If at all possible, make other arrangements for your younger children while you shop. The noises, the crowds and the overwhelming amount of STUFF can over-stimulate even the calmest child. It can create a stressful environment for you and your child. Here are some tips for those parents and grandparents who are shopping with young children.
1. If you do need to shop with your children, check with your sale to see what times and days are least busy. Those times are much quieter and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the time with your child.
2. Bring a snack and something to drink, like water. Thirsty, hungry children are not the best shopping partners.
3. Keep your children with you. Racks draw the curious eyes of climbing children. It’s not safe to let your children explore the sales floor without you.
4. If you are going to buy a toy and your child breaks it, go ahead and pay for it. It’s the right thing to do.
5. Limit your time at the sale when shopping with a child. Keeping a normal schedule will help everyone’s day go better. Don’t miss nap time or lunch to hunt for a bargain.
6. Don’t say no to everything. There are a lot of temptations at consignment sales – toys, books, movies, games, shoes, clothes, etc. It’s natural for your child to focus on something he or she wants. Let them pick out one or two special things to carry and give to the cashier at checkout.
7. Respect the effort put into merchandising the sales floor and preparing the items. Please don’t use a stroller that’s for sale as a shopping device or child restraint while you shop.
8. Avoid opening sealed packages. If you want to know what is included in a bag, ask a volunteer to help you.
9. Take measurements, shoe sizes and other details with you, as well as a measuring tape or ruler. Not all sales have dressing rooms and it may not be feasible to have your child try on every outfit. Having these things in your purse or stroller can help minimize frustrations.
To sum it up, make other arrangements for your kids if you can. If they need to go with you, pick a day and time that’s less crowded, feed them a snack, don’t say no to everything, but don’t say yes to it all, either. Encourage kids to keep their hands to themselves and don’t leave them alone. Most importantly, have fun!
About the Author
Elizabeth Renfroe has a passion for all things consignment sale-related. She enjoys coordinating the Children’s Market Sale at First United Methodist Church, Jacksonville, Alabama.