Among the many benefits of online shopping I am sure it has also reduced the stress felt by many parents as they avoid the dreaded trips to the shops with the kids in tow. You can hear the tears at the end of the trip can’t you? Are they your tears? Shopping with the kids isn’t always avoidable and with our simple tips it doesn’t have to be a nightmare either.

1. Make it a treasure hunt. Give the kids a list of what it is you need to purchase and each time you cross an item off the list give them a small reward such as a sticker. This will also help keep you all focused on the goal of getting whatever it is you need to buy, all while mum keeps her sanity.

2. Safety in numbers. If you have a girlfriend who you can rope into the trip to the shops you will have an instant babysitter when you pop into the change room. When I have been shopping with my sister-in-law and her kids, I take one kid while she takes the other. Disagreements between the kids are avoided and we are never far from each other in the same shop.

3. Fail to prepare – prepare to fail. Have a plan of attack. If you know the shops well, think about the shops you want to go into and plan your route. While parking spots are often few and far between, an extra lap of the right level might make the difference in saving an extra escalator trip with the kids to get back to the car at the end of the trip.

4. Ask for their advice. Similar to the idea of the treasure hunt, what you are trying to do is engage the kids in your shopping adventure. Kids are usually completely honest about what they think so you might also save yourself some time and money buying the wrong thing.

5. Keep them informed. Let the kids know where you are going next and how long until you will be eating lunch/stopping at the play centre/visiting their favourite shop so they know when they will be getting something they want from the trip.

Do you have a trick you use to survive shopping with your kids?


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