"If you’re always tired, always under-rested, you’re not going to be capable of doing everything you need to get done.  You’re going to make mistakes more readily, lose your temper, or miss opportunities. " — Karen Jensen

Let’s face it – sometimes it’s easier to leave the kids at home when you go to the store.

And sometimes that’s a good idea, if you can manage it.

But, your kids need to learn how to behave in public, and how to obey you no matter where you are, even at the store.  Leaving them home all the time isn’t the answer either.

So here are 5 tips that can help make kid-included trips to the store more peaceful for everyone:

1. If they’re very young (4 and under)…..do your best to plan in advance.  Whenever possible, make sure your child isn’t tired, hungry or wet before you head for the store. Maybe even have a healthy snack along.  And keep your trip short – don’t expect a child this young to be able to go for hours and hours.

2. Talk with them first. Give your child fair warning as to the purpose of this trip, and let them know in advance if they will be getting anything.  I personally don’t think children need us to buy them something every trip.  But it’s only fair to let them know ahead of time.  And once in while, it’s okay to get them a treat if they behave well.

3. If they’re older (5 and over)….. get your child involved in the process – let them be your helpers.  If you’re grocery shopping, assign them to run and get things (if they’re old enough), or choose things off the shelf for you. If you’re shopping for Gran’s Christmas gift, get their input and let them be part of choosing her gift (even if you know what you want to get).  It’s a great chance to bond with your child, give them ownership and responsibility, and be excited when Grandma opens her gift. It’s a win-win.

4. Correct them if they need it. Remember, the Bible gives children one commandment for their life – obey your parents (Eph. 6:1).  Crying because you say no, running away, etc. isn’t the same as obeying, and needs correcting.  Please don’t just walk away from a child having a tantrum – that’s not correction.  It’s inconvenient, but it’s important to take them to the car and correct them right then.  I promise, if you do it a couple times, you won’t have to do it again. (for more about God’s method of correction, check out Parenting With a Purpose in the bookstore).

5. Be safe. It’s a good idea to contain small children by putting them in a grocery cart (only sitting please!) or stroller. I’m even a fan of leashes, etc. because it helps you keep track of a child in a crowd.  That’s up to you.  But be sure to train your child to stay with you.

Bonus tip: This is just my personal opinion, but consider not treating shopping as your family’s main recreational activity.  There are so many other great ways to bond and grow as a family, and I’m pretty sure our goal as Christians shouldn’t be to raise a generation of consumers.

What Parent's Are Saying

“My four year old son was out of control, to the point where I had to take him out of pre-school and stay home with him. But after just a few days of applying these parenting principles, he has changed dramatically!  Now he listens and obeys, and our home is peaceful – it’s almost miraculous! I am putting him back in school and able to continue with my own schooling.  Thank you so much!”  — F.L.

“My wife and I began putting these principles into practice right away and began to see excellent results. Our children respond very well to our godly way of discipline.  So much better for us. Thank you!”    — M.L.

“I attended one of Karen's seminars and it was far above everything I expected. It has equipped me with information that I needed to properly launch my children into their destinies.” — R.T.

“I have a 2 year old daughter and I didn’t believe in spanking until I watched Parenting With a Purpose and was made to understand the biblical purpose of spanking. Now I get it!  Now my daughter will benefit every day of her life – she’ll be able to fulfill God’s purpose for her life.  My home is now peaceful and calm with a loving and obedient daughter who will grow up obeying God’s Word quickly.”   — T.O.

“I learned SO much from Parenting With a Purpose about God’s view of parenting. I especially learned about correction and why & how to do it.  I can’t imagine waiting until my child is older before taking this course.” — K.H.

“After applying these principles of correction then praying with my son afterwards, he gave me a big hug and looked straight into my eyes and said, ‘I love you, Mom!’ I just melted.  He is 3 and has never expressed this kind of emotion before. I have taken many parenting classes and finally one that works! I now have the skills to help my child obey me so he will obey God." — M.J.

"Our 6-year-old grandson got his first report card at school this Friday.  The teacher had only positive things to say about him.  She said he is affectionate and helpful, both to her and his fellow sutdents.  He is obedient, attentive and a good worker. His big ‘turn around’ from being a rather disobedient and whiny troublemaker began when you came to our city and taught us how to raise children God’s way. My husband and I bought your Parenting With a Purpose CDs and gave them to our daughter.  Since then our grandson has never been the same.  I am so happy.  Thank you so much for coming!"  — L.K.