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Do you like to go shopping with your kids? Is it a nice experience? Do you ever feel overwhelmed?

If you answered yes, to any of these questions, then this post is exactly for you.

I recently attended a wonderful launched event – Cresta Family Room – where the best selling author and parenting expert Nikki Bush was one of the key speakers. She spent a good amount of time sharing with us some very valuable tips for going shopping with kids which left me wondering why, in the name of shopping have I not done some of them! They are super easy to understand and to follow and they certainly have made a bit of a difference in my shopping experience. So I wanted to share them with you.

  1. Go shopping while the kids are still fresh – The best times are normally in the mornings after breakfast or after naptime. Little ones are still energized, refreshed, and they will be a bit more patient while you shop.
  2. Shop with a friend or family member – It’s so much easier when you have someone there to help you while you shop, especially if you have more than one children.
  3. Avoid peak hours – During the week after 5pm, the shopping centres usually get really busy. The adults just got out of work and may be shopping for dinner meals while the little ones also just got out of school and may be tired! The kids could potentially start nagging and whining while the parents might be frustrated and out of patience.
  4. Fit shopping time with your kids’ schedule – It’ll be much easier to understand what your child is looking for when you are sticking to their normal routine. For example, say you go shopping after daytime naptime and this is normally the time where little one would be playing and exploring around the house. You then will have a perfect opportunity to go shopping at that time and pretend play with your little one while at it. It’s all up to you as the parent but the goal here is to make sure little ones are on a normal routine.
  5. Do not go shopping with a hungry child – Even if you planning to have lunch/dinner at the mall. It takes much longer to wait for food at the restaurant and little ones can be very agitated when they are hungry.
  6. If you feel overwhelmed/tired, take a break – Shopping can be rather exhausting sometimes, especially during busy time or when you are with little ones, taking a small break just to regroup and breathe can work wonders.
  7. Set the rules before leaving home – It’s sometimes easier to just tell kids about where you are going and what it’ll be like just to set the scene for the. This helps to set expectations for the kids and it helps them understand the rules as well.
  8. Remember to pack snacks to eat and drink for little ones – This will definitely save you from buying all those sweet treats that kids always want while shopping. The snacks you packed from home will surely keep the little ones occupied and full as well.
  9. Have a shopping plan before leaving home – Hoping from one shop to another and going back and forth inside a mall without any plan can be both physically exhausting and rather less productive. Having a plan can help you keep your thoughts organized and it will definitely help you control the situation more effectively.
  10. Lastly, take charge – Be in control of the situation, talk to your little ones, keep them engaged and just have fun.

There you have it! The 10 simple and easy to follow commandments of shopping with kids. My worst fails were without a doubt timing and the food. I normally took little one to the mall at mid-day and I always tried hard to make sure we don’t eat before we leave in an attempt to make sure we all sit down and have a meal at some restaurant. Little did I know…this is potentially where all my problems came from. An agitated toddler, nagging, wining, you name it!

I have since tried and tested these tips and let me tell you, i’m a happy Mama. I’ve never had such a pleasant shopping experience before. I loved it and I definitely will be following these tips more often.