As all mothers know, the grocery store can be a real challenge to your child's behavior! The grocery store is a true test of how much a parent can handle. There are way too many temptations in grocery stores to expect kids (especially toddlers) to behave perfectly at all times. One minute the kids are fine, the next moment they are screaming for a candy bar. Here are some tips to keeping your toddler happy in the grocery store.
1. Come Prepared
The trick to keeping toddlers under control is to expect the unexpected! Have a plan for controlling a meltdown, perhaps a favorite toy, a pacifier, or a snack (keep reading)...
2. Bring a Snack
Rather than tempting your toddler with all the food at the store, bring along a snack for them to munch on and thus, divert their attention from store goods... like candy and other tempting treats.
3. Give Them a Job
Let your toddler feel like they are an integral part of the shopping effort. For example, allow your toddler to throw items into the cart, or ask them to reach something (small and light) off of a shelf.
4. Get Them Involved and Talking
Ask them questions, like "Who at our house will eat this?" Make a game of grocery shopping to keep them engaged rather than to leave them to their own devices. It can be fun for you, too!
A grocery store presents a great teaching opportunity. Allow your child to hold various items and ask them the color or the letter it begins with. With a little practice this little game could be a very effective learning tool.
6. Reward Great Behavior
If your toddler is well behaved during grocery shopping, reward them. If they behave poorly, they should get no reward. They will soon learn that rewards happen when they are well behaved not when they misbehave.
Bring a coloring book and crayons on your shopping adventure. Put the coloring book on a clipboard so that your toddler will be able to color while seated in the cart. You could even ask them to draw some of the foods you are passing.
There are those who decry bribing your children; obviously they have no children and have no idea how well bribery can work! If bribery is what it takes to get your child to behave in public, then bribe your toddler. Children can easily be taught to behave but it is easiest to accomplish when they see some reason (the bribe) to behave.
9. Play Dough
Play dough can be a real life saver when your active toddler is bored in the grocery store. Carry a small lump of play dough for them to play with while you are shopping.
10. Stay Calm
Plan your shopping trip so that your child is refreshed and you are not in a hurry. Stay calm throughout the trip and don’t let your child’s behavior stress you. Do your best to present a well-behaved child to the public.
Not every trip will be perfect but remember they are only toddlers for a little while. What have you done to amuse your toddler at the supermarket? How do you keep your little one happy at the grocery store?
Top Photo Credit: *superhoop*