Christ­mas shop­ping

Central and North Burnett Times - - SPORT -

SHOP­PING with chil­dren can be a dif­fi­cult ex­pe­ri­ence at the best of times, with par­ents of­ten hav­ing to be de­lib­er­ate about avoid­ing the shops when their child is over­tired and emo­tional.

At Christ­mas time this can be a par­tic­u­lar prob­lem, as big­ger crowds and Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions can over­stim­u­late your child. This can lead to chil­dren be­ing pushy about toy or junk food pur­chases, as well as tantrums. BE PRE­PARED Plan the time you go to the shops, en­sure your child eats be­fore they go out and that they’re not over­tired.

Also, be­fore you head off, take the time to ex­plain why you are shop­ping and what be­hav­iour you ex­pect from them.

Tell them lines might be long and en­sure they know you are buy­ing presents for Christ­mas, rather than some­thing they can have straight away. It’s also a good idea to not make the trip too long, even if it means a re­turn trip. DON’T BE EM­BAR­RASSED If your child does have a tantrum in the shops, or mis­be­haves by push­ing you to buy toys, try not to be em­bar­rassed.

Re­mem­ber, your fel­low shop­pers are other par­ents or have been par­ents of young chil­dren. There’s noth­ing un­usual about a child mis­be­hav­ing.

If you re­spond emo­tion­ally due to em­bar­rass­ment, then you may make bad de­ci­sions that only worsen the sit­u­a­tion. WHAT CAN YOU DO? It’s a great idea to split up shop­ping by tak­ing a break and en­joy­ing some fun ac­tiv­i­ties with your child.

Most ma­jor shop­ping cen­tres have par­ent rooms, while shops in the mid­dle of town are of­ten near parks. Take ad­van­tage of them!

Dur­ing Christ­mas, many shops also put on free kids’ ac­tiv­i­ties, which can be a use­ful way to break the day up and make shop­ping eas­ier.

Dis­trac­tions are also a good idea. Maybe give your child a “trea­sure” list of things to find or spy at the shops. You could bring a colour­ing-in book for them to use while you en­joy a cof­fee break!

Re­mem­ber to praise your child when they do be­have well, don’t give them any pay off for bad be­hav­iour and, most im­por­tantly, stay calm when you re­spond to a tantrum.

If you need more ad­vice, contact the WBHHS child health team on Gayn­dah – 4161 3571, Mun­dub­bera – 4165 5222, Monto – 4166 9300, Biggen­den – 4127 6400, Eidsvold – 4165 7100.

Ref­er­ence: http://rais­ingchil­dren.net.au/

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