7 ways to survive the supermarket without buying your toddler a single thing

grocery shopping with toddler

Despite what we tell ourselves, there’s no such thing as a quick trip to the supermarket, writes Lucy Kippist. 

Oh, the lies I tell myself on the way to the supermarket with both my boys in tow.

We’ll just zip in and out.

They’re almost 5 and almost 2, they should be OK.

I’ll just be really fast.

Except that we never do. Because we never can. 

Zooming down the aisles is practically impossible, items are crossed off, new ones put on and demands come from left, right and centre.

All to the soundtrack of: “Can I have? Can I have? Can I have?”

So how do you survive a trip to the supermarket on the days when online shopping or – sigh – going by yourself just isn’t an option?

Here are 7 tips from seasoned parents who are clever enough to head in with a game plan.

 1. Say ‘no’ without saying ‘no’

If ever there was a parenting lesson worth learning, it’s getting creative with the word: ‘no’.  So the next time you’re swatting your kids away from the Kinder Surprise, blogger Angela of Creative Kids suggests you try saying: “This is no good, if we eat it our bellies will hurt,” or “This is only for big people”. Clever, right?

2. Make the supermarket about learning

Make all that loud commercial packaging and signage work for you by using them to learn numbers, letters and words. You can even count the lemons or oranges into a bag, or make sure there are enough eggs in the carton. 

3. Practice manners and social skills

Loved this tip from Kate of PickleBums: “The supermarket is also a great place to experience and practice social skills such as waiting your turn, being respectful to others, speaking politely, asking for help.”

4. Ask them to get involved

As you’re making your way through the aisles, talk about what you’re buying and what you’re going to make with it. Ask your little one to point to certain colours or products on the shelves. This could even start at home while you’re writing your shopping list.

Listen to Kinderling Conversation

 

5. Put something in their hands

A distraction technique from way back! Put a basket or your carry bag in your little one’s hand and tell them to “help” you by carrying the light items.

6. Eat before you shop

Personally, I’m still learning this lesson as an adult! But imagine the zen if you all ate a snack before you even got to the supermarket.

7. Temper tantrum? Give them a choice

Mother-of-two, Karli B told PopSugar this one works a treat with her two: “They can choose to behave properly, or they can choose to go home and I will come out without them at a later time. I give them three chances and then I tell them that they have made [their] choice to leave and we are going home.”

They make it sound so easy, right? 

This post was originally published on Kinderling Kids Radio. Download the Kinderling app for more great stories. 

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