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How to Shop with Your Toddler and Survive

By Sandy Schroeder

Shopping with a toddler is one of my most vivid/funny/disastrous memories of being a young mom. My treasured toddler looked like an angel with his curly blonde hair and big brown eyes, but he often yelled like a demon. I could see it coming. First, his face clouded over, then the tears began to flow, and finally the screams erupted.

Often I soldiered on ahead and pretended not to see others staring. If I was lucky a favorite toy or crackers would distract him and we could go on shopping. Other times, I grabbed a few things and scooted through the “15 items or less” line, postponing the bulk of the shopping.

If you shop with your toddler you know what can happen when lines are long and your child becomes unhappy.  Here are some simple ways to keep your toddler calm from

Hum, sing and whisper - The pressure of a crowd of strangers with so much noise and action may simply be too much for your toddler, but if you reach down to hum or whisper in his ear, the connection with you may make everything OK. I used to take his favorite stuffed monkey along, too, and we would both hug Freddy.

Make everything comfortable - Not too hot, or too cold works best with jackets to slip on or off. A bottle of water for little sips and crackers help. If you are out for awhile, plan for a toilet or change, too.

Keep him involved - Give him something unbreakable to hold, point out things he likes, and let him make choices when you can.

Stay calm - As your toddler becomes restless you may tense up, too, and he will pick up on your stress. Take a deep breath and remind yourself sometime way off in the future it will all be different.

Tell him how well he is doing - Notice how helpful, patient or quiet he is being and say so with a little hug. Instead of just reacting after the screams start, be proactive, cultivating the positive.

Use alternatives when they are needed - If you and your toddler have been the main attraction at your local market one too many times, you may want to arrange for a spouse or relative to care for him so he will be happy while you treat yourself to a stress-free shopping excursion.

Much later, when your child becomes a teen or a college freshman, you may look back and see the toddler antics much differently. Enjoy every minute. Time flies when you are not looking.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in McKinney, Tex,

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