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Shopping with Kids

Do you take your child with you on errands, ignore her when she gets bored and tired, and then wonder what brought on that temper tantrum? Read on.

Parents often take their children along with them when going shopping. If you take your child with you to the supermarket, what do you do when she gets tired and wants to get back home? Parents often ignore their child's repeated requests and carry on with their shopping. If this is what you do, your child, who is completely dependent on you, sees herself as stuck. There is no way she can get out of this situation on her own, and this leads to frustration. Don't be surprised if you see a temper tantrum arising.

Although the fault is by no means yours, it is not your child's either. Some children can happily accompany their parents on errands without feeling restless, while others start getting restless before you have had the time to put your first item in the cart!

Anticipate your child's behaviour and act accordingly. If your child is happy on her own and can amuse herself by looking at passers by and the shelves stacked with goodies, there's little you need to do. If your child has less patience, here are some tips.


Carry one of your child's favourite toys with you when you go shopping. Give it to her as soon as she starts showing signs of being restless. She will be able to amuse herself with her toy for some more time.


Get your child a little treat if you see that she is losing patience. Do this before she starts throwing a temper tantrum. You don't want to reinforce her tantrum by rewarding her, or you will see many more.


When your child gets restless, don't ignore her. Take a five-minute break from your shopping to talk to her and give her your attention. Let her know you need to pick up a few more items and will be done soon. Give her a definite time frame so she can keep a lookout on the watch. Do abide by the deadline. Also, this would be a good time to ask her if she would like to eat an ice cream, and give her a little treat.


Try and make the trip as entertaining for your child as possible. Do remember that while you have a list of chores to complete, your child is simply hanging around with you and is likely to get bored. If you are in a supermarket, put your little toddler in the cart and wheel her around. Also, keep asking for her opinion every now and again, especially when shopping for items for her. What brand of soap does she want? What shampoo would she like? Giving her choices at every step and respecting her selections will also give her the confidence to make snappy decisions in the future.


Get your child to help you. She could pick out items from shelves within reach and place them in the cart. When checking out, she could also help you pick out items and place them on the counter. You could also get her to help you push the cart.

Safety tip: Make sure at no time does she stray out of your sight.

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