Why Take Your Children Grocery Shopping with You?
Because it Teaches Team Work and Models for Your Children What it Looks Like and Feels Like to Build a Warm Home.
Children are also by nature helpers. Additionally, if you have picky eaters, making them part of the shopping experience will give them a feeling of pride of trying something they were given the responsibility to pick off the shelf and put into the cart. When you are in a fire family and even if you are not, it’s not convenient always to wait for your FF to be home to get the shopping done. Turn a regular chore into something fun for the whole family and teach your kids some great life lessons along the way. XOXO
Tips Before You Go Shopping
Tips BEFORE you go: Make sure you give yourself plenty of time, like a couple of hours. If you are on a tight schedule or have an appointment maybe don’t take your kids out shopping as you could be setting yourself up for a stressful event and get mad at the kids for taking their time, having to pee, etc. Set yourself up for a win, win. Also, before you go, involve the kids by asking them to get out the shopping bags and to count out how many you may need.
Make sure you thank your child using virtues: Thank you for being so helpful! What would I do without you? Thank you for getting us all orderly today honey, you make my life so much easier. Thank you for being responsible and getting all of our shoes and bags organized before we go! Children love to make their parents happy and they love being part of a team.
***Prepare your child before you go. Paint the picture for them of where you are going and what you are going to do. As adults we also like to know what things look like before we venture out. Kids are no different.
Oh the Memories!
It blows me away sometimes when I’m pushing a shopping cart only to remember that my sons used to be so tiny that they could sit side by side together in the seats of the grocery cart. We had our routine and here’s what I used to do to manage and teach those two precious boys. While things have changed and people can easily do online shopping, you sure teach your kids a lot about a basic life skills when you take them into a grocery store and get them to help you. It also creates a feeling of team work with your kids because we are all caring for our family and working together to create a nourishing and nurturing home. These are important experinces for your children and by making the grocery shopping trip fun, you will be able to take them on your excursions when you need to get groceries for the family.
Apart from one trip to the grocery store with my kids when they were little, we always had a successful shopping trip. These are the things I used to do when I took my little boys with me on those excursions so we could get our groceries and leave the store all feeling happy and abundant.
How to Make the Shopping Adventure Fun!
1. They each got to pick out a toy from the Dollar Store first before we went shopping. This made the trip to the grocery store fun too and they’d have so much fun with the dinosaur or figurine and fly them through the air as we went up and down each aisle. Investing in a little $5 toy for my boys was cheaper than paying for a babysitter and I always like to buy a treat or two for myself as well from the grocery store – so why wouldn’t they? When the kids are happy, you will be too! P.S. I went shopping for 2 weeks groceries at a time. I did not buy my kids toys every time I went shopping. Sometimes I could leave them at home with Dad and run out to pick up something we might need.
2. I let them each get a snack and open it as we shopped and just paid for the open product when we got to the counter. This kept their blood sugar well balanced and peaceful while I got our shopping done.
3. Within eye-shot, I let them get out of the cart and run to the fish tank at the fish monger in the grocery store. It was like clock work. They’d run back and forth between the tank and my cart which would get a little energy out too. Of course my kids were in preschool and Kindergarten at the time. I would never allow a non-talking child to have that much freedom. Kids need to be able to talk or yell to let them go that far from me but like I said, it was in eye shot.
4. When we got to the fruits and vegetables, I gave them each a plastic bag and gave them each instructions. Bray you go pick out 6 green apples for us and bring them back to me. Liam you go and pick out 4 oranges, put them in the bag and come back to mommy. Yes, on occasion, an apple or an orange would fall on the floor. You can wash it when you get home, or you can first thank you kids for being so HELPFUL (virtue opportunity) and quietly exchange some of your fruit!
5. At the counter when you are ready to pay, let the kids pick out a treat. So often I see parents arguing with their kids at the counter because the kid wants a chocolate bar or some gum. Set boundaries around what they are allowed to have, ie” “Honey, you can pick out any treat you like from this section.” Your kid will be sooooo happy and you will get through the grocery line having spent maybe $15 to keep your little kids happy.
6. What if your child or children have a tantrum while out grocery shopping? Once upon a time my eldest son was having none of this happy grocery day and was crying and having a tantrum. You know what I did? With a completely full unpaid for cart, I decided to leave it and get my kids home. I felt bad, but I realized that my son was probably not feeling well to be behaving this way. Sometimes a mama has to do what she has got to do. It was a very rare event and sometimes things just don’t go as planned. That’s where FLEXIBILITY comes in. Another fine virtue.
7. Once the shopping is all done, either thank your kids for being part of the team (the virtue of unity). If you shopping trip did not go well, do not sweat it. What is the lesson here? Sometimes we all just have a bad day, and that is ok. Don’t shame your child or guilt them if things didn’t go as planned. Maybe they weren’t feeling well, or they were hungry or tired, was it nap time or were they just feeling off. Kids are human too and they experience hanger or irritable days just like us. Chalk it up to just another day in the life of being a parent. It will go well next time. XOXO