Shopping With Children

Does this look familiar?


Some of the worst experiences I’ve had as a parent took place in a store while shopping with my children. The BEGGING, The CRYING, The TANTRUMS! Uuughhh! I’m sure all parents know exactly what I mean. I’ve even walked out of stores leaving a full cart of groceries behind. My son was the worst and it was my fault. His initial beggings turned into full blown, laying on the floor, tantrums because he knew I would give in after a certain time because of embarrassment or just to get him to stop crying. I eventually turned to the Pediatrician for help and he told me my son had me wrapped around his little finger. I had to be consistent and teach my son that no means no even if I had to leave the cart full of groceries behind. It was tough, but after a few weeks it worked and I never had any further crying or tantrums.

As parents we want to give our kids the things they want, but is that healthy? I believe you can spoil a child and they eventually feel they are entitled to everything they want. There were times when I would get them a treat or something special if they had been behaving, helping out at home, or simply because I wanted to, but giving in to them every single shopping trip isn’t the best idea in my opinion.

Sometimes it’s easier to get a babysitter or family member to watch them rather than deal with the extra burden which is great and would probably make the kids happier, too. But, I think it’s important to expose your kids to the experience of shopping. How else are they going to learn how to act in public.


Over time and with experience I learned some things:

  1. Make sure your children are well rested and have eaten before you go.
  2. If you know you’ll be shopping for longer than a few minutes be prepared with snacks and making sure your child is comfortable. Take off their coat if they will be inside where it’s warm. Overheated kids can be cranky. If they will be sitting in a shopping cart bring a blanket or lay a coat down for them to sit on.
  3. This is a good time to talk to your kids about where food or other items come from, how they were transported to the store, and how things are made.
  4. Take advantage of free samples. This can be something for the kids to look forward to. Many bakeries offer free cookies for the asking.
  5. Give your kids their own shopping list and if the store has them, mini shopping carts. Not only does this teach them how to shop, but will give them things to keep their eye out for and their minds occupied.
  6. I’m a bit leery about leaving kids in a child care facility at the store with people I don’t know and the possible germs, but if you are comfortable with that use it.
  7. Electronics are very useful to keep a child happy in the store, but have you ever tried a PHOTO SCAVENGER HUNT using your cell phone camera or their tablet or camera? This is so fun and adds a teaching element for your kids while you shop.
    • Print out the sheet below and bring it along on your next shopping trip. Have your children take pictures of the items listed using your phone or their camera or tablet. There doesn’t need to be a winner or loser because this is just a fun time to explore.

Shopping can be a great experience for the whole family. Make it fun and educational and they will look forward to future trips. Good luck!

Dru About Dru

There are so many things I could say but I will just start with the basics. Mother to 4. Grandmother to 11 (Yes, 11. All under the age of 9.) I am a former Army wife and we spent 15 years traveling around the world. It was such a thrill to have seen so many places and meeting lifetime friends. I spent many years working in the craft industry and love getting together with friends and creating. I have a lifelong love of thrift shops, antiques, and yard sales.

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