So the other day a friend recommend that I read this blog post. I thought it was great so I got permission to share it. Mrs. Friend probably recommended it because I do whatever it takes to go shopping by myself. I would actually just rather not go and starve than to have to take my children. I call this my alone time for the week. Taking my kids to Walmart usually causes a stress attack. lol Obviously I have a lot to learn. Here is the blog that I got this post from: raeleshe.blogspot.com
I took my kids to the grocery store with me for the first time in like three weeks. They were sick, I was sick, we were out of town, etc. I forgot how much I enjoy going to the store with them. I know I am a rare breed in this category, but I find the grocery experience offers a wealth of teaching moments with them - and for that reason, we go. For the most part they behave too - but that's not the point....
So what do I teach them while shopping for our food?
Well, first off, we learn how to shop - how to pick fruit, how to check prices, how to get ingredients, look at labels, etc... We don't cover all these basis, but I am sure when a stranger sees me in the store with my kids they think I am a loon because I am just chatting away with them about rice, or meat, or how to chose a perfect apple. I am sure it must have been especially funny when Georgia was a little baby.... I would hold up different produce items to her and let he check them out, all the while telling her all about them. She had no idea what was going on, but I was laying the foundation for her for when she would understand - which comes a lot quicker than you would expect!
The next big thing I teach them while at the store, is how to interact with people. We are saying things like: excuse me, thank you, please, how are you, I am well thank you, what's your name, etc... They see me strike up a conversation with the checker, the bagger, the deli person, a random lady shopping, and it teaches them how to engage people. Georgia is at the age now where I make her ask for our lunch meat - or greet the checker. Just because they are small does not mean they can't engage an adult in conversation. We do not allow shyness to be a crutch; we call it rude in our home.
I teach them self-control. This is a lesson that I am not so joyful to have to teach, and thankfully it is not a weekly occurrence for me. Tank is mostly in this phase of grocery training - Georgia's moments are more in the form of showing restraint while buying things. But Henry..... There are moments when he is just crazy - trying to stand in the cart, screaming, etc... I stop what we are doing, pinch his cute little baby thigh and say to him, "bud, you need to control yourself." He will cry a bit more, but usually will calm down. It hasn't gotten to the point where I need to leave yet - but I would leave - the cart, the food, etc. and lastly, Thankfulness. After we are done - the groceries are loaded in the car - everyone is buckled - I say, "Thank you Lord for being the great provider and giving us the money to buy all of this food, GOD YOU ARE SO GOOD TO US, AMEN!" I want my children to have a heart that is full of gratitude toward the care and goodness of God in our life. Grocery shopping happens so often that we fail to realize how amazing it is - that we have the means to walk into a building and feast on whatever our minds can think of to make - and that God has given Jeff a job that provides the funds to walk in and purchase whatever we desire to eat for the week! God is certainly good!
Thankfulness produces awe and wonder - awe and wonder produces reverence, reverence produces a proper understanding of God's holiness, and in tern, creates a hunger in us for righteous living! O how Jeff and I desire for our kids to walk in that! Modeling thankfulness is so critical!
So why am I sharing this?... It's a long post I know.
I just want to encourage you to not let the idea of potential inconvenience rob you from some really amazing moments with your kids. And don't be discouraged by their bad behavior in the beginning. Kids are resilient and can be taught to do anything if you are consistent and determined enough! The best times in life to train and teach your kids are while you are out in the field - doing whatever you do - being who you are... As scary as that may seem at times (hahaha) be mindful to make the most of every situation and place you go with them; always looking for opportunities to make much of Christ, to show kindness and gentleness to others, and to obtain general life skills! I think you will find that the thing you once dreaded becomes your greatest joy.