Shopping with kids: Can you do it stress-free?
Don’t get me wrong, as a parent, Christmas will always be one of the most special times of the year. It is an occasion that every child will look back fondly of; the levels of excitement surpass anything that we are used to.
However, as a parent, it would also be fair to say that it brings on plenty of stress. In truth, we could probably list plenty of these areas, but for today we will hone in on shopping. This is part and parcel of Christmas, but doing it with kids is hardly a relaxing day. On the contrary, it can (on the bad days) be full of tears, tantrums and more – and make the whole thing a disaster.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a magic wand. There will be occasions where it feels as though nothing will work, but today’s article is all about trying to help you avoid such a situation by following several, simple tips.
Choose your location wisely
If there ever were a case of location, location, location, it would be here. In short, you need a location that is going to satisfy your shopping requirements, while also keeping the kids entertained. If you are on vacation in London, somewhere like Covent Garden can work a treat; it has some of the very best shops around but also has plenty of restaurants and other things to keep the kids entertained.
Give them a shopping list
Kids love to have a sense of purpose, and a shopping list certainly helps with this. If they are not old enough to read, a shopping list formed from pictures can also work and will allow them to gradually tick things off from the list as soon as you buy them. Considering this is the festive period, we will assume that your list is going to be quite full as well!
Plan your trip with military precision
It might sound a little overboard, but we really can’t emphasize the importance of planning when it comes to this Christmas shop. Your shopping list will help with this, but it’s all about making things more efficient. Know what you need, and have a rough idea of where you want to get it. If the kids are old enough to understand this, the structure for the day will help them as well. At the same time, it gives them something to look forward to. They’ll know when it’s time to grab their food, or even nip off for a treat (see the next stage).
The end reward
As we have just spoken about, kids need a treat. After a “gruelling” time around the shops, they need something to look forward to. This will depend on you; some parents might reward with food, while others might take them to a nearby attraction as a reward. Either way, it’s an end goal, and it’s also motivation to behave well on the day and let everyone enjoy the festivities.