Monday, July 4, 2011

How to survive groccery Shopping with 4 kiddies in tow!!

So you are like me hey, crazy enough to go to the supermarket with all 4 kids in tow! If you aren't but contemplating it then here is the advise you have been seeking! DO NOT DO IT!! Hahaha!! No seriously, this is a serious post, well somewhat! I do have some good tips because I have done this more than once. I have also taken 3 kiddies and the same tips can be applied, but if you are struggling with just 2 or 1, then you need help because you are a whoose!!! No, again, just kidding.

So, here a few steps you can follow in preparation to go food shopping.

Step 1 - try to go at night or early in the morning so you can go solo, if this is not an option go to step 2..

Step 2 - see if someone can babysit! Ask anyone! Don't think badly of yourself if you consider the dog a potential babysitter. If this does not work go to step 3.

Step 3 - Take a deep breath, or a few more if you need them and then retreat to the toilet and close the door for a few minutes(lock the door if you have that option, if you don't tell any child that comes close to the door its diahorrea!) to consider your next move. If you pray, now is a good time to ask God for strength!

Step 4 - Make a list of items you need. Its vital that you have a list. It keeps you not only to a budget, but the  kidar (kiddy radar) will pick up any lack of organisation at the supermarket and make it hell for you. Exit the toilet with a skip in your step and herd the kiddies into the car.

Step 5 - upon arrival to the supermarket, before you get out of the car set the ground rules in the best loving mummy voice you can use. Do not ask for:
Magazines etc

And then in a stern but loving tone outline the consequences if they do the wrong thing. However, do tell them that if they are well behaved they may get 'something special'. Now this can be tricky depending on the age of your child. My kids are 10, 8, 5, 3 so I can somewhat get away with saying 'something special'. If your kids are older, don't be taken back when they question what 'something' refers to. You will need to be clear on what you are prepared to purchase. Never be ellaborate. If you do, you are setting the bar too high and you will have to equal or better yourself each time they go with you. Make it simple but something that they will work hard for.

Step 6 - allocate jobs. The eldest can push the trolley, if the toddler will sit in the trolley - total bonus, lucky you!! If not then let them walk holding onto the trolley or holding hands with one of the other kiddies. The kiddies that are walking will be your designated helpers. Make this fun. I have 3 boys so I say something like.
"Dudes, today's mission will be seeking out 6 potatoes and 2 kilos of red apples, do you wish to accpet this mission?" If yes, you have 1 minute in which to complete this mission and time starts now!"

I can't always use this, so I have to be creative on the move and think of something that I know will get them excited about helping me. The key is to make it fun for them.

Now, if you have not stipulated what the 'special something' is the kids will be constantly thinking what their 'something' is and this is where you use this to your advantage. I think it would have to be shopping when mums will say 'no' the most in a short space of time. I think kids being the innocent souls they are, just keep trying in hopes you will either break, or they will actually pick something you can say 'yes' to! If they ask for something straight away that works with you, then use this to make them work for you.  If something doesn't come up straight away and they keep asking what it is. Just say something like, " Its so awesome, I want it to be the best surprise ever" or " try guessing it". With the latter option, again it has to be age appropriate. If your kids are older they could drive you mental with guessing every 3 seconds. So be smart on how you reply. If they get to something mid way and you see that they want it bad, then you've hit the jackpot! Sometimes for me its simple things like Roll-ups because I don't buy them often. Sometimes it can be a lolly, and sometimes it can be something off the planet like strawberries or blueberries! I love those days, but they don't always happen!

So in summary, if you can get away with not taking your kids, this is the most ideal scenario! Kids are great but they seem to love fighting and being abnoxious most when you are in a hurry and need to get the food shopping done!

If they come with you, make it as fun as you can. Make them work for you, don't think this is a terrible thing, you work for them! The least they can do is help you out.

Set the ground rules before you enter the store and remind them of consequences if they break the rules. Most importantly, if necessary make sure you follow through with consequences, this is paramount. You have to be able to remind them the next time you have to take them what happened the last time they were naughty at the supermarket!

Reward the good behaviour, but make sure you make it out that it was your choice on what their reward was, not theirs! If you don't want to feel like you 'have' to purchase something each time you shop as their reward.   Basically at the end of the day, kids love rewards, and are very driven to do good if they know they will be rewarded in some way or another. Reward systems are a mother's best friend!

Good luck mums and dads, I hope you found this helpful:)

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