Parenting Faux Pas We All Make While Shopping With Kids

girl pushed on shopping cartBefore I had kids I swore there were certain things I’d never do while out shopping with my children. Good things rules were made to be broken, because  when it comes to making it through the aisles and getting the shopping list checked off, you do what it takes to make it to the checkout. Forget about what that man standing in front of the bakery case will think and forgive yourself these parenting faux pas.

Can I put my kid in the big part of the shopping cart? If you have twins or young kids that are close in age, you are intimately familiar with the thrill you get when you manage to score one of the rare double carts. Parents everywhere pledge their loyalty to Target and these two-seated wonders may be a big part of the reason why. Grocery stores have those adorable carts that look like cars, which kids love. But also means that parents with only one toddler are sure to snatch them up, meaning you may be forced to break the first unspoken rule of shopping with kids- putting your child into the big part of the cart. Before I had kids I would wonder why parents couldn’t let their children walk, now it takes approximately ten seconds of one child trying to steer the cart or pulling things off the shelves before he’s dumped in next to the boxes of mac and cheese.

Will I get arrested for shoplifting if I open these granola bars in the middle of the store? You can feed your kids right before you leave the house or even bring a snack with you, but once your little darlings are old enough to recognize packaging, there’s no telling when they will decide they need a cracker right now. If they are old enough to reason with, you can try to bribe them with the promise of candy once you get to the checkout. Otherwise you can either try to ignore the screaming and rush through the store or bust open the box and hope the cashier is understanding.

Will anyone notice if I put this item back on the wrong display? That cute stuffed bunny works wonders at keeping your baby quiet and happy while you fill your cart, but they have plenty of toys at home already and you’re not paying $15.95 to toss this one on the pile. But instead of walking it back to the seasonal display, you dump it next to the gum at checkout while your child is distracted by the credit card machine buttons.

Should I put my cart back in the corral? Even though your kids are safe and secure in their car seats, you worry that if you step away from the car to return the shopping cart someone might call the police on you for leaving them alone. But if you don’t push the cart back in with it’s others, you’re saying a big screw you to everyone else’s paint job. I try  try to ease my guilt by leaving the cart anchored in some mulch or a storm grate, but I know deep down that’s not going help if the wind kicks up.

(Image: Jupiterimages/

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