This is more of a "what not to do" with your toddler when out shopping, and the reasons behind it.
Recently I read some bad parenting advice about how to deal with toddlers when out shopping. The advice given was to enter the store, grab something off the shelf, like a book, give it to the child to keep them quiet. The person added “You don’t even have to buy it, just put it back.”. I was appalled at this terrible advice.
This is akin to you walking into a clothing store, picking something off the rack putting it on, and wearing it while you continue shopping, then putting it back. It is almost as bad as going into a grocery store and letting your kid eat some grapes and then walking out without paying for them.
How can we expect our children to respect another person’s property when we do not teach them to respect store merchandise? If we have no intention of buying it we should certainly not be handing it to our toddler, no matter how sweet we think they are.
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Merchandise is often damaged by kids and returned to the shelves, costing the store money. Some kids suck on stuffed animals which are then returned to the shelf before being sold. Think about it.
Stores are not playgrounds for your kids, they are places of business, and if your child cannot behave him, or her, self in a store, perhaps they should be left at home.
What should happen is that parents should have specific items in their car, or diaper bag, specifically for giving to their child when on a shopping trip. If the parent feels they must give the child a book, or toy, from the store at any time, they need to be responsible for what happens to that item, if it is damaged in anyway it needs to be paid for (not hidden on some shelf). Keep in mind that while a child is playing an item the parent has no intention of buying, it prevents other customers from seeing that item.
As an added note, if you want to see some good examples of bad parenting go work in a retail store for a few weeks. You can learn a lot. Of course none of us is perfect parents, but when I read the advice that encouraged people to be bad parents, I just had to say something!
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Published in: Family