Thursday, December 11, 2008

How To Have Stress-Free Christmas Shopping With Kids

CHONGQING, CHINA - DECEMBER 4:  (CHINA OUT) A ...Image by Getty Images via DaylifeIdeally, parents would like to leave children at home when they go shopping. First of all, you can get things done faster without your children distracting you. Second, shopping is worry free. You don't have to worry about them running off or breaking something. Thirdly, you don't have whiny, cranky kids telling you they want to go home or are tired. I'm sure you parents all know what I'm talking about.

Unfortunately, there are times when you have no choice but to bring along the kids to do shopping. So, how do you make your Christmas shopping with kids effective, efficient and fun. Definitely, you need to plan in advance. So, here are some tips for you to think about to ensure your Christmas shopping is pleasant.

1. Time management
We know how children can be when they haven't had enough rest or are tired. So, schedule your shopping excursions around their nap time. This will ensure the child has had sufficient rest and will not run out of energy or become cranky during the shopping trip as a result of exhaustion.

2. Break Time
Take breaks in between your shopping. You can stop for a small snack, grab lunch or rest a little at a play area in the mall or shopping center. Do not expect children to shop for hours on end without short diversions. You already know they have short attention spans. When you take these breaks, you help break the monotony of shopping.

3. Something In It For Them
Plan on doing something that they can look forward to. For example, pencil a trip to the toy store or the park. Maybe even promise to buy a small toy or a favorite treat as a reward for good behavior during the trip. This would be most effective if you schedule this trip for the later part of your shopping trip. This will help to ensure the child behaves for the majority of the trip.

4. Be Prepared
Anticipate what might happen and prepare yourself for a variety of situations. Always bring along some spare clothing for your child in case of spills. If you children is still in diapers, pack along enough supply of diapers. Distraction is parent's best weapon. So, it pays to bring along a few small toys and snacks. They will proof helpful especially if you get stuck in a long line.

5. Give Them A Heads-up
Let your children know what is going to happen on the trip out; Let them know where you are going, what you are going to do, how long it will take and what you expect from them. Mentally psych them up. Make it more fun by writing up an itinerary or a to-do list that they can help keep track of.

If you have to bring your children Christmas shopping, do what you can to make it a happy trip out. If you are prepared, Christmas shopping can be an enjoyable activity with kids. Alternatively, you can do your shopping online.

Get help with Christmas gift ideas, check out my Happy Christmas Gifts blog.
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  1. Thanks for sharing. I did a Christmas shopping yesterday alone with my girl as DH will join us later. It's fine to shop with her but when comes to try clothes at fitting room, going to toilet it's a hard time. I need to bring her in the fitting room or toilet, leaving the stroller outside.

  2. My son wants to be carried only .. else he prefers to run! I hardly can shop with him around. Always end up buying half my list only and have to make another trip to finish off the other half ..same for grocery shopping ..

  3. vickylow:
    Ya, cannot leave them alone. Crazy world these days. I'm one who has never used a stroller. I am a sling person.

    Family First:
    Aiyoh, very susah like dat. Will he not sit in the trolley? Maybe bring a little toy to hold or distract him?

  4. Love the tips!!...thankfully I do not have to shop with my kids....I think I would go crazy if I had my kids, but love to shop alone. ;)


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