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At the Store with the Kids

I am not very good at sticking around the house all day every day. I have things to check off my list, and many of them involve running around town and inevitable stops to the grocery store, department stores, etc. But, just adding one more kid to the mix has made these types of trips a LOT more difficult, and I just don't want to do it sometimes. But, I have a couple things that help me get through trips to the store with my kids, and I'm sure you all have a ton more.

Here's what we do:

-My 2 year old uses the potty BEFORE we leave the house
-Make sure the diaper bag is loaded with diapers, wipes, extra clothes
-Bring toys the kids don't always get to play with
-Lots of snacks
-Don't go to the store during nap time...ever...

Then when we are at the store, I have started picking out a "treat" or small thing with my daughter that she can hang onto while we are shopping and if she is good, meaning no fits, whining, disobeying, etc., then she gets to keep her treat. Otherwise, it goes back on the shelf. This particular tactic has worked REALLY well for her, but could be hard to maintain if you have a bunch of kids or the treats are pricey. We usually pick a pack of stickers that is $1 or at the grocery store some sort of food that is what we need, but maybe a little special, like cinnamon applesauce instead of plain so it has been good so far.

What are your tricks for maintaining peace and happiness while running your errands?


Anna said...

definitely using the bathroom before we go. At the store I put the baby in the sling, my 2 year old in the cart and my 4 year old walking along beside me. they all enjoy holding a list, so they get their own list to hold. the 4 year old gets to help get items off the shelf to put in the cart, the 2 year old gets to have an item on her lap. the baby just enjoys the sling.

The Paynes said...

I have 5 kids now, so I usually only go to the store on weekends, when my husband can come with me to run kid control, or I go by myself and take 2 hours, going slowly up and down each aisle. By myself, snacks in little baggies. Don't ever succumb to buying anything at the registers or the kids will always expect one. Mine now know we don't buy that stuff cause it's a marketing ploy. My two 7 yr olds understand it and tell me that that is where the expensive stuff is sold to trick you into spending too much. Best they learn about marketing tricks now! Oh, and don't go when you are all hungry. Even frozen dinners look good when you are hungry!

Janalee said...

I use the same tricks as Anna. Baby in sling, 3 yr old in cart and 5 yr old gets to help put stuff in the cart. We all have different jobs, too. I push the cart (even though my 5 yr old really thinks she's big enough to!), the 3 yr old hold the list and helps me remember what's next. The 5 yr old puts everything on the list in the cart. The baby sleeps, coos at strangers, and tries really hard to grap at stuff if it gets within reach.
Oh, and do not go when the store is busy (right after everyone gets off work or on saturdays)
The special something/treat used to work, untill my kids discovered opening whatever it is. Then I feel obligated to purchase it, but so angry the kids don't get it. So we can't do that anymore. I'm so glad that there are real angels out there that know how to patiently hold on to a treat!

Kristy said...

I can so relate to this situation. I have a 4 year old girl a 20 month old boy and now a 2 month old little girl. I had two down really well, but 3 has been a huge challenge. The first little while with three has been hard and I just didn't think I could or wanted to get out to do errands. I realize it was all in my attitude and my preparedness. If I can, I go to the store when my husband is home, but as you know that is not always an option, you sometimes have to get toliet paper, or diapers on a moments notice. So I give my 4 year old a list of items we need to get, I draw a picture of it and the word next to it, and a big empty box for her to put a check in. I have it on her own little clip board and a pen attach to a sting so she won't loose it. It has really help keep her busy and engaged in what we are doing. If she remembers all her items she get to check the box that says Treat for Kate, and then she picks out a treat if she gets all the items on the list. For my 20 month old I have a few cars and small toys and lots of gold fish treat, that works for him right now. For my 2 month I make sure she is feed and Changed and I am usually good for a couple of hours for her. So I just keep trying and I notice if I tell myself 3 kids can't stop me and I can do it, things go better while I am out doing errands. I am more relaxed and less stress. I hope this helped.