4 Benefits of Shopping & Social Skills for Your Child
Keeping kids safe is one of our core values, but we also know how important (and fun!) it is to help kids play & develop well along their journey.
When I was at the peak of my anxiety after Jonah's falls from the shopping cart, I really dreaded shopping with him out of fear that that might happen again.
Part of me considered just trying to shop by myself as the norm, but I hated thinking about how he would be missing valuable social skills time as we passed other shoppers (and their kids) and employees.
Now that I use the Buggie Huggie™ shopping cart tray, my fears are all but silent, and I’m free to focus on enjoying interacting with my child and watching him enjoy the people & the world around him in the store!
Yes, there will always be times when shopping with kids can be a real challenge, but here are 4 benefits for you to remember how the challenge pays off as your kids develop socially!
1. Your child gets to experience the exciting world around them through the grocery store sights, sounds, smells, textures, and even tastes.
Even though different children have different tolerance levels for all the excitement the grocery store has to offer), you can help your child learn to enjoy a busy place without getting overwhelmed. In some ways, grocery stores can become a great training ground for pre-school environments where there are also lots of sensory stimuli and social interactions to navigate! Look at you, Mom - preparing for the future now!
2. Your child gets a more elevated view of you than usual.
We’ve already explored ((the potentially safety hazards of shopping carts---link to one of safety blogs)) at this height. But with your Buggie Huggie™, now you can consider the positive aspects of this elevated opportunity! With the Buggie Huggie™, your child not only gets the benefits of a closer view of your beautiful face, but you’ve also created an easy connection point for sharing snacks, cuddly toy time, an activity, or even a favorite YouTube sing-a-long with the phone holder add-on!
3. Your child gets to encounter unfamiliar faces from the safety of an elevated position with you right by their side.
It can be scary for toddlers when every adult you meet is towering above you, literally larger than life. But in the shopping cart seat, there’s a different sense of security and safety as your child can observe unfamiliar faces from a comfortable height and close proximity to you.
4. Your child gets to hear & watch you participate in pleasant, polite exchanges with others.
As your child is sitting in the seat & close to you, they get to hear & absorb the natural speech pattern of these social norms – Hi, How are you? Fine, thanks. Excuse me. Thank you. You’re welcome. Have a nice day. – which is a great help as they learn social cues and build their own vocabulary. (If your child is old enough & comfortable enough, you can even let them receive the change back or receive the receipt to get practice saying thank you!)
There are so many ways to enjoy grocery time as part of the social skills practice for your baby, but please know this: If you’re already struggling with mom guilt today, don’t let this add any more stress to your full plate! There will be days where you have the capacity to think about these things, and days where you just can’t.
That’s OK, and you’re OK, and everything’s gonna be OK!
But on those days where you can reframe your thinking, we hope you can feel gratitude in all the wonderful lessons your child is absorbing by getting to be out & about with you.
You’re doing great, Mom, and we’re so proud of you! Hang in there!