Do you need help with your children while you are shopping in the store?
It is not easy sometimes, especially if you have several children with you in tow. But it is possible and can even be enjoyable if you plan ahead and follow a few tips!
1. Have them hold on.
When my children were young I would have them hold on to the cart so I wouldn't lose them and know where they were at all times. Usually right up in the front on the sides where their little hands could reach if they were too big to sit in the cart. Once they learned to stay close I would ease up on it but if I found them not staying near me and maybe horsing around too much with a sibling I would have them come right back. With many children this was especially helpful I wasn't worried about leaving anyone behind. It also keeps them from touching things they shouldn't and from getting hurt.
2. Teach them how to behave.
Sometimes children will ask for things - not just one time but several (thousand) times. Some children can be very aggressive too. One time we were at a store and a young boy was asking his mom to buy him something. He was probably around 8 years old. She said no and maybe next time and he got really mad. He started to say that he hated her, got really mad, and tried to hit her right in the aisle. I was actually worried for her safety and wondered how hard it would be when he get older and stronger.
Much of this training is important while they are young. We want to help them to learn self-control and respect. Teach them not to ask for everything that they see and if they would like something to ask for it politely. Some moms put a cap on asking for sanity's sake!
We also don't want them to think that they can get what they want through crying, melting down (even though some of this depends on diet, sleep, age, etc.), hitting, kicking, yelling, etc. and that they can disobey manipulate others into getting them what they want. It is important to teach them these basics at home first and foremost.
Sometimes children will cry very loud in the store because they didn't get their way, and not because they are hurt. It is good for a parent to tell them to stop doing this because they need to learn to listen and obey and not scream at the top of their lungs to get what they want.
This helps them to learn self-control at a young age.
"Like a city whose walls are broken through, is a person who lacks self-control."
*Now I know that there are children who suffer from illness and mental/physical issues and even from disease, so we need to be aware of this as well and pray for wisdom and grace for their parents - what may work under normal circumstances might not work for them. This is an opportunity to show understanding and love towards them.
3. Teach them how to help by putting items in the cart.
Keeping them busy and being a "helper" is also a good benefit. Hand them items to put in the cart and thank them for helping you. Depending on age they can help read the list, distract and play with a little sibling to keep them occupied, load bags, pick fruit, load the cart once everything is bagged, open the door, help load the trunk, help carry groceries in, load cans and boxes into the pantry, etc.
Teach them to help serve while they are young and they will be a blessing to you now and later as they grow up!
If your children are still small try going when they are well rested and bring a snack, drink, and toy for them. They also can play with a safe toy/item from the store- just make sure it is truly safe. Write out a list ahead of time so you don't forget anything--it also helps to make your list according to the layout of the store so that you can shop quickly and not waste time going back and forth across the store.
I hope these quick tips were helpful!
Remember that everything you do to train your children now is not in vain, and is worth it in the end.
Be encouraged, dear moms! God is refining you as well and teaching you to be patient with your children.
Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.