With Christmas only weeks away, parents may be dreading the thought of having to shop with kids in tow, but Triple P International is putting the ‘merry’ back into Christmas shopping and giving parents helpful hints on hassle-free shopping this holiday season and beyond.
Triple P International Country Director and co-author of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program®, Carol Markie-Dadds, said that shopping with children can be stressful at the best of times, but with a little planning, Christmas shopping can be a great opportunity to inject some holiday cheer and provide some teachable moments about good shopping habits and being patient.
“Many of us have either experienced or witnessed a shopping trip with kids that hasn’t gone to plan and the tears that followed (and that’s just the parents),” Ms Markie-Dadds said. “But believe it or not, there are a few simple things we can do to make shopping fun for everyone.” she said.
“Preparing children for what they can expect on the shopping trip and involving them in the experience, such as helping to make a shopping list and choosing and buying the items, gives them a sense of connection and responsibility – your own team of Christmas elves!
“Triple P pograms have tried and tested strategies on stress-free shopping with kids, and we'd also like to share with everyone our top five tips for parents to try these holidays,” Ms Markie-Dadds said.
Top 5 tips for hassle-free Christmas shopping
- Plan ahead! Choose the least hectic time of day that suits your child’s routine. We all cope better when we’re calm and not tired or hungry.
- Talk before you go. Explain what you’re shopping for and involve you child in the plan around where you’re going and what you’re planning to buy. Let them know what you expect of them. Give them one or two jobs to do like choose the Christmas napkins, bonbons, or other items on your list.
- Keep it short. Several brief trips are often better than one marathon shopping adventure. If your trip goes longer than planned, stop for a snack or drink. Break up the trip by doing something your child enjoys, like the free Christmas entertainment many shopping centres offer.
- Tune in and have fun. Be present with your child on the trip – talk, laugh and have a jolly good time together. Let your child know when they are doing something you like. Give them a smile, a hug or another sign of affection to let them know they are loved, and their behaviour is appreciated.
- Encourage kindness and goodwill to others. If your children are buying gifts for others, talk to them about what they want to buy and the best stores to visit before you set out – praise them for thinking of others and showing some Christmas spirit.
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