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CSP Spotlight: Shopping with Kids

13 Oct 2016 Staff

Shopping with children can be a challenge at times.  Plan ahead and have some basic expectations in place so the experience is pleasant for all!

  • Do not take a child who is hungry, tired, sleepy or sick on a shopping trip. You are setting yourself up for trouble.
  • Be clear on your expectations. Set rules and go over the rules before each shopping trip. Be consistent. Example:  stay in the cart, use an inside voice, etc.
  • Reward good behavior in a small, simple way. Set the reward in advance of the shopping trip. Be clear, be consistent and follow-through!  It may be as simple as verbally tell your child “good job” or a small treat that is agreed upon in advance.
  • Engage your child in conversation as much as possible while you shop. Plays “I Spy,” have a contest to look for colors, talk about texture, etc.  Use this as an opportunity to build vocabulary.
  • Allow children to participate in the shopping experience in some small way. Give them simple choices to make such as apples or bananas.
  • Praise good behavior: “you made a good choice,” “you are sitting so still in your cart seat,” “you are such a good boy/girl”, etc.
  • If the child becomes out of control, take them out of the situation until they can regain their composure. That may mean a trip to the restroom for a talk or actually leaving the building.
  • If the child cannot calm down...go home! Don’t threaten, argue or scream. Simply tell the child that you will come back again when they can make positive behavior choices. 

Community Service Programs of West Alabama (CSP), Inc.’s Head Start/Early Head Start, Child Care Partnership, and Early Intervention programs engage families and encourage healthy lifestyle choices.  Safe and healthy children are ready to learn and explore their world.     

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