Welcome to "Stop That!"
Here at C&R, we are all about setting ourselves, our kids, and our homes up for success. One of the most important ways we can do this is by understanding our limits. All of us have them, but they are especially important with kids who are truly not able to perform beyond their developmental stage. We get into trouble when we expect our kids to behave in a manner beyond their developmental ability. Case and Point: The Grocery Store. It is a world of colors, shapes, smells, new faces, and lots of things small ones feel compelled to touch and explore, yet we bring them into this stimulating environment and then expect them to sit still and remain quiet and subdued for an hour or more.
STOP taking your little kids grocery shopping. It is not likely that you will emerge from said grocery store, with every item on your list, a sense of calm and accomplishment, and a single file line of content children. It is far more likely you will emerge with; some of the items on your list, several things that were not but a kid got excited about and starting yelling and/or begging for, half of which are opened containers because you kept shoving snacks into their mouths in the hopes of keeping them occupied, a mild headache from issuing multiple threats that you may or may not remember when you get home, someone crying, and a deep conviction to call and make your spouse an appointment for a vasectomy consult. Or was that just me?
If you are wondering if there is a better way, I have good news. There is, and it's easy, requires minimal planning, and everyone gets a good chance at success. Leave them at home.
A time will come when your kids are old enough to actually help with the shopping, you can make them mini lists and send them off on little treasure hunts, but until that day comes, give your kids a gift, and give yourself a gift. Not everything has to be hard.