Sometimes going to the mall with your kids can seem like one of motherhood’s greatest hurdles. Whether you need to buy a coat to survive winter or your toddler has grown another size overnight, sometimes the stakes are high, and you need to make a quick and painless trip to the mall.
Unfortunately, if you have to bring the kiddos with you, these trips can be long and painful. Kids are adorable and sweet beyond words, but there’s something about putting them in a mall atmosphere that makes them that much louder, want that many more unnecessary things, and have to go to the bathroom with that much more urgency.
We’re here to tell you that going to the mall doesn’t have to be so tumultuous. Here’s how you can survive going to the mall with your little humans:
Make Bathroom Checkpoints
It doesn’t matter if your child doesn’t have to go to the bathroom; the first stop when you hit the mall should always be the restroom. Get that out of the way, and then you can start your shopping journey.
Strategize to go to the bathroom halfway through the shopping trip — probably after a food break —and hit it up again before you head home to prevent any last-minute stops.
Making sure you stop at the bathroom ensures that you don’t have to make a spontaneous last-minute break that makes the entire shopping process that much longer. This also prevents you from having to constantly ask your child if they have to go, because you will know they already went when you got there!
Set a Budget
It’s an unspoken rule that when you bring your child shopping with you, they will want to get something. To avoid overspending, give them a budget — give them how many dollars they have to spend. Keep in mind this budget can be five dollars for an ice cream cone or headband, there’s no need for more.
Let the Gift be for Good Behaviour
If you really want to instill good behaviour, provide some incentive. Don’t go to the mall with a promise for a gift; let them know that they need to earn it and then you will talk! You can allow them to browse and decide what it is they are working towards. If they act out, you can let your child know that they will have a chance again next time you go to the mall.
Set a Meeting Place
Sometimes the worst-case scenario happens – so you should always have a plan. It’s imperative to talk to your children about strangers, and the possibility of getting lost. Make sure that together you devise a plan in case you get split up for any reason.
Make it clear who they can go to – for example, the cashier at the closest store – so that they can get in contact with you and let you know as soon as possible that they are safe, and where you can find them.