So, there you are in the grocery store with the kids, one is asking for everything he sees, and the other is crying for reasons unknown to you. Has this ever happened to you? Well, I’ll say, it has for me on more than one occasion.
Obviously, we can’t always predict what our kids moods will be on any specific day or in any particular situation. This being the case, I figured out that the best thing to do on shopping days is to be as prepared as possible before I ever leave the house.
Here are a few things that help me survive my weekly shopping trips. Just to let you know, I do most of these things regularly.
- Go first thing in the morning or after a nap – The last thing you want to deal with while you are trying to decide which brand of toilet paper you want to buy this week is a sleepy kid. If she’s bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, she’s much more likely to remain calm and happy.
- Make sure no one is hungry – If you don’t feed junior before you take him to the place where he is going to see food, food and more food – well, you know that can’t possibly make for a peaceful trip.
- Go during the week – Instead of trying to fight the crowds on the weekend, try going during the week, if possible. It is amazing how much faster you can get in and get out. The grocery aisles are a lot less busy and you’re not having to wait forever in a check-out lane.
- List groceries by aisle – Making my grocery list by aisle has to be one of the best things I have ever done to make my shopping easier. It will tremendously cut down the time you spend in the store.
- Dress children accordingly – Sometimes stores, especially grocery stores, tend to be a little chilly. So, even if it is the middle of summer and you know that your little ones tend to get cold, bring along a light jacket or long sleeve shirt. A cold toddler can make for a grouchy toddler.
- Brings snacks and a sippy – Even if my 1 1/2 year old has just had lunch, when she sees food, she wants to eat again. I’ve learned to pack a little something in a sandwich bag for her to nibble on. Don’t forget the sippy, though, food and no drink is no good.
- Let the little one hold something – To occupy the little one’s mind, try letting him hold something that you will be purchasing. Of course, make sure that it is unbreakable, and not dangerous to your child.
- Explain to older children your expectations – Let children, that are old enough to understand, know where you are going and how you expect them to behave, before you get to the store. My son acts much better if he feels that he knows what is going on and that he is not just along for the ride.
- Get the kids involved – Older kids can be a great help if you let them. When you need something off the bottom shelf, ask them to carefully grab it for you. They will feel useful and needed, and you won’t have to bend over. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
- Don’t over do it – Doing too much shopping in one day can be very exhausting even for adults. For kids, especially when they are bored out of their minds, it can be even more overwhelming. Take it a little at a time and all parties involved will be much happier at the end of the day.
Shopping with kids isn’t always the easiest or the most fun event in our lives. However, many times it is necessary. But, by following some, or all, of these tips, it can make the trip a whole lot smoother.
Unfortunately, there are no magic tricks or spells that can make every shopping trip with kids trouble-free. Just think, if there were, we would miss out on those wild and crazy stories that begin, “you won’t believe what she did the other day at the grocery store.”
What tips do you have that help make shopping with kids easier for you?
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