All our friends have a shopping day. They get there mothers or inlaws to sit in while they casually browse the shopping isles.
We have a different approach. Its called Chaos…
Basically the tactic is distract and shop. I generally run the distraction, (actually I’m sure thats just my full time role within our famliy unit) which involves getting a seperate shopping trolly and pileing as many of the kids in as I can.
I then go round the complete opposite way to Mrs Berg. I roll round the toy isle, look through the book section. If there is an entertainment section with huge tvs I’m there, just out of reach of those grabbing hands of course.
I go slow, I keep talking. These are the two key factors. If they want to stop to look at a toy, DVD, book, or any product, I stop and talk to them about it. I get them all to interact with it. All while Mrs Berg sneaks round quickly.
In order to be entertaining for the full hour I add a few trolly spins or long pushes. I have particular trick where I tell them to stay there, then I turn and pretend to become engrossed in a product, at this point I push the trolly so that they slide slowly away from me. Then I spin round surprised that they have moved, “I told you to stay there,”. I love these little games.
These tactics are by no means fool proof.
The older children sneak back to mum and put things in the trolley while she doesn’t notice. The younger two grab at anything they can reach for and the baby crys for mummy just when there is just enough strangers about to make it look like I can’t cope.
Finally if the shopping trips getting a little long and the tactics are waining, I have my final bid. A slogan. Woah Berg, a slogan. Parenting advice at its finest. My little saying is as such. Whoever is good round the store gets to pick a pudding for the week. So when they start to be naughty I say. “You have to be good for a pud.”
There it is next years parent advise books title ha ha. Hey it’s cheesy but so are my kids and it works 70% of the time at least.
So that’s my tactics. I reckon however you shop, if you do it with children always have a plan.