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List: Posted: 12/10/10
If you take your kids shopping with you when you go out to the grocery store, there are things you can do to make the experience better for both of you. Even children who are well-behaved at home might act up with their parents when out shopping due to excitement, stress, or over-tiredness. Here's a quick guide to taking the kids shopping that might help.
Make shopping educational
When it comes to grocery shopping, children (even little ones!) should be taught good eating habits. The grocery store serves as a fantastic opportunity to start teaching children how to understand food labels and how to make healthy choices. Make it a game - for instance, offer your older child a treat if they can catch you putting a high-fat or high-calorie food item in your cart. They'll learn to read food labels in no time.
Another way to make shopping educational is to use the grocery store as a chance to teach your children about paying for items with cash, card, or check. If you think your kids are ready, shopping offers a chance to count currency and receive change correctly. If you have two or more children, ask them to guess how much money all your groceries will cost. The child who guesses closest to the correct figure gets a treat.
Create some boundaries
If your kids are spoiled (it happens to even the most well-intentioned parents!), shopping can offer an opportunity to modify spoiled behavior. If they are demanding a candy bar, tell them that if they can resist it, you will give them a (preferable non-candy!) treat upon their return home, such as an hour extra before going to bed, an outing at the weekend, or another favor which they will appreciate.
Don't overdo it!
Even children who parents think of as responsible and patient will get bored after hours of shopping for clothes. If you're in it for the long-haul, make sure you learn to recognize the signs that your child has reached his or her limit and be prepared to either cut your shop short, or have a 'plan b' such as a relative who lives nearby who can take them home or to the park. Continuing to shop with two crying kids is not a fun experience for the Mom, kids, or anyone else in the store.
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