How To Shop With Kids Using These 5 Rules

by Mar 22, 2019Focused Friday, Mom Life, Parenting2 comments

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.



Can’t get your kids to behave in the store and you go home only thinking “next time I’m definitely shopping by myself“? Shopping with kids is a major challenge for moms. In this post you will learn 5 concrete rules for your children to follow during shopping trips and soon you’ll be having everyone in the store saying “How do you have such well behaved kids?” 

Trust me, it will happen to you after you enforce these rules!


Let’s Go Shopping!


As the weather gets warmer and you want to get out the house more with your kids, you are probably going to hit up some more shopping, right?

Maybe you are looking for some new spring shoes, flowery dresses for the girls and some sports gear for the boys.

Whatever you plan on shopping for, the shopping experience is the same and your expectations of the kids is not changing. 

Related: How To Save Money On Baby Food

Let’s set some ground rules for shopping with you children so that your shopping experience is enjoyable for you and your kids.

We all know taking the kids to the store can turn out every which way. Screaming babies, potty training accidents, gut wrench temper tantrums about a toy, and so on and so on.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could take your kids out shopping and not have to worry about a thing.

How To Set The Rules For Shopping


Setting some clear and concise shopping rules will help your kids know what you expect of them every time you walk into a store.

I love to take the time during the drive to the store to quickly go over the house rules with the kids.

Having them repeat it, sing it or chant it will help them to remember them better.

Repetition is key, so go over the rules quickly 3 times throughout the drive. This will help them subconsciously to remember it better.

Once your kids remember the rules, they are more likely to respond to you in a more understanding way at the store if you have to discipline them for breaking a rule.

And consistency is key!!! Keep the rules the same and always correct the child if he or she breaks the rule (in whatever disciplining style you like best).

Related: 17 Expert Tips For Cry-Free Shopping With Kids

I start teaching these rules as early as 2 years old (toddlers). Your child might not fully understand the rules at this age, but again, it takes time to learn, so you might as well start early! By the time your child turns 3, you know she’s got it! It just gets easier as the kids get older.

Here are the rules…


5 Rules For Your Kids While Shopping


1. Use Quiet, Inside Voices In The Store

I like to word it this way instead of “No Screaming” because it’s important that they understand what exactly you want them to do. You want them to speak in a quiet voice that is calm and at a normal volume level.

2. Only Walking Is Allowed In The Store (Close To Mommy)

Again, we are directing the action that we desire. We, as moms, want our children to walk, as all adults do in the store, rather than running or skipping.

Your child is putting himself and others at risk of getting hurt if he was to run in the store.

Also, for safety, we don’t want our kids to run away from us and get lost. Since we are talking about walking, this rule also includes walking next to mommy. At all times, your child should be either in the cart, right by your side or near your cart.

3. Keep Your Hands To Yourself

Setting this rule helps you to minimize your kids from touching everything and anything. This decreases your fears of them breaking something or touching food that is sitting out that they shouldn’t be touching. Teach them to simply point at most items that they are interested in.

Of course, there are some appropriate items they might be allowed to touch so I like to teach my kids to ask when they want to touch something. But when your kids are really young, it’s easier to train your child to ask before touching.  This also includes touching other people who are strangers within the store.

4. Obey Your Mommy At All Times

This is key! If you simply say “Obey Your Mommy”, this can cover a lot of ground!

Obey your mom when she says “STOP” when a car is coming close in the parking lot.

Obey your mommy when she says “Put the toy back on the shelf, we are not buy it today”.

Obey your mommy when she says “Please sit down in the shopping cart”.

Your kid needs to learn, especially in a public place, that they need to obey you because you are their parent and you know what’s best. This is what sets your kids apart from the rest! Obedience!

5. Show Respect To Everyone

This is by far the most important rule because your children ultimately should learn to be respectful to everyone at all times.

This is a core value in our home and shopping is a great way to teach your kids to be respectful to others outside of the home.

Teach your children how to interact with other people appropriately and how to show gratitude to those who are serving us at the store. Teach your children how to use kind words and a pleasant tone when speaking.


So now that you know The 5 Rules, take the kids out for a quick shopping trip. Teach your kids these rules during the drive to the store, and see if they can follow a few of the rules during your next outing.


Don’t expect perfection right away, it takes time and practice. With experience, your kids will learn what good behavior consists of when shopping at the store with their mommy! Have fun!


Come back and visit me again and let me know which rule has been the most helpful for you. Comment below with your response! Also, you may want to check out “17 Expert Tips For Cry-Free Shopping With Kids” next!


Keep Smiling,

Dr. Jena Bradley, DPT

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Are You Ready To Embrace A Healthier Lifestyle To The Core?

Now's The Time!

You May Also Like…

Please leave a positive and uplifting comment or ask a question. I am here to help! After I read and approve your comment, it will appear. Thanks for joining me and I look forward to hearing from you!


  1. Marissa

    Great ideas! So what do you do if they don’t follow one of the rules while you’re in the store? Do you just remind them of the rules again? Thanks!

    • Jena Bradley

      Marissa, if they don’t follow the rule, I give them one warning and tell them what the consequence is if they do it again. If they disobey again, I give them a consequence that I already told them about. There are hundreds of different consequences but what’s most important is that it’s age appropriate and appropriate for that particular child. That’s a whole other blog post!!! 🙂



  1. 20 Things to Teach Your 2 Year Old - Teaching Littles - […] your 2-year-old how to act appropriately to avoid tantrums in public. Try putting rules in place when you are out so…
  2. 21 Things That You Can Teach Your 3 Year Old - Teaching Littles - […] your 3-year-old how to act appropriately to avoid tantrums in public. Try putting rules in place when you are out so…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Hi there, friend! I’m Jena, a mom of 4 and a Physical Therapist with a passion to motivate moms! I want to inspire you to be your best self by sharing my experiences and trusted advice on motherhood, health and fitness.

Read My Story ->