The past few weeks I have been writing about my routines for shopping with my children. These are the things which work best for us and are only suggestions. You will have to find what works best for your family and do it! Today I want to cover what to do at the check out counter, the trip back out to the car, and what to do when you get home.
- Once you are at the check-out counter, my oldest daughter keeps an eye on the youngest ones. They usually stay close, but every now and then, they do want to test boundaries. My older boys help put the groceries onto the counter as well as bag and'/or put bags back into the buggy.
- While we are at the check-out counter, the children know I want to watch the groceries go through the scanner so I can check for errors and fix immediately. They also know I want to watch the coupons go through too. They usually do not talk or make too much noise since they know I need to concentrate. I have also taught them to help me look for mistakes. They catch some of them which I do not catch too!
- Everyone tells the cashier bye and to Have a nice Day! We used to have tracts we handed out. My oldest son would hand them out and tell the cashier Jesus loves them. He did this spontaneously one day around age 18 months. He took the tract out of my bag, and handed it to the cashier and said, “I love you and Jesus loves you!” It touched her heart and she started crying and said she needed the reminder that day! In our new location, I am still not sure what is acceptable or not, plus we do not attend a church, so we do not hand out tracts and have not handed them out in several years! From all going on in my hometown, I am not sure we will be “allowed” to hand them out there anymore either! So sad! Anyway, I try to teach the children courteousness and politeness and respect not only for me but for each other, the cashier, and everyone they meet.
- On our way out the door, we readjust. Everyone grabs a hand and stays close to the buggy where I can see them. Sometimes we go out with two buggies, one with babies and one with groceries. Timmy, my oldest, will follow close behind me with one of the buggies.
- Once to the van, Michaela (oldest daughter) and Chandler (third born), help get babies in the van and buckled in first. Then, Timmy and I unload the buggies. Sometimes Wyatt, my three year old insists he must help me take the buggies back, and I do let him help! He does want to push them by himself and all the way back to the store! I make sure I lock the van door give instructions to make sure everyone else gets buckled in, and we take the buggy back. It is very important to him to help too because the other boys are always helping! When he first began to want to help, I did not understand, but when I finally did, he was so very happy!
- When we get home, everyone helps his/her partner out and everyone who can walk and is awake helps carry something in. Amelia is a little over a year and a half, but she insists on carrying things in! Chandler is my organizer and he loves putting the groceries away in the pantry. He does an awesome job, and I have given it to him! He loves it! Michaela helps get the babies something to drink or go potty and the rest of us bring in the groceries. Michaela, Calla (fifth born, 2nd born girl), usually help me load the fridge and freezer. Timmy and Blythe (fourth born, third born boy) make sure everything gets out of the van from groceries, to shoes, and whatever else do not need to be in there. If it happens to be raining, we take in what is necessary (refrigerator items) and leave the rest until later!
- When we get home, everyone usually needs a snack, so I try to get some fruit or something out and make sure everyone drinks some water or goat milk.
I think I have shared our routine from beginning to end. Let me know if you have any questions. I have had several questions from readers about shopping with children, and I plan to address those in part 5 next week! Again, I do not have all the answers, I am just sharing what works for our family. You must do what works for your family as I am sure it is different from mine! Thanks for reading!