Bringing the kids to the mall

Darlena - posted on 09/05/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My babies are two.

I try bring them to the mall every once in a while and it's usually a disaster.

http://parentwin.blogspot.com/2010/08/ma... - Example.

What do you do while you're there to make sure everyone has a good time, no one gets hurt, and we all leave without tantrums?

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Sarah - posted on 09/06/2010

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The biggest tip is to know their limit. Don't try to fit in more then what they can handle. Let them know what you are going to do and how they are expected to act. Make sure you add something in that they enjoy doing (ie: the play area at the mall). If your list of things to do is short then have that be at the end. If it is a bit longer try to put it in towards the end, but not at the end. This way they are not having to wait through the whole long list to do their fun things, but after they are done playing you only have 1 or 2 more things to get done. A stroller is also a good idea. It keeps them in one spot. Keep in mind meal time and nap time. Even packing a picnic lunch to eat at the mall is fun for kids, so this can help keeping to their meal times and giving you a little bit of extra time. Then make sure you are back home for their naptime (that is never fun messing with naptime). Keep a routine when you go out....as you do this more and more the kids will start to know the routine and it will help things go smoother.

Dawn - posted on 09/05/2010

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It's a good thing I rarely need anything at the mall, except some window shopping therapy because my son hates for the stoller to stop!! I usually take him to the mall once a week though because I live in FL and the malls here have inside playgrounds...the entire town is there most summer days :) I always plan everything around the playground....I will plan on parking near the store I need to go to so I can stop there on the way in and out if needed. If I know I will be a while, I pack snacks and make sure we have a refuel at the foodcourt. When the tatrums start we leave. Lately, I have been leaving the stroller and letting him walk so we can learn hand-holding, of course this is probrably easier with just one, but maybe if you won't be too long you can forgo the diaper bag to free up an arm. Having him walk without the stroller allows me to hold him if I still need to look in a store and it also allows for the excitement of riding the escalator...my son's favorite thing this minute!!

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Krissy - posted on 09/08/2010

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i always take snacks and supplies when i go out saves buying anything and when you are busy trying to so some food shopping or even clothes it helps a great deal. i even let my 4 yr old know that if he is well behaved he can chose eather a chocolate bar(small) or a matchbox car(small 2$ car ) but ussually he doesnt care as we go at lunch time and this is when it is a good time they have their fill and you put them in the trolley and push them around-yes i still put my 4 yr old in a trolley but only when i really need to.

Darlena - posted on 09/07/2010

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Dawn, I'm actually going to post again, right now. A lot of the suggestions were helpful, but some kid PUSHED my kid.

I know, I know, I'm supposed to accept that, but JEEZ!

Dawn - posted on 09/07/2010

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Darlena, I responded before reading the blog link....haha!!! I just came home the other day and ranted to my hubby about this same thing!! I almost posted in the rants and raves on Craigslist!! Here are my biggest issues.....

1) It says NO food or drink....why then are the parents munching on pretzels and guzzling shakes!! I wait until we leave to have snack time and will sit my son on my lap if he needs a drink from his SPILL-PROOF cup!!!

2) There is a height limit......why then are your 9 year old children climbing the top of the treehouse, which there is no clear access to?????

3) Shoes are required to be OFF....I hate this too and often make my child wear his socks if the floor looks bad (parents...stop bringing your food into the play area!!! This also includes the Blowpop in your childs mouth!!)This rule is most likely in effect because when your 9 year old jumps from the top most limb of the treehouse, his mountain-tread sneakers will do more serious harm if he lands on my 18 month old.

4) While I admit it is nice to be able to sit back and relax while my son gets to run and play and meet other kids (this is much harder to do at the real playground), I don't think this is the time to catch up on your latest novel you can't put down, or have a conference call on your Blackberry...."I'm sorry is that your child halfway down the mall?"....just a half-eye watch will help when you need to tell your child he/she is holding up the slide...I really hate to be the one telling your child they are doing wrong!!

Now, I love the mall playground!! As I said, I live in FL so the outside playground is not an option in the summer unless it is before 9:00 am!! I personally try and go during the slower times, as you found was a much better experience. Thank you so much for sharing this and letting me add my 2-cents!! :) :)

[deleted account]

Well my opinion is that if you don't set boundaries for your children and follow through on enforcing them they will join in the crowd of mob mentality (also known as children out of control while their parents ignore them in most cases).

Having been to a local play group in my neighborhood and witnessed this very thing, I have maintained that the 4 children in my care (of which one is my almost 2 year old son) behave the way they normally do and treat each other with respect and decency. If they start to get crazy and push/shove/throw inappropriate toys/spit/scream or ignore others requests to slow down or comply with the play group rules after 3 warnings we leave.
This has resulted in us only staying at play group for a whole 20 minutes one day.
Once the children realized that just because the other children were being crazy didn't mean they could too, they were their usual selves while at play group and if the wild group got to much for them, they would ask me to take them home and I would.
The leaving without tantrums... well partly it's the age. I try my best to make sure everyone gets a count down of 15, 10, 5 and then 2 minutes till time to leave. It does help that as part of the play group if we didn't help with set up, we have to help with take down and with everything being taken down it is an obvious cue that play group is over.

With regards to your choices with the "mob mentality" issue, they are to find an alternative similar place to take your children, enforce your children behave the way they normally do when playing or let them run crazy.

[deleted account]

do you have a double stroller? we have a 2 year old and a 4 month old and the only way i can get my 2 year old to stay calm and busy is to bring toys for her to play with or take one off the shelf while we shop

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