An Easy and Effective Response When Kids Want Everything at the Store

An Easy and Effective Response When Kids Want Everything at the Store

It feels like an inevitable situation... you walk into a store with your kids, and they immediately see something they have to have. For my four kids, a hardware store or grocery store is just as enticing as a toy store. It can make shopping exhausting when you're saying "no" at every turn down the aisle. Or you're giving in and buying something that will lose its luster before you even make it home.

Over the years, I learned one trick that makes these shopping trips so much more enjoyable...

 Clara, on her actual birthday.

Clara, on her actual birthday.

When my kids ask for something, I acknowledge how awesome/cool/interesting that thing is and then ask them, "would you like to put it on your wish list?" If it's close to Christmas or a birthday, I can get specific by saying they add it to those Christmas/birthday wish lists. The usually nod or agree and then we move on. It works nearly every time, with both my three year olds and seven year old. 

It has also given us a few laughs, as Rosie and Clara add things like water fountains and piles of rock to their lists. They just had their third birthdays, but they are still enthusiastic about adding to next year's birthday wish lists with the random, urgent and silly things they have found and wanted.

 Rosie on her third birthday, when wish lists come true! 

Rosie on her third birthday, when wish lists come true! 

For older kids, you can keep a running wish list on paper or in a note on your phone, if it's helpful. For us, it's the simple verbal acknowledgement of their want that helps us move through the store. Almost always, the thing they wanted never comes up again, so the physical list may not be necessary. It would be fun, though, to have a running list of all of the hilarious things we've "added" over the years.

How do you handle the toy or grocery store gimmes? 

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