Okay, maybe that was a little dramatic, but we’ve all been there – and it’s important to feel confident when you have to master the art of shopping your favorite store while at the same time allowing your little person to enjoy the time with you. So, what do you do when you feel like your little one is this close to throwing a tantrum, or does throw a tantrum in your favorite store?
You have a plan in place. Here are some coping suggestions.
Give your child their own grocery or shopping list
Once you’ve made your grocery or shopping list, split it up with your little people. If you’re into the cutesy, printable stationary for your lists, make one especially for your child. As you peruse the store, take turns with your little one until you each finish your shopping lists.
Provide flexibility with boundaries
Unfortunately for those easy-going moms like me, boundaries are necessary to enforce, as hard as it may be sometimes. These boundaries truly are for the betterment of our babies. If you feel a tantrum, attitude, sleepiness, or a variety of any other toddler-type behaviors budding while you’re knee-deep in your list, give guidelines with flexibility.
For example, if your afternoon promises destinations that are more appealing for your preschooler than your current store, your conversation may go something like this: “You need to hold on to the shopping cart and help Mama finish her list before we go to the library.” If your child persists in disobedience, you may have to nix going to the library on that day. If items are pulled from the shelves and not placed back in an orderly way, putting your child inside of the buggy will be the consequence of their behavior.
Appreciate your child for what they are doing
Even the busiest child thrives in a structured environment. Believe me, I have an almost four-year old who absolutely loves sitting at his table at school with his classmates and crafting. Tell your children how much you appreciate them when they are your helper and follow the rules. While in the store, ask your child to load your items when it is time to pay, or, if you have a light list, allow them to carry the goodies in a handheld buggy. This will give them a job, and at the same time, a feeling of achievement when they are done - all while being a helper for you.
Having a perfectly behaved child in all situations is virtually impossible. However, sometimes changing up your behavior, and how you incorporate your little people into your daily tasks, may provide different results.