We told a parent friend once about a time 2 out of 3 of our kids were screaming at the grocery store for various reasons, which meant we had to throw what we could in the cart and leave with only half our list. We thought we’d be met with sympathy or commiseration, since what parent hasn’t been there? But instead she said, “That’s why I don’t bring my kids to the store.”
That blew our minds! The idea of a peaceful journey to buy groceries without having to rip open a box of baby biscuits in desperation or promise whatever kind of chocolate frosted sugar bomb type cereal they want just to have 2 more minutes of price comparisons on toilet paper (for real, though, it’s basically impossible to effectively compare prices on toilet paper) sounds like bliss. For us, however, it isn’t the right solution.
We’ve found that by taking our kids with us to the store, to restaurants, and on any errand we may have, we teach them how to deal in public. The kids are able to cope with situations that might bore them because they’ve got some experience under their belts. They find ways to enjoy errands and are more aware of some of the drudgery of adult life. Our son says when he grows up he wants to mow the lawn and pay for groceries. They’re very realistic dreams!
These are little kids and they’re still learning. There will be miserable, horrible, temper-tantrum-in-public days. But that’s what wine is for, and the liquor store has lollipops.