Shopping with disagreeable children in a store can be unpleasant or just downright distressing. For those of us who seem to have endless appointments and chores to attend to, piling on top of an already hectic work day, going on one of those shopping trips almost makes visiting a dentist much more inviting.
(Apologies, if you’re a dentist! With utmost respect, I do feel bad for your having to stare into yucky mouths all day, invoking pain that originated long before your drill bears down on those rotten teeth! But I digress…)
Double, double toil and trouble…
Least of the troubles caused by uncooperative children is the often inopportune noise level. In worse case scenario, unruly children can be a danger to themselves or other people — most commonly observed phenomenon being that of children running wildly through the store with other shoppers swerving their heavily laden carts frantically to avoid hitting them.
Sometimes, when faced with the prospect of having rowdy children in tow while shopping, some parents decided to leave their children behind in order to “shop in peace”, or to run a quick errand.
This mentality is reflected in some of the incidents reported in the news: stressed-out mothers leaving their young children in cars while running into the supermarket to make a quick purchase. Sometimes they went alone while other times, they left with their older children.
Most of these mothers invariably cited how content their children looked, napping or playing by themselves; that to break that peaceful moment seemed almost cruel and inhumane. The easy peace that greets the eye now is definitely much more appealing than the certain horror waiting to unfold once inside the store, bank, or dry-cleaner– just insert your place of torment.
Take the time to train
Had the children been properly trained to entertain themselves and learn to be content while dealing with the daily drudgery of grocery-shopping and errand-running, their mothers might not have to make that grim and not-so-wise, and at times deadly choice of leaving their children behind to be exposed to all kinds of dangers. Sometimes, these dangers are real: hot cars, abductions by strangers. Sometimes, the dangers come from your community: busy-bodies or otherwise well-meaning individuals.
Premeditated intent to murder or reckless endangerment of children do exist in some cases but they are not common. Regardless of how we respond to the question of “when is it OK to leave your children in the car to run an errand” and without getting into a full debate on free-range versus helicopter parenting, there should be no controversy in tackling the issue at its core: how to run errands with children without losing our mind!
Wouldn’t it simply be wonderful to complete your tasks without undue harassment from own children or scrutiny from society?
For parents who take the time to train their children, they will find, not only errand-running but most things falling into easy rhythm, without much ado or drama. Training a child to handle herself properly while performing the many tasks that make up our daily life is not a single-event, one-skill kind of deal. It is about preparing your child to recognize herself as a member of a household — precious and priceless in many ways, yes but also duty-bound to attend to the many details that ensure the smooth operation of the same household.
How? Check out part two now to find out how to run errands with children without breaking a sweat!