I would sometimes rather just go by myself and leave the kids home with my husband, but that’s not always possible. These ideas haven’t eliminated all the stress and problems, but they’ve made it a more tolerable experience for both myself and my children.

1. Have a plan. I always bring a list with me. I pretty much know the layout of the stores that I shop at, so I can easily find what I need and spend as little time as possible shopping.

2. Bring the necessities. Bring along any necessary items your child can use. My diaper bag is always full of necessities for my kids. Diapers and wipes, a pacifier, sippy cups and non-perishable snacks.

3. Don’t shop when you’re hungry. It’s hard enough to go shopping when I’m hungry because I may wind up buying more stuff than I need. It’s even more difficult to shop with hungry kids in tow. So it’s always best to try to shop after having a snack or meal or at least bring non-perishable snacks with you.

4. Don’t shop when you’re tired. Like the last point, shopping when you’re tired is as hard as it is when you or your kids are tired. When possible, try to schedule shopping trips right after your kids have had a nap or at their peak energy hours.

5. Go over rules of conduct. Why do children wait to have a tantrum or fight with each other when we’re out in public? This is why each time we go out, I go over certain rules of conduct with them. It just takes a few minutes and it has been very effective. Each time, I tell them what I expect of them, like stand by my side at all times, don't touch anything except when I ask them, and stay on their best behavior and not argue or fight. And, of course, I make them aware of the consequences of not following my rules. Ever since I started doing this, there are much fewer outbursts when we’re out.

6. Let your kids help you. Shopping can be a great learning experience for your children. Between reading the words on the packaging and comparing prices on different items, shopping brings many opportunities to teach.

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