If you were able to catch my last post about my shopping debacle with the girls, I must give a follow up post. I finally came to the conclusion that I was really the one at fault in that situation. :)
Let me explain...
I am blessed to be in community with many women of different ages and places in life that have children and can offer wise suggestions and advice. I also try to take every opportunity to go to events for other moms to socialize, learn, and ask questions. So recently at a mom's coffee event at church, I asked a friend who has a little girl close in age to my oldest daughter Malachi what she does at the grocery store. She was so kind to share her tips with me. She told me that she and her husband have been talking to and training their daughter on how to behave in a grocery store since she was about six months old and she has it down and knows what is expected of her. Wow-before their daughter even understood what was being said she was being taught the correct behavior. Light bulb moment for me!! I was actually quite embarrassed when I think about how much this makes sense and how far I was from the mark in this situation. I've worked w/ kids for many many years and I've ALWAYS told parents to set clear expectations, follow up with praises and /or consequences, and just be consistent. Funny how this tidbit completely evaded my memory when it came to own my grocery store issues.
For the longest Malachi was super easy to handle at the grocery store. She was the only child for close to a couple of years and she would sit in the basket and as long as she had a snack or toy she was set. Before she could really talk and ask for things, I had no problem with her begging wanting chips and candy that she saw. She also wasn't as familiar with those types of snacks so she had no reason to want those items anyhow. So it wasn't until recently when I would try to bring both girls, that along with her new level of independence and vocabulary, all the begging and whining began. I never really had a clear grocery store expectation set for her because for so long it just wasn't a problem for me. Then when it became a problem I was so worn down by the whining that my goal was just to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible without losing my temper and/or sanity. I'm also not sure why but I honestly thought it was just a stage that she would grow out of...haha!!
After my conversation with my friend, the very next grocery trip I set clear expectations for Malachi. I had her repeat them back to me as well as the consequences for misbehaving, and icing on the cake I also said a little prayer out loud for her behavior so Malachi can hear what I was saying (I promise this praying method has worked wonders for me when it came to her sharing at school). Instantly it was like I was shopping with a different kid. I didn't even have to resort to what I'm sure at some point many moms have done, you know the threats, bribing, and sometimes giving in just to have some peace and quiet. I am happy to report that so far I have taken both girls back to the store a few times since my crazy trip a couple of weeks ago and all is well. There have been absolutely zero tears, begging and whining and we all leave the store in good spirits. Thank God!