Newsletter Subscription

Regular Updates on Parenting, Happy Children & Emotional Intelligence

  • Latest Articles - Raising Children with Emotional Intelligence
  • New Parenting Blogs
  • Parenting Tips for Happy Children
  • Free Online Seminars
  • Popular Parenting Books & Reviews

Subscribe!

Regular Updates on Parenting, Happy Children & Emotional Intelligence

  • Latest Articles - Raising Children with Emotional Intelligence
  • New Parenting Blogs
  • Parenting Tips for Happy Children
  • Free Online Seminars
  • Popular Parenting Books & Reviews

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Unsubscribe

Blog Archives

View full Archive

Proudly Supporting

Proudly Supporting

Shopping with Toddler - via the Path of Least Resistance

By Sarah Liebetrau - 30th August 2011

The other day I took my daughter to a shopping centre, and made a conscious decision to take the path of least resistance. I was interested to find out whether this made it a less stressful experience than trying to get ‘in and out’ in the shortest timeframe, saying ‘no’ to most of her requests in order to tick errands off the list.

I made sure we had plenty of time so that I wasn’t rushing her. First stop was the rest rooms. Usually it would be "do your business, then let’s go" but there was a play area in the family rest room that had some toys and a television. Ms 3 saw that Peppa Pig was on and asked to go in and watch it. I said yes and she sat there happily through three 5-minute episodes while I sat down and waited. At the end of the third episode I told her it was time to go and she acquiesced easily.

Next, Ms 3 was hungry, so we stopped in the food court and had some lunch; then she went for a play in the kids' play area. My patience was being tested as I still wanted to get her a new pair of sneakers and get to the supermarket but I told her to come out when she was ready to go. To my surprise she came out 10 or 15 minutes later saying she had had enough as there were “too much kids in there”.

So off we went to try on some shoes. Instead of picking the pair I wanted her to have I let her browse the racks and choose the ones she wanted. Of course she chose some deeply inappropriate pink sparkly plastic shoes that were terrible for her feet, but I let her try them on in her size and walk around the shop. I asked her to try on the sensible shoes I wanted her to have but she didn’t want to, so rather than insist, I bought them in her size, for her to try on at home later. I could return them if they didn’t fit, and she was happy to put the pink sparkly shoes back and put them on her ‘Christmas list’.

Next we went to the supermarket where she scored herself a tiny trolley and happily helped me find the things we needed. Luckily we didn’t need a lot but I let her go at her own pace and directed her towards the aisles we needed to go down rather than striding ahead and calling back to her to “come this way”. She helped me put everything onto the conveyor belt.

Last stop before heading back to the car was the pet shop, where once again I let her stay until she’d had enough. It was slightly longer than I would have liked but not as long as I'd expected given how much she loves to see the animals.

I suppose I haven’t tried this approach before because I’ve always thought I’d be waiting forever if I left it up to the kids to decide when they were ready to go. And I’m often thinking about the next thing on the list that has to be done, and trying to pre-empt any future tiredness by avoiding staying too long in one place. But what I found by doing it this way, was that it was an overall more pleasant experience. It took longer, but without any of the resistance that I sometimes experience in moving from one activity or place to the next. And I didn’t use my hurry-up voice at all. I’m not saying I’ll be patient enough to take this approach every time, and it’s not always practical, but it was nice to take the path of least resistance and I’m going to try it again in future.

Do you ever take the path of least resistance with your kids? Is it useful?

image: freedigitalphotos.net digitalart

Member Login

Subscribe to our Blog