Fredericksburg Parent

November 2019

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 9 of 35

10 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • November 2019 WRITTEN BY DEBRA CAFFREY practical pantry When our son was a new toddler, a trip to the grocery store was always an adventure he looked forward to. In fact, it was often an actual destination for us when we were desperate to get out with our overly active and abundantly curious little guy. The sights! The colors! The smells! Watching and listening to the little train circling around above the dairy aisle was enough to thrill him endlessly. He was so curious about everything, it made sense for us to let him sprint down the aisles, look around, and then pick out a treat if he was good. Boom, Thursday morning activ- ity, done. As he got a bit older, I had to develop a few strategies to keep him entertained while I did longer shopping trips, as I was learning how beneficial and smart it was to shop less frequently. Keeping my little sidekick happy required some planning, but he still loved to be my companion, happily helping me pick the prettiest tomatoes and enjoying his treat along the way as he sat in the cart. Let's fast forward to life now with that same boy as a tween middle schooler. Staying home alone for a long period of time is on the close horizon but not something he's quite ready for yet. And since I only do two longer consolidated trips to the grocery store a month and that's it, I'm there for a while. This means my preteen resentfully drags himself along with me. I'm certain that within a few months, he'll feel more ready to opt out of coming with me and prefer to stay home, but in the meantime, there isn't much I can do to help him feel better about being at the grocery store. He's too old for the promise of a lollipop, too jaded and cool to help me pick stuff out, and too preoccupied with hurrying up so he can get on with his own life and meet up with friends. My, how times have changed! Sometimes, I'll see if he remembers the fun grocery shopping games we played when he was younger or wistfully remind him of how much he couldn't wait to get to the candy aisle, but my nostalgia is lost on him. Oh, tweens! I can, however, use my prior experi- ence as a one-time mom of a young one to help others who may be looking for some sanity-saving strategies for grocery shopping with little kids. Here are some tricks to help you get through the experience with as little stress as possible: 1) PLAN AHEAD OF TIME Let's face it. Grocery shopping is not a kid-centric experience. After all the bouncy places, parks and playdates that you fill your kids' time with, it may be a hard switch to sit still and focus on something that requires them to behave, be quiet, and do something that's not about them. That's why it's so important to plan ahead and anticipate everything they may need. Don't head to the store on a whim with kids, but rather, spend some time thinking about the shopping trip and prep your arsenal ahead of time. You can even designate a specific tote to be your "grocery shopping" bag filled with snacks, books, small toys, treats like lollipops, puzzles, and other small trinkets to keep hands busy, as well as wipes/diapers and "snuggle friends." Perhaps the contents of the tote can stay in there full-time, so your children know those items only come out at the store, therefore making it something to look forward to. And while you're planning, make sure the kids are fed and hydrated before heading out! Smart Tips for Grocery Shopping with Little Kids

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Fredericksburg Parent - November 2019