Even the most chilled-out sort of parent can be severely tested at some point when attempting a shopping trip with their kids.
Once you have loaded your offspring into a suitable vehicle like a Grand Caravan, so that everyone can be transported in comfort and safety, with enough room for all that shopping too, all you then have to do is devise a strategy to make the trip as stress-free as possible.
Coping with the grocery store meltdown
Grocery shopping with your kids in tow is always going to present its challenges, with a combination of demands for certain items and ensuing tantrums to contend with, so you need to be prepared for white lies ahead and have a coping strategy.
One of the fundamental points that you probably need to accept before you agree to take them grocery shopping with you, is the fact that you need to be willing to accept that you will need to keep your child entertained as you shop and get them involved in the process in a positive way.
Set the ground rules before you go. This might mean saying that they won’t be allowed to put any small treats or items they like in the basket if they cry, misbehave or don’t stay by your side at all times.
It is unlikely to to guarantee good behavior but at least you are encouraging them to think about the rewards and consequences of avoiding a grocery store meltdown.
If you’re started shopping, make sure you finish
It can be really tempting to just wave the white flag during a bad shopping trip and decide to abandon what you are doing, take the kids home, and then return to do the shopping on your own while someone looks after them.
This is a really important point, as you have to demonstrate to your child who is in charge. Showing them that their tantrums and bad behavior will not get you to stop what you are doing in favor of something else they want to do.
Stick to your guns, no matter how stressful and difficult it gets. If you want, take them outside, get the situation to calm down and when the tantrum has subsided, go back into the store to complete your shopping.
Get them involved
There is no doubt that one of the best ways of successfully avoiding a tantrum altogether, is to get your child involved in the shopping process.
If you children are too young to physically pick the items from the shelf, engage them by asking them to point out where they think what you want to buy is, and show them what you are buying as you put it in the trolley.
If the kids are old enough to actually help, give them a task to so that they are actively engaged in the shopping process and are less likely to get bored and start misbehaving.
Another important tip that is always worth remembering every time that you plan a shopping trip, is to make sure you don’t shop hungry. Have a snack or lunch before you go, as this will help to avert any possible meltdown, which is more likely if they are battling an empty stomach.