Going shopping? When accompanied by children, your trip could be more than you bargained for. Here's how to ease the pain.
There is so much to buy--clothes, jewelry, gadgets, for her, for him, for children, for home-- the list is unending. It ends only when you run out of money or time or stamina or all three.
Despite the exhaustion, shopping is fun. But when accompanied by children, it could be a daunting task. Coping with their tantrums is not easy to say the least. As soon as you reach the store, your child wanders off. Or, little hands start tugging, demanding something unreasonable. If ignored, the pitch escalates and soon turns into a howl. Pleas or threats fall on deaf ears.
Leaving children at home when you run your errands is not always an option. It is therefore better to prepare yourself for the situation. Just keep in mind these few simple tips to make your shopping trip less tiring and more fun.
Children get extremely irritable and uncomfortable when surrounded by large crowds and soon start getting fidgety and cranky. To avoid this, choose markets which are not too crowded even though you may have to make small compromises in terms of price or variety. Try to avoid evening rush hours. Very often people shop for items after work, so stay clear at this time. Avoid shopping at weekends, as malls and supermarkets are most crowded on these days.
Set course soon after your baby has had a meal, and try to make her sleep during the journey to the market. When you reach, she will be fresh, fed and happy. On the other hand, if you put off feeding her for later, a hunger pang may strike, causing her to start crying.
Bring your child along on a pram, even if he is a little older or seat him on your shopping cart in a supermarket so he does not get tired. And if he does get tired, take a break, perhaps stopping for a quick bite. Even a ten-minute ice-cream break can help pep them up.
Prepare an organized list grouping items section-wise, and hand the list to your child, along with a pen. Let your child call out items, and as you keep shopping, he can strike out items from the list. Always ask your child for help with selecting items and brands. You could also let your child select a treat for himself, which he can have if he behaves during the shopping trip. He could count out the money as you check out the items. Also, encourage him to total the bill.
If for some reason your child becomes restless, stop shopping and attend to him. Sometimes children are just seeking attention. Answer all your child's questions and be attentive.
Don't ignore the little hand tugging you. You may not want to buy him everything he asks for, but you can explain why you think something is unsuitable.
You may end up taking longer to shop, but the experience will be a better one for both you and your child.