Being a parent and spending time with your kids make for the most precious moments. However, just like everything else in life, there are challenges as well along the way. An area where many parents face difficulties is when the kitchen shelves and the refrigerator run out of supplies and grocery shopping becomes a top priority. Grocery shopping with kids can be a challenge, as you have to meticulously plan everything in advance. You also have to do double the work of picking up the necessary items and taking care of your kids. Moreover, there’s always the possibility that your child may throw a tantrum inside the grocery store, which can create further problems for you and embarrassment for others. If you want to avoid such problems, here are some key survival strategies that you can follow when grocery shopping with kids.
#1 Plan your trip:
With kids on your side, even small problems can create huge challenges. You need to plan ahead to ensure that your visit to the grocery store is free from any obstructions. You need to check the local weather conditions for the day, traffic updates of your neighborhood and other types of relevant information. When alone, you can easily negotiate such challenges, but with kids, it becomes a lot more difficult. You also need to ensure that you have someone who you can call for assistance in case of an emergency situation. Make a note of everything that can go wrong and ensure that you have a solution for all such potential problems.
#2 Prepare a grocery list:
When alone, you can browse the shelves at a leisurely pace and spend as much time as you want looking for the stuff you need. However, when you are planning to go grocery shopping with kids, it would be better if you prepare a list of all the items you need. This way, you can easily pick up the things you need without losing your focus on your kids. You don’t have to strain your mind to remember the things you need. A grocery list will also ensure that you do not forget to pick up the most essential items that you may require.
#3 Choose the right time:
When grocery shopping with kids, you need to choose the right time and day for the visit. On holidays and weekends, the grocery store may be crowded, which can make it difficult for you to manage your shopping and your kids at the same time. It is also possible that your kids may create inconvenience for other shoppers. You need to choose a day and time when there would be relatively less customers in the store. During such days, the store staff will be more willing to assist you with your shopping needs.
#4 Offer rewards for good behavior:
If you think your kids will be unruly inside the grocery store, you can offer rewards for good behavior. For example, you can tell your kids that you will buy them their favorite food if they behave during their visit to the grocery store. If they forget their promises inside the store, you need to remind them again about the rewards. The rewards could also be certain activities or some other stuff that your kids like.
#5 Feed your children:
Before starting your trip to the grocery store, make sure that you have fed your kids adequately. The grocery store would entice your kids with lots of delightful stuff, and they are likely to demand it, even if they are mildly hungry. If you feed them prior to the visit, they are less likely to throw a tantrum for the eatables kept on the shelves. When feeding your kids, you need to avoid sugary stuff, as it will boost their energy levels, increasing the risk of unruly behavior inside the grocery store.
#6 Choose a store you are familiar with:
It’s fun to explore new stores in the neighborhood, but when grocery shopping with kids, you need to visit a store that you are familiar with. You have to balance your shopping and take care of your kids, so it would help if you already know where all the things are kept. It will also help reduce the overall time spent on grocery shopping. Kids get restless after a while, so when you are at a store that you know well, you can quickly grab the stuff you need and get back to the safety of your home.
#7 Assign tasks to your kids:
You can ask your kids to help you out with the shopping. You can give them certain small tasks such as checking the price of various products and other details. You can also give them the grocery list and ask them to check what all items have been picked up and the ones that are remaining. These tasks would make your kids feel involved and it would engage them in the right manner. It would reduce the possibility of tantrums and unruly behavior.
#8 Allow some screen time:
One of the best tricks to keep your kids occupied at the grocery store is to allow them some screen time. This would be suitable for 3-4 year old kids who are likely to spend most of their time in the shopping cart. You can give them your mobile phone or carry any other mobile device, as may be available. Your kid can listen to music, play games, watch videos, etc.
Every child has a different temperament, so their behavior may vary at the grocery store. Kids under 3 years of age may not be much of a problem, especially if they are happy to ride inside the shopping cart all throughout your visit to the grocery store. Older kids, especially if you have more than one, may fight, throw a tantrum or damage some stuff. Cases of kids getting lost inside a shopping mall are also not uncommon. It would help if you set some expectations before you start your journey to the grocery store. You can tell your kids the do’s and don’ts that would be applicable. You also need to ensure that you never lose sight of your kids at the grocery store.