Going to the grocery store can be quite the adventure with littlies. Often times it seems too crazy to handle or you get so used to the chaos that it seems normal. Well, these ideas will hopefully help shopping with your children to be a much more peaceful process!
Be Organised: Have a list and stick to it. Don’t rush through the store so quickly that you ignore your children, but make it as organized as possible so they don’t feel confused and you get it done in a timely manner.
Time is Money: if your children could pay you, they would probably pay you to go to the grocery store when they were well rested and fed and NOT when the whole world was going. If possible, plan trips to the store around their needs and not during the busy grocery hours of the day (normally right before dinner time). Doing with will give you more energy to spend caring for your baby rather than being stressed out at the store.
Be Aware: as the mum, you know what your baby or child needs. Be conscious of the fact that they might be sleepy, overexcited or stimulated by the store etc. and be patient with them, talking in a sweet voice. Don’t scold them for their curiosity but rather allow their creative minds to really blossom. If they are reaching for everything in the store, let them have one thing to hold to but not everything that meets their eye.
Hold Them: if they still are small enough, hold them close to you and take time to talk gently to them and remind them that you are there for them. It’s easy to get really focused on the task at hand and forget all about taking care of their emotional needs. Physical closeness lets them know you are aware of them.
If you have older children: Older children can be a great help in the shopping process. Take photos or drawings of your shopping list items and have them help in finding them.
Checking out: this can be the most stressful part. Bring a little healthy snack or juice for your toddler or child to avoid the distractions of the checkout aisle. Speak with them about the process instead of constantly saying “shh… or just a minute.” If you find yourself constantly repeating, “don’t touch” then maybe you need a different approach. Try giving them a task and making the process more fun. Again, don’t scold older children for their curiosity, but direct it in a positive way. This will not only help them in their development, but also help you stay a little more sane.
The most important thing to remember is to stay calm. If you find yourself getting frustrated, take a deep breath and finish up the shopping. If you don’t get everything you need, it’s ok. Your child’s well being and feeling loved is much more important.