Shopping with children can be a real challenge, especially when your toddler is starting to test their boundaries. Are you already dreading the weekly shopping trip with your little one? If so, we have some valuable tips to make your next trip to the supermarket a breeze:
Stress-free shopping starts at home. Take time to carefully plan your groceries – and include your child in the process if possible. Make a shopping list together and think about the meals you want to make and what you will need to buy for the upcoming days.
Good planning also means choosing the right time to go shopping. If possible, do your shopping in the morning during the week, as the shops will be less busy and you will have more space.
Make sure your child is rested and in a good mood before you go shopping. Tired children are more quickly overwhelmed and irritated by the bright lights and bustle of the grocery store. If your child is very active, it may be helpful to let them blow off some steam in a playground or on a walk before you go shopping.
You may have already heard of our next tip: don't go shopping on an empty stomach. This applies to both you and your child! Research has shown that when your stomach is growling, not only are you more likely going to choose calorie-rich foods, you are also inclined to spend more money in general. So it is best to have a snack or meal before you go shopping. With a full stomach, you and your kid will be much better able to resist the temptations in the supermarket.
Children often get restless and unhappy while shopping because they are bored. Involve them in the shopping process and they will be too busy to make a fuss. This will also help your child develop independence and self-confidence.
One possibility to involve your child in the shopping process is to give them choices. For example, let them choose their favorite type of pasta or yogurt flavor.
If your child is old enough, they could even have a shopping list on their own. This could simply be a list of colorful symbols or pictures of items. Your child can then proudly add the selected items to the shopping basket. For toddlers who are not yet able to walk next to you in the supermarket, it is best to bring their favorite toy to keep them entertained while you shop.
Despite good preparation and the best of intentions, unwanted situations can still occur. Stand firm, even if your child throws themselves on the floor screaming and kicking. Remind your child of the agreed rules in a calm but assertive voice.
Most importantly, don't get into discussions and don't give in to begging. Otherwise, your child will remember his "success" for next time and revolt against you again.
Stress-free shopping with children is possible. What you need is good planning, good communication, and patience. Preparing the shopping well and involving your child in the shopping process, will give you both a positive shopping experience.