For you, shopping may be a pleasurable activity, but for many children it can quickly become a chore. Once that happens, the whole operation can quickly turn into a very stressful experience. Remember, toddlers are very powerful people with a great sense of immediacy – NOW! Some of the ideas below may work for you while doing this essential activity.
- Have a clear expectation of how you expect your toddler to behave in such a public space and share it with your child simply and clearly before entering the shopping centre.
- Try not to make your shopping excursion long and drawn out. Long chats in aisles may be postponed until you are at a playground or a playgroup.
- If possible, go when you child is rested and calm and has been fed. Even so, a snack in your bag may allow you to finish your shopping.
- If you have older children, go after school drop off, especially if your toddler is not keen on the car.
- Make shopping as fun as you can. It can be a great opportunity to spend some time with your child. You might talk about the products you are putting in the trolley; point out some letters that are on the box or packet which are also in your child’s name.
- If you use lists, have a small list for your toddler and let the child pick these off the shelf and put them in the trolley.
- Have a favourite book or toy which goes shopping with you and will entertain your child in the trolley.
- If possible, avoid the aisles which may cause upsets! !
- Occasionally, at the end of the shopping, offer a treat as a way of celebrating good behaviour.
At Angel’s Paradise, we aim to provide a safe, supportive and fun environment where children can explore and discover the world and learn to grow and express themselves to their full potential.