Shopping with kids – how to make it painless

On a bad day, shopping with kids is every mother’s worst nightmare. It’s hard enough if you’re just picking up the weekly shopping or trying to find an outfit for a special occasion. But what if you need to shop for your business or freelance work?

Even at the best of times, going shopping with the kids can be an experience you may want to forget in a hurry. While you try to get what you set out to buy, they might complain constantly of boredom, pester you to buy something they like the look of or do both at the same time!

It might seem like an impossible dream for many parents, and even worse for those working from home, but there are ways to make shopping with the kids a bit easier.

Five tips to make shopping with kids painless

To do so, you’ll need a little more patience, but there are a few things you might need to be wary of before deciding to set foot on the local high street or in the nearest out-of-town retail park. We’ve put together five tips to help make shopping with your children easier.

1) Reward them for good behaviour

As you might already do at home, you could try and tempt your kids into behaving by offering them a treat. It could be an ice cream, some sweets, a nice meal at a restaurant or even a small toy, but try not to overdo it. Keep the treats small and cheap, as it won’t spoil them too much. When discussing treats with the kids, you should be firm but fair.

2) Do your research online first

This can help to save a lot of time when you do eventually go to the shops. Picking out exactly what you want can make a potentially long and arduous task quick and painless. The whole process of buying can get quicker still if you decide to reserve something online before parting with your cash at the checkout, whether it’s a new coffee table or a tablet PC.

3) Avoid crowded shops if you can help it

Some kids can be at their most irritable in crowded places, with shops being no exception. A survey conducted by Furniture Market found that just over one in 10 people believed overcrowded stores to be the worst part of shopping for furniture. Going somewhere that doesn’t have a queue starting outside the exit would be ideal, but this can be hard during the sales.

4) Try to identify proper bargains

However tricky it may be shopping with your kids, don’t let it push you into grabbing the first thing you see, or thoughtlessly responding to a big ‘Sale’ sign! The same survey discovered that 52% of people wouldn’t shop around if they saw something with a discount, even if they could find the same item of furniture elsewhere for less.

So try to make sure you spend the time to get what you really set out for. Finding a bargain can help because it will leave over more money for your kids (if they remain patient!). It can also help them to become more used to shopping with you, especially at a young age. Try not to take too long though – again, online browsing could help cut your time in the shops down significantly.

5) Try to make shopping fun

Even if you’re visiting a shop that sells items that your kids find boring, there are ways you can liven up trips to these stores. Find something that looks funny or tell them a story about previous shopping trips. Or secretly bring some toys from home and produce them when you can see their interest start to flag.

Alternatively, if they’re still bored, you could offer to visit a shop they might like to look in afterwards to lighten their mood.

Look forward to a more peaceful shopping experience

Given a choice, most parents would probably prefer to go shopping on their own. But whether you’re picking up supplies for your freelance work or business, or shopping for your family or home, with our tips in place you can hopefully look forward to a more peaceful shopping experience in future.