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The very words ''kids'' and ''shopping'' do not coordinate well with each other. What you can accomplish in an hour would take you possibly double the time if your kids are with you as they don't really feel the same sense of purpose or urgency as you.
There are a few ways to shop with kids in tow so that the experience is comfortable for everyone involved. Always make sure you carry enough snacks and drinks for the children even if they have a meal before you leave home. If you have infants or toddlers, carry a spare bottle of milk to tide over any hunger pangs. If dry snacks or finger food items are packed in small single-serving containers, it is convenient for the child to help himself rather than annoy the parent who may be busy shopping and navigating a trolley full of groceries.
It is never a good idea to let your little ones run amok in the supermarket. Toddlers can be kept busy by seating them inside the trolley with some toys. It works best to involve older children in the shopping experience. Let them pick out items for you from the shelves or look at prices and make estimates. Incorporating math in real-life scenarios is interesting for children to pass time.
What many parents struggle with is dealing with tantrums. Always let your children know directly or indirectly through your actions and words that you do not tolerate tantrums. If they demand a piece of candy usually not allowed to them, deal with it by offering a healthier alternative such as almond milk.
With the right attitude and enough precautionary measures, shopping with children can be a nice family experience though not necessarily more productive.
• Carry enough snacks and drinks for your kids
• Allow the kids to pick out stuff from the shelves
• Let them know that you don't tolerate tantrums
Source: Urmila Santosh, Special to Classifieds, gulfnews.com
The writer is a freelancer