Thursday, August 12, 2010

Five Ways to a happy, peaceful grocery shopping trip with your preschooler

1. Give your child a list. Make it short and easy to remember, especially if your child isn’t sight-reading yet. Give your child familiar items to find while he rides in the cart (or walks with you). This will keep him occupied and give him a sense of accomplishment when he completes the list!

2. Make behavioral expectations clear before you get to the store. By clearly telling your child exactly what kind of behavior is appropriate for your destination (e.g., whisper voice, walking feet) before you get there, you decrease your chances of having to correct behavior while in the store- and this decreases the odds of yelling, crying, and meltdowns! Tell your child before you even leave the house, then give her reminders in the car and as you’re walking in: “Remember: we use our whisper voice inside this store. Can you practice by whispering your name?”

3. Make a game out of it. Preschoolers love labeling colors and counting. Take advantage of this by letting your child choose a ‘color of the day’ then counting the number of item he finds in the store of that color. Not only will this keep your preschooler occupied while you shop, but it will also be good for his brain!

4. Be flexible. Think about your shopping trip in terms of not only how it can be productive for you but also how it can be enjoyable for your child. Spend some time on the toy aisle. Let your child choose the brand on some items. Give your child choices on what she might ‘feel like’ for dinner tonight and then purchase the ingredients together.

5. It’s all in the marketing. Children look to parents for cues about how to act and feel. If you are frustrated and in a hurry, your child will also be frustrated. If you are excited about grocery shopping, your child will likely also be excited. So approach your shopping trip with excitement and enthusiasm!


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