Shopping is a fun activity. However, not all people, kids especially, can tolerate the time we should spend browsing the stores, aisles and racks. But you need to take them to the department store to shop for new clothes and shoes. This is more so if you’re not with guessing which ones fit only to bring an ill-fitting item that you need to return the next day. You might as well take the whole family with you shopping, right?
Here are the five things to bear in mind to keep your sanity while shopping with hubby and kids in tow.
1) Avoid the crowds
A Manila shopping mall is almost always jam-packed during weekends and evenings. With this, shopping will only be a stressful event for you and your kids. If possible, do the shopping in the morning or early afternoon on a weekday when you can still roam the mall minus the right crowd and long queues. Hence, knowing when to go is the key.
2) Eat beforehand
Going to the mall hungry is an impending disaster. If all the family members eat before shopping, the experience will go much smoother. Not to mention, dining out can be really expensive unless you factor this on your budget. While at it, prepare snacks that you can give to your kids whenever they need one.
3) Involve everyone
If you are making purchases for each family member, you might as well solicit their suggestions while at home. After all, they’d be the ones who are going to use the items. Set a budget for each member also and let them stick to that budget when thinking of their must-buys. In this way, it would be easier to figure out which stores to go to and how much to spend for each buy.
4) Buy the needs first
All of you are in the mall for a reason thus, buy what you need to buy first. Make sure that you allowed enough to cater for small impulsive buys. Admittedly, kids are like that because of the temptation at the checkout lane. If you find something you cannot resist to purchase, you may also do so after exhausting the list of must-buys.
5) Say no
If you need to, that is, or you’ll end up over-budget. Don’t feel guilty about it because if you do, there is a tendency to overcompensate. You don’t want that to happen; not inside a shopping mall or grocery store even. Explain to your child why you cannot satisfy his or her needs immediately and in the most caring way.
Other than these things, you also need to keep in mind the basics when you’re out shopping with infants, toddlers and even older children.
- Keep the infants hydrated throughout the time while inside the mall. Because of dry air, babies can get dehydrated easily.
- Bring a sling or carrier because infants and feel happier when being carried around.
- Bring a toy to help your baby cope with the lessened attention while scouting the aisles.
- Ask the tots which one he or she prefers; they will feel empowered this way.
- Bring along snacks and bottles of water or juice.
- Pay attention to the kids when hubby is choosing or looking for the items for himself and vice versa.
Hopefully, with all these tips, the shopping will be a pleasurable experience for everyone. It’s easy to lose your cool when you have so many individuals to bring to the shopping mall. However, if you’ve done the preparations right, there’d be no crowd-disturbing tantrums. Let everyone do their part.
Mark Joshua Santos is a Filipino blogger who writes for Lexcode, a translation company located in the business district of Makati City.