Shopping with the kids : When bringing a child to shop with you, preparation is key. Children can make a trip easier or more difficult depending on their behavior. If you take the right steps, you can push a child’s behavior during the shopping trip in the right direction.
The first, most important thing to keep in mind when taking children on a shopping trip is preparation. Think about the things that will frighten or trigger your child during the shopping trip. If he or she does not behave well in unfamiliar surroundings, show the child a picture of the place where you intend to shop. You can also let the child know the shopping trip will be occurring ahead of time by making a schedule. This will help your child know what is coming and might reduce anxiety.
If you are trying to acclimate your child to grocery shopping, it is a good idea to start with a small trip and work your way toward longer trips as time passes. Getting about 5 items the first time around will help your child get a glimpse of what future trips will be like without overwhelming them with a full blown shopping trip.
Worry that the child will act out might be eased by a trial run at home. You can set up a fake store in your home so that you and your child can practice proper shopping behavior in a safe and familiar environment.
Positive reinforcement is always the key to making a good behavior stick. If your child does well in the grocery store, praise them until they notice they have done well. This will help them memorize the proper shopping behavior for next time around.
Children will probably always run wild without rules. Rules are necessary to keep your shopping trip orderly and structured. Useful rules you might consider implementing include staying together and not grabbing items without asking. A reward for positive behavior is another great and feasible way of performing positive reinforcement during a shopping trip.
It should be a common rule that you never enter the grocery store without a list prepared. Including your child in the preparation of this list can help them learn responsibility. Also, if your child invests their time in the shopping list, they are more likely to promote an effective shopping trip.
No matter how hard you try, there will most likely be a meltdown at some point. You should prepare yourself for this meltdown so that you will have the proper coping mechanisms in place to deal with disaster. You do not want your shopping plans to be ruined, nor do you want a screaming match in the middle of the market. Plan out a system of warnings and consequences for when behavior runs awry. Make sure the child is aware of this system before they enter the grocery store so that they know what to expect if he or she misbehaves.
If you find yourself in more need of parenting advice, contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.
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