Back to School Shopping Tips For Parents
Back-to-School season can bring parents either dread or excitement. It really depends on whether they prepared for it or not. One of the top items on their to-do list is usually back-to-school shopping. Who would want to wrestle through crowded bookstores and department stores with all the kids in tow? While it’s something quite inevitable, parents can better prepare for back-to-school shopping and lower their stress levels if they consider some of the tips below.
Discuss with the Kids and Get Them to Cooperate
Those who are directly affected by back-to-school shopping are usually the kids themselves. It’s best for busy parents to set aside time to sit down with their kids and find out what they want to shop for. If parents want cooperative kids at the store, then it’s best for them to get their kids’ buy-in early on.
• What are their non-negotiables? Can they let Mommy decide on choice of notebooks and school supplies but make sure to pick their own school bags and lunch boxes only? Do they need to be around when Mommy buys the paper and office supplies?
• What are the kids’ current sizes from clothes to shoes? It’s best for mom to have an inventory of where the kids are in terms of size so that she can bring a size chart with her and make her life easier when dealing with store clerks. While mom can actually shop with just the size chart, nothing beats having a child try on the clothes or shoes needed for school.
• Is there something that they are looking forward to? If mom finds out that her son is dying to have a Ben10 pencil case, she can save this incentive for last as a reward for good behavior while on the shopping trip. Of course, parents are discouraged from giving monetary rewards for simple tasks or good behavior. It’s a good venue for them to understand their child’s preferences and personality so that they can gear their motivation towards the things that excite their child.
Bargain Hunter or Convenience Shopper
A parent has to make the firm decision of whether she is a bargain hunter or a convenience shopper. This can color what she will do with her productive time. If a mom is ready to go canvassing in various shops, she can opt to have one day devoted to checking out prices even without the kids so that she’s ready to get the best prices without having the kids whining while she’s at it.
However, if a parent is willing to sacrifice price for convenience, then she can just set a budget ceiling and immediately take the kids to a less crowded store and do away with price canvassing. If a parent prioritizes what she values early on, she will be better prepared to go on her shopping trip.
Have a List Ready
Lastly, a parent will greatly benefit from organizing her back-to-school shopping trip with a list by child (specifying gender, age and requirements). This way, her shopping trip is done with efficiency and without too much meandering. With a checklist on hand, a mom will be less tempted to browse and to just focus on the task at hand.