As parents, we have all experienced taking our children with us shopping and the meltdowns that sometimes go with it. One of our family traditions is for me, my daughter, and granddaughter to go shopping on black Friday. My granddaughter is a pretty good shopper, but this year, she was on steroid for a recent asthma attack. Anyone, who has ever had a child or taken a steroid can certainly understand how it pretty much puts you in a bad mood until it is out of your system.
As a early childhood educator for years, I had to pull out all the stops to make it fun trip and avoid a meltdown. I decided I would share them with you. Below are time proven strategies that will work.
Plan to make time for the child. The trip cannot be all about you as much as you would like. Make sure you have plenty of time to do the fun free activities that many places offer during the holidays.
Set the child up for success! What child wants to quit playing in the lego store? Consider using the timer on your cell phone. I gave her a five minute warning and held it on the phone where she could see it. We also got down and played with her while other parents stood back and played on their cell phones. Children need our time and attention. When the timer went off she walked out with a smile on her face.
What do you do when your child wants everything they see? Make a picture of it and tell the child you are going to put it on their list. I can’t take credit for this one, my daughter has been doing this since she was two. It works!
I wish I could tell you that we left the mall and never had one meltdown, but I can’t. However, there were far less and lots of positive memories that will last a life time!
Norma Honeycutt, Executive Director, Nana