So I recently had a friend post about a grocery trip gone wrong as she tackled the fits and fussies of her 15M old little girl. I found myself caught between feeling so much sympathy for her and laughing out loud because I have been there oh-so many times. EVERY mom has.
Since I have a bunch of mommy-followers who are new to this process, I thought I would jot down some of the things that I have learned that have helped make grocery shopping trips successful. Ok, probably not successful, but at least manageable.
1. Make a list. Organize that list by aisle/area of the store. Bring the list INTO the store with you - and a pen. If you have older kids, they can be the list markers. If they are too little for that, they can color on your list - or eat it, depending. Yes, this may negate making a list in the first place.
2. Avoid the cart with the car on the front. It ALWAYS ends up in a battle. They want in, they want out, they want in and to punch their sister. Then sister is crying and wants out. It adds endless mommy frustration and at least 30min to each trip. Plus, they are hard to steer. Kids should either walk or ride in the cart and be weighted down by food. If taking the second option, make sure to get eggs and bread last...
3. Bring a bribe. In our case this is usually lollipops (dum dums). When they are just "learning" the patience to shop, this is something I give them as soon as they get fidgety. The older kids have to earn it - and it has upgraded to a blowpop or ring pop. It only takes one time for them to leave the store un-rewarded (ok, maybe 3 times) for them to learn that it pays to behave - especially when everyone has a lollipop BUT them. Including you eating theirs.
4. Don't go when they are tired or hungry. Does this really require explanation?
5. Don't be afraid to discipline. This is just a rule of life with kids. And yes, discipline starts at age 1, not age 3. If you wait to age 3 or older to start to discipline and set boundaries with your kids, I'm afraid to tell you that you will have "those kids". A small smack on the hand or sharp verbal scolding is all it takes. The longer you wait to set boundaries for good behavior, the harder and more rebellious kids will be. I could probably write a book - nevermind, there are hundreds out there that have - so read one of those. Or let me know if you want a suggestion... ALSO, this tip is completely null and void if you violated tip 4. Their melt-down is now your punishment :)
This is just a small sampling of what I've learned in the last 6 years. Now it's your turn. What has helped you survive grocery shopping with small kids??
I love hearing how others survive or just to commiserate with me so I know I'm not alone! Oh and no Karis Murray, Wal-Mart at midnight doesn't count...