Retail Therapy is the opportunity to rejuvenate, restore and relax as you somewhat aimlessly wander around the shops. A time-out, self-indulgent exercise which is about personal re-grouping.

This picture is shattered by the screams of someone else’s child cavorting down the aisles – out of control, noisy and intrusive.

Consider this: badly behaved children in public places are the responsibility of their parents and reflect on them and their parenting.

Why should innocent shoppers have their shopping negatively impacted by you and your child? Those who ask you to control or silence your child are perfectly within their rights!

Shopping can be a trying experience for children, so consider these strategies ….

  • Set clear boundaries for “shopping behaviour”, with attainable consequences. For example, tell small children to sit in the trolley or hold on to it as you go around the shops. Tell them that you are not buying them a treat, no matter what! Decide what you will do if they play up – the most effective is to abandon the entire expedition with much huffing and “cross” body language.
  • Engage your child in the shopping process. Give her small tasks to do, e.g. collecting certain items, etc.
  • On a shopping marathon, have TLC breaks regularly. Stop for a few minutes and interact with your child, e.g. play eye-spy at a shop window.
  • When you have tea, don’t expect your child to sit angelically while you recover but nor should he be allowed to run around disturbing others. Have an activity case that you take EVERYWHERE! Fill it with paper and koki’s, small toys, play dough, puzzles, books, and iPod/walkman and tapes, etc., and then your child will play quietly at your feet. It is unfair and unkind to expect her to “be good” for an extended period while you chat.

Happy shopping!