Who says grocery shopping needs to be a chore?
Shopping with your children is a great way to connect, bond and have FUN with them. I know some of you may raise your eyebrows and think that I am really crazy to even suggest that grocery shopping can be fun? And crazy to go further by even suggesting that having fun with children while doing grocery shopping?
Yes, grocery shopping is something that we have to do, whether it is every single day or 3-4 times a week, or even once a week. I know sometimes we just want to get out of the way and be done with it; however, sometimes it is an outlet to have your own time, away from the routine and demands from home. I was no different – walking peacefully in the shops or even sitting quietly in the car with a book can be therapeutic.
However, in this busy world of ours, parents are often struggling to find the time to connect and bond with their children. There are chores to do in the home, and there are careers and obligations to be fulfilled in order to support the family. There are also after school activities, meals to be prepared, your children's school work to look into, let alone other commitments for extended families and friends.
Your experience with your children
From my experience, I really enjoyed those grocery shopping trips with my children, even when as young as a few months old.
For the very young child – it is about putting them in the trolley, slowly moving along the shopping aisle, talking with them, showing them different types of food, and allowing them to take in the array of colours. It also means making eye contact, allowing them to feel fresh produce such as apples, or vegetables, to activate their senses. But mainly is the proximity you have with your child, to enjoy his or her presence and taking that opportunity to communicate, bond with them and share the moment with them.
For a toddler, it is a really fun time to be with them. They are able to understand better on what's going on and they would absolutely love to help you.
- Plan your shopping with them – get them to itemise the things that you may need in the shop.
- Prepare a shopping list – if they can write, great. However for younger children, get them to browse through the catalogues that are delivered to your home, identify the item that you may need, such as onion, garlic, sauces etc., cut them out from the catalogue and paste on a piece of paper. This is going to be your child's shopping list.
When you plan your shopping, make it a point to set your intentions to really focus and have fun with your children. When you set your intention, it establishes a direction of energy and activates the experiences you want.
For example, my intention for this shopping trip is to bond, connect and really have fun with my children. Picture the fun moments you want with your children, how you want to feel, the emotion and mood that you would like to experience, i.e. a happy mood and what experience you want with your children. See yourselves having fun, being happy and having an enjoyable outing.
Give them clear instructions, speak calmly to them, and remember, always end the day with a reward. But most of all, have FUN!