We’ve all heard the screams from the aisles of the grocery store. A cranky child who is fighting her parent to get out of the cart and run. Here are some tips to make the trip with your toddler or preschooler more pleasant:
- Schedule your trip for a time when your child is fed and rested. A quick stop after a morning of preschool or a long day at child care is asking for disaster.
- Tell her what you are there to buy. “We just need to pick up milk” or “We need a LOT of groceries from my big list.”
- Let her hold and mark off the “list”. For a toddler who does not yet recognize letters, even and old list or memo from work may do in a pinch.
- Ask her to spot the food you are looking for in the store from her perch in the cart. Your older preschooler may even help you get safe things off of the shelf. (No household chemicals, please!)
- Encourage her participation. She can count the number of bananas, drop lightweight items into the cart, or touchthe letters on a favorite cereal box as you spell C-h-e-e-r-i-o-s.
Remember that the grocery store may be a chore for you, but it is a learning experience for your child. Don’t forget to praise your child for her great cooperation!
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