How to Make Grocery Shopping with Kids Easier
One of the most difficult challenges parents face is getting their grocery shopping done with the kids tagging along. Doing the shopping is never fun for adults, and it’s even more grueling for children that are brimming with energy. Here are a few tips to help you get the shopping done with your kids along for the ride.
Get Rid of Pent Up Energy
A shopping trip with your kids should be the last stop before going home. Prior to going to the grocery store, try to find something fun for your kids to do. You can stop at a local park or go to the beach. Any activity that will give your kids an opportunity to use up their energy will help them to behave better in the grocery store. While you won’t want to stay at the park so long that your kids will be exhausted, letting them run and play for 20 minutes can be helpful.
Grab a Quick Bite to Eat
It’s also a good idea to go out for lunch just before going to the grocery store. This helps adults and kids avoid making unhealthy and spontaneous shopping decisions, and it will keep you from overspending on your budget. Eating at a favorite fast food restaurant will also make the day seem like a special outing instead of a chore that no one really wants to do. Keeping everyone in a happier mood will help you start the shopping trip on a more positive note.
Plan Ahead With Multiple Lists
Children often get bored and end up getting into trouble in the grocery store because they have nothing to do. You can solve that problem by letting them help you with the shopping. You can print out shopping lists for each child and include a picture for each item. Even if they’re good readers, having pictures on the list will ensure they get the precise item you want. This allows them to feel helpful, while also helping you get the shopping done that much sooner.
Consider Other Alternatives
Online grocery shopping is becoming more popular and, in order to stay competitive, local grocery stores will have to expand their options. It may be worthwhile to find out which stores in your area offer delivery or curbside pickup. You can avoid a challenging shopping trip altogether if you can have your groceries prepared for you ahead of time. All you will have to do is show up to pick up your groceries. This can turn a 45-minute shopping excursion into a five minute stop, eliminating all of the shopping stress you would otherwise feel.
Set Ground Rules Ahead of Time
Another challenge parents face while shopping is having to deal with grabby fingers, but you can limit this by setting the rules before you get into the store. Make sure your kids know what types of behavior you won’t tolerate in the store. This may include prohibiting them from running around, wandering off to play video games, or loading up on candy. If you allow them to each pick one candy bar, stick to that rule, and make sure they know you won’t break your rules.
Sidetrack Tantrums Early
As a parent, you can usually tell when your children are starting to bicker or on the verge of a temper tantrum. If you catch it in time, there are a few ways to avoid a big scene in the store. If your children are starting to fight with one another, the best way to resolve the situation is to move each child to either side of the shopping cart. This will separate them and avoid a more heated argument. If one of your children is starting to have a tantrum, divert their attention by giving them something to do. You can send them on an errand to get something for you, or you can play a fun game with them. A short game of “I Spy” may be enough to distract your kids and get them thinking about something else.
Grocery shopping with your children doesn’t have to be stressful. When you take the time to prepare them for the errand, everyone will have a better experience. Until they learn that shopping is an essential chore and done more quickly when everyone gets along well, these tips can save you from many of the negative experiences that normally disrupt your shopping experience.