Last week we wrote about kid’s behavior at the store. Today I’m posting some ideas for conversations you could have with your child in the store. The dialogs you will have with your child will never be verbatim, but hopefully these scenarios will give you ideas about teaching your child something new and hopefully avoiding a tantrum.
Toddler: (sitting in the cart) “Stop, I want to see that” (or just pointing and hollering or crying depending on the age.
Mom: “What is it you see?” Go over and get the item and show it to your child. If they want to hold it, tell them, “Be careful, because it doesn’t belong to us”. “Does this look fun to take home?” (Discuss what is being looked at, what it does, how fun it would be to have one, etc.). Most likely the conversation will eventually turn to the fact that the child wants to take it home.
Child: “I want this”.
Mom: ”Let’s look and see how much it costs”. (Show them the price tag and explain that a price tag shows how much money one has to pay to be able to take the item home) “Do you have any money?”
Child: “No, do you have money?”
Mom: “I have money for food for our family and to buy your clothes and shoes, but I don’t have lots of extra money to buy all the toys and candy we want. Be careful to not tell the child you have no money because they will wonder why you can buy food if you don’t have any money. Also, when kids get a little older, if they’ve heard over and over, “We don’t have any money”, they can worry that there is not enough money to buy food, or the necessities of life.
I grew up in a family that had very limited money. But, ironically, I never worried. I don’t ever remember being concerned that we would run out of food. I even had the impression that my mom could get me anything that I really needed. It’s all in the way we verbalize things for our children.
There isn’t always time to stop and look at every thing your child would like to see. Sometimes it’s okay to say, “We’ve looked at a few really fun things today, but we’re out of time and need to go home”. Remember too, that kids like to have some advanced warning. If you’ve used as much time as you can looking and dreaming tell your child, “You can look close at one more thing, then we’ll have to see the other things another day”.
Also, remember it’s fun to dream and healthy to teach your child to use their imagination. While at the store you could have a conversation like this –
Parent: “What would you do if you owned this whole store?”
Or, “If I could have anything it this whole store for free I would get… What would you get?”