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“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Urbini. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and as a thank you for participating.”
I would like to say that I can take them shopping and they are all so very well behaved every single time, but that wouldn’t be real life, would it? No, they ask for things and when I say “No”, they cry (well, not our older kids).
They want to be in the cart, out of the cart, in the cart, out of the cart.
They want to stop by every toy section in the store and play for endless hours.
Here are a few tips to get you through your trip, without tantrums.
1– know your limit! I know that our limit is about 30 minutes with all four of them. This means that I have 30 minutes from the start of the trip to the end of the trip before our one year old will begin to fuss. The older kids can last over an hour.
2- HAVE THE “Pre-visit” TALK! Kids need to know what to expect. I used this tactic when I was teaching and I use it with our own kids.
We NEVER go anywhere without our normal talk: we go over the rules and they repeat them back to me.
One time, when we were going to go into my brother and sister-in-laws house, we had the talk on the way there.
I asked the kids (in the car), “Ok, Guys, give me the rules, please.” and I heard
- “Be a good listener.”
- “Have gentle hands.”
- “Act nice, not like a maniac” – that about covers it, right? Don’t act like a maniac!**Try to point out the “Do’s” instead of the “Don’ts” (Do have good manners, do stay sitting in the cart, do have quiet voices)
Before heading into a store, we also explain to them that we are NOT buying any new toys. We are buying food, school clothes, (whatever you are there for). There are always exceptions, of course, but plan that before you go in and let them know. Example: If you want your kids to have a toy, you could give them a dollar or two and let them know that they can buy a treat at the end. I usually save this for special occasions and we make it a separate shopping trip, or else every trip is filled with the question “Can we buy this?” (times four kids!)
3- Be prepared:
Pack hand sanitizer, wipes, snacks, leapsters or iPods. I try not to have electronics at the store, but if I know that I will be out for a long time, I pack them, just in case.
4- Take a baby stroller. I like to use a stroller for our daughter because if there are germs on that cart, she will certainly get them. I use the Touri Travel System because it makes it really easy. You can just pop the baby travel system, the Urbini Petal Infant Car Seat, (holds up to 35 pounds and very safe) into the lightweight Touri stroller, or you can just let your child rest (it has a reclining seat) Plus- its easy to fold, so its is easy to transport! It has a 5-point safety harness, which is great because our toddler will try to get out, if she is able.
It has a really roomy storage in the bottom for my purchases, too. (You can see the basket area in the picture below)
Here were were shopping for our stroller.
5- Snacks! I always have EASY, NON-MESSY snacks with us. The Touri has a removable cup holder and I love this part because I can keep their sippy cup in my purse and when we hit 20 minutes and they start to get antsy, I pull out the cupholder and snacks (that I put in a cup to make it easier to just place in the cupholder) .
6- The non-bribe (ITS NOT WHAT YOU THINK)… “When I am done with my shopping, we will walk over to the toy section at the end and you can look around, but we will not have time to do this if I have to stop to correct anyone. I would be very sad if we ran out of time before visiting the toy section!”
BEFORE I tell them this, I start with “WE are NOT buying any toys. Do you understand? If you ask me for a toy, I will have to say no and we will have to leave the toy section and go home.” (prepare yourself for a little whining if you have very young children, when you are done browsing and aren’t walking away with any new toy purchases, but this is an important life lesson for them.. you can’t have everything that you want.)
Unless, of course, you want to buy toys. Some times a little surprise can brighten their days, but don’t start out saying “We are not buying any toys” or you will send the wrong message for future trips.
7- If you get in the cart, you stay in the cart until the toy section. If you want to walk, you walk until the toy section., but you have to hold onto the cart or me when walking. We would seriously have musical chairs if I let them get in & out of the cart during the trip.
8- Thank them for behaving. Everyone likes to be encouraged. Do this during the trip. Remember that if you compliment one child, the others will try to rise to the expectations to receive the same compliments.
9- The dreaded… last minute saving grace… LOLLIPOPS!
Yes, they are sticky, messy, make me nervous that they will choke the whole time, sugary… need I go on? Alas, I use them when we have to go over the 30 minute window. There are some whole-foods stores that have healthier versions. Also, the flatter ones are a little safer, in my opinion.
10- Tell them how they did after the trip. Thank them or tell them how we can improve next time.
You can see my walmart review & many others here (I haven’t come across a review that isn’t great, even on other websites)… here are few more key features:
- Ultra-compact umbrella style fold
- Includes Petal Infant Car Seat that holds children up to 35 lbs
- Lightweight frame
- Multi-position reclining seat
- Removable child’s arm bar
- 5-point safety harness with comfort pads
- Tuck-away sun visor
- Multi-position reclining seat
- Front suspension wheels
- What are your best tips for shopping with your kids?
****You can see what everyone said when I asked this question on my Your Modern Family Facebook page here – there are a lot of GREAT & UNIQUE answers! Join in!