Shopping protocol

Last updated 05:00 19/01/2014
Supermarket shopping with children can be a challenge for any parent

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Supermarkets can be a minefield for parents who have children in tow. Danielle Heyns reports. 

Ah, kids and supermarkets. It's a combination we all love. Nothing like trying to navigate a trolley while little things come running at you from every angle.

Parents, we're not picking on you - we know no-one in her right mind, attachment parents aside, would choose to go shopping with the little tykes. But please don't put a 6-year-old in charge of a trolley: it spells disaster.

And we know they've got bucketloads of energy, but don't let them run around or pull things off shelves. Let them save that playfulness for when they get home.

They should also know it's inappropriate to touch bakery and other unwrapped items or to fog up freezer doors with their breath. A lesson about germs might be in order.

But save your lessons for when you get home. If the store isn't busy, you might use the chance to teach them about nutrition in the fruit and vegetable aisle, but if it is, you're holding everyone up.

If your supermarket doesn't have many twin trolleys, don't take one if you have just one child - someone else will need it. If your child spills anything on the trolley seat, please clean it up. Tantrums happen. Don't give in to that My Little Pony DVD.

Other shoppers: If you see a mother trying not to cave to the pressure of buying a My Little Pony DVD, don't cast daggers at her. Try a sympathetic smile instead.

This is not the time for parenting advice, either. Children and babies are unpredictable. They might pull a jar from a shelf or projectile vomit without any hint that this was going to happen. Don't add insult to injury by being rude to the parents.

Let someone go ahead of you in the queue if she or he has a little one busting to go to the loo.

Supermarket owners: We know this will fall on deaf ears, but why put candy at the checkout counter exactly at little-person height?

Don't answer that.

We know why. You secretly love a good meltdown.

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- The Marlborough Express


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