In-store Promotions.....

Something that bothers me to no end that I feel like I have to talk about is how some parents let their kids behave out in public... particularly at the grocery store, mall, etc. Or maybe it would be better said how some kids MAKE their parents behave in public.

No matter where.... kids will be kids.
It's probably unfair to make child-by-child comparisons because at the end of the day it's the parents who are responsible for how their children behave in public. Can't tell you how many times WiMi and I are out and I'm like ...."Wow... that kid has no home-training" I've even had WiMi stop and pause at times when there's a kid throwing a fit or tantrum because they can't get their way. This concept is simply unknown to WiMi because it's part of the "ground-rules" established before we even go into the store.

Anyone who is familiar with me and WiMi know that a visit to any number of stores to pick up diapers, groceries, incidentals, etc. is part of our daily adventures. One store that stands out is of course...Target. Yes, my boys love Target... I admittedly love Target. But before this turns into a plug for Target I'll get back to what I originally wanted to talk about and that was some helpful insights for parents with kids and how to make every shopping trip easy, fun, and even educational.

Outline an agenda

If your kids are old enough to appreciate a trip to the store they are probably old enough to understand if you outline what the objectives are for that visit. To a 2 yr. old if you pull up to a Toys r Us ..then in that 2 yr. old's mind you're probably going to get...TOYS. They don't realize that you may be going to get pick up diapers, wipes, or a car-seat. Don't raise their expectations only to let them down. I often times will let WiMi know what our plans are before we go into any store. If it's Kroger... "We gotta get milk, and fruit" If it's Target...."We gotta get diapers, wipes,etc. Kids tend to adhere to a plan better than adults sometimes.

Keep it short and sweet

"Okay we got our list... let's do it"
Another place where parents tend to lose is attempting to drag your kid up and down every single aisle of a 43 aisle mega-store.  Ummm...  Sorry. Your child has no interest in picture frames and nesting baskets... and you try sitting in one of those carts for 90 min. and see if you like it.  It's one thing to ask your child to cooperate so you can knock off a few things from your to-do list it's another to try to combine family time while knocking out the monthly grocery shopping.  I also have a self-imposed 3 stop rule.  Imagine spending your entire afternoon strapped into a car-seat.... If you can't get it done in 3 hours and 3 stops then you may want to split it up into two days. No child should spend their afternoon in a mini-van. 

Engage and involve your child

Sometimes WiMi are a little "too" engaged
More than likely.... whatever you're out doing probably directly or indirectly will affect or influence your child....whether it be; groceries, clothes, housewares, etc.  So why not involve your child? Let them actively participate.  This can also be educational as well.  I can't think of a more educational and involved section of the grocery than when WiMi and I are in the produce section...  They know exactly where the oranges, apples , and bananas are and usually pick out their own fruit.  This is fun for them..... putting pears in a bag or bananas on a scale is a big deal to them.   Helping unload the cart at the check-out makes them feel as if they're helping out (it also keeps them away from the candy).  One of Williams favorite duties now is swiping my card and hitting the CREDIT button.  (It's always fun when it's someone else s' money).

I could go on and on.... touching on parent's who feel the need to beat, yell, or cuss at their kids in public or change their diapers on the display changing table at WalMart but I'll save that for another day.  It's really not much to it to having an easy stress-free fun productive outing with your kid(s). Remember, it's not about YOU....it's about them.  I was at Target with WiMi once and someone approached me and said  "I have to say you must have a lot of patience to be able to manage two boys alone in the store"  I replied "No.... my boys are the ones who are patient"

Thanks for reading

Father Ed


The Twin Coach said...

I love this post! You have such a great handle on respecting your boys and knowing what stage of development there are in. I think your ideas for heading out for a day of errand running are terrific. Keep up the great work and BTW, the blog looks great. It's been too long since I visited. :)

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