Is it another weekend and you are still wondering whether you should make that dreaded trip to the mall or just finish it off online? I am one of the many parents who will take the easy road and buy as much as they can online. Why is there so much apprehension about going to the mall or any other public place? Toddler behavior in public and good behavior is something only fairy tales are made of – but not anymore.
Here is the deal. There was once a time when I used to enjoy the mall life. Visiting the mall alone, in solitude. Gazing at the window displays endlessly, without a little person tugging at me or better still – lying flat on the floor. Yes, this little person does not believe in sitting still and yet we love this little person to bits.
Visiting a mall now seems scary. Yes, scary. On my recent visit to a mall, I was surrounded by parents with kids hanging off them and creating chaos. Not that my daughter was well-behaved, but all the action at the mall is way too overwhelming for them. The toy train that runs throughout the mall, the shiny lights, the escalators, and if there are any events, that too. This is way too much activity choices for them.
I mostly end up buying nothing and a pair of angry parents at the end of this trip. That is the reason I have started shopping online. But, does that mean an occasional trip too should be sacrificed? No. Absolutely not. I refuse to not succumb to this retail therapy once a month to the least. So, how do you manage it and keep your sanity?
Here are some tips that I have tried with my 18-month-old and they tend to work most of the times:
- Let them be free: Not completely. What I have recently started doing is take her to the mall and limit her to an area and let her roam endlessly. She plays, sits on the floor, touches whatever is present in that vicinity, and finally comes to me tired for some food or water. And we all know what happens when we have a tired toddler, yes!! Sleep time.
- Carry her favorite snack: I always carry her favorite pack of snacks. I know all of you are judging me, but I need me time as I said in the earlier post. Okay-this does not qualify totally as me time, but partial me time is good enough too.
- Take turns to shop: Works all the time. I and my husband take turns to shop while the other one keeps her engaged in games, food or other activity. Yes, your husband has to select his own clothes and you don’t get to pass comment on it. Sad – but true.
- Tag a friend along Such a nice way to get your family involved. DO you have a grandparent or friends dying to spend some time with the toddler? Let them help and enjoy your time at the mall.
- Shopping trolley game: My daughter loves to sit in the trolley. Not in the designated spot, but the actual space where we keep stuff. I don’t care as long as she lets me enjoy that dress in the window display.
These are testing times, but soon your child will be 5-6 years old and actually helping you out with the latest fashion trends. Behaving in public will no longer be an issue for you, but for them (Yes there are times we embarrass them!). Frequent trips to the mall are something I avoid because they totally drain me out more than my daughter.
How do you handle your toddler’s behavior in public? What tips have always worked for you?