Shopping with kids is always tricky. It is always interesting to me to see other moms (or dads) shopping with their kids. There are those with the “perfect” kids who sit nicely in the cart and are amused just by watching the food items pass by. Then there is the frazzled mom with the child(ren) running up and down the aisles, talking loudly, or even sometimes, having a tantrum. I have actually been in both of those situtations and while it’s nice to get complimented for your child’s good behavior, it doesn’t always happen that way. My local HEB probably knows us as the family with the loud, crazy, wild kids, but that’s okay. They usually aren’t having a tantrum, at least. Usually. *wink*
A few weeks ago, I asked my Facebook fans what their tips were for shopping with kids. Here’s what was said:
Ana: “Don’t. Hahahahaha.”
This is probably the best advice! Ha! But when you have to go with the kids, here are some more great tips:
Kathleen: “Make sure the kids have eaten first. Sometimes if mine haven’t eaten first they’re crabby. Have them help to ask what juice sounds better to them, or if they’d rather have string cheese or slices.”
Morgan: “Always have snacks and/or toys on hand!”
Heather: “Definitely make sure they have eaten before you go. And if they have, bring snacks. Food at the store always looks enticing to them whether they’re full or not.”
Planning ahead is really key to success at the store. If they boys haven’t eaten, I throw tons of easy snacks in the bag, along with some water or milk. We don’t usually bring toys, but there are times when the Captain wants to take his superhero cape and mask and that’s fine. If it’s something simple that helps his mood, I’m all for it. He knows that he has to keep up with whatever he takes, though.
Sometimes I give the boys a list and ask them to help me find certain items. And I do give them some choices, and talk about why we buy one product over another. This has really helped the Captain’s reading skills and gives him a sense of ownership about what our family purchases.
Little things that I’ve found help: Stores that offer special things for kids, whether it be samples or something fun like HEB‘s Buddy Bucks, “car carts” or at least two seaters are brilliant, and stores that don’t have the glaring bright, overstimulating lights!
I also polled my Facebook fans on what the best time is to take preschoolers to the store. An overwhelming number said “morning” but some said “never” or “after the kids are in bed.” Again, if you can work it that way, great, but if not, morning always works best for us, too. The store is less crowded and as long as it’s not late morning, all of us are full and not cranky…yet!
Do you have any tips for shopping with kids to add to this? I’d love to hear them, because shopping is a necessity and I have to take the kids, most of the time!