1.) BEING WELL FED
Ensure everyone is well fed BEFORE you go. Hunger seems to strike more suddenly during shopping trips, especially in young children. Plan to have snacks & drinks while there but bring some with you as well.....don't just rely on buying snacks once there. There may be long line ups, forgotten wallet or it's just too far away.
2.) ALLOWING TIME
Avoid staying too long. Parents can feel tempted to stretch it out or convince themselves of 'just one more store....' however this is a pitfall many can fall into. Kids have short attention spans and when mixed with a very stimulating environment, this can be a recipe for disaster!
3.) ADEQUATE REST
Steer clear of fatigue by planning shopping trips away from nap or bedtime. Kids may 'seem' ok prior to the trip but remember it takes a lot of energy for young ones to achieve this great task which may bring on fatigue earlier than expected.
4.) KEEP FOCUSSED
Guard against distractions! Put the phone away and try not to go with any 'friends' that will pull your attention from your child. Kids usually don't like sharing their Parents attention and can really show it when you are in conversation with someone. Keep conversations with people you may run into short & sweet as well.
5.) DISCUSS EVERYTHING
Give kids the heads up as to what is about to take place. Discuss the who, what, where, when & why of the planned trip and what you are expecting from them.
These shopper-helper tips can definitely create a more positive experience but the biggest thing of all to remember is, you may have to just get up a leave if things aren't going well in terms of child's behaviour. A proactive approach is usually much more effective than a reactive one so plan ahead!