LOVE & LOGIC TIPS
hat can little kids learn when they are shopping with their parents in the grocery store? A huge amount!
They can learn about how to search for specific items and about what’s the best value. They can learn about quantity. They can learn about quality. They can learn about how much you love hanging out with them in the store and how helpful they are to you. They can also learn about boredom. They can learn about not getting what they want. They can learn delayed gratification and self-control.
They can learn a lot. That is as long as they aren’t watching a video on a phone or a tablet. Many parents of young children allow that. It’s understandable - it makes it easier in the short term. Nevertheless, Love and Logic is really big on what happens later in the kid’s life and about what happens later on with your relationship with the child. We are really big on paying now, rather than paying much bigger later on.
So… the next time you’re in the store, would it be healthier for the child to be helping you shop? How can you make that happen?
- Before you go, the child can help you draw pictures of the items you need to find. Another idea is to print images of those items off the web. Now the child has something to hold in their hand as they help you on your mission.
- When they find something you need, they can feel great about themselves. If they spot something that’s not quite right, you can say, “Oh, that’s really close! That’s almost what we want. Let’s look over here. Oh, look at that. It looks just like our picture. Look, it says ‘Beans.’ The word beans begins with the letter ‘B.’”
- You can ask questions: “Are we going to get the small one for this price or the bigger one? I think we should get the bigger one. It’s a better value. That means the price is just a little bigger, but the quantity is a lot bigger. ‘Quantity’ is just a fancy word for how much you get.”
These things make shopping so much more fun - and think about the lessons learned with respect to vocabulary, math, and other essential skills.
Of course, they are not always going to be happy about this approach, particularly if they are accustomed to watching videos or playing games while you are shopping. This is okay because it is most important to give our children small opportunities to become unhappy or bored.
Do these feelings still come our way as adults? The healthiest people are those who learned early in life that these feelings are temporary… and that they can cope and get through them.
Dr. Charles Fay