Giving smart shopping lessons to kids

7 Sep

smart kids shop smart!

You might wonder what a kid has to do with shopping. The truth is, it has! The art of shopping and shopping wisely should be taught to kids as early as possible. Shopping is something that all kids will do sooner or later in their lives. The more well taught they are about shopping, the better shoppers they are bound to become. In order to successfully download the art of wise shopping to your kids, here are a few simple but very effective steps.

 

1. Take your kid for shopping often

Most parents agree that tagging their kids along for shopping can be a real pain, because they will have to put up with their pleas, whines and whimpers throughout the shopping ordeal. The best they feel is to therefore, leave the kids behind while they can go about their shopping in peace and tranquility. But the truth is, this is the most disastrous thing to do. Taking your kids along for shopping, whatever may be the nature of it, say food, groceries, electronic, automobiles, etc., helps sensitize the kids towards the art of shopping smart from an early age. When they accompany you for shopping they get to experience first hand on how to go about shopping, how to bargain, how to do a thorough market research before settling to buy something.

2. Get them to indulge in the whole shopping experience

By taking your kids for shopping, you will actually be teaching them how to shop without your knowledge. As kids are extremely curious, they keenly observe how you shop and absorb all that knowledge. Getting them to participate in the whole shopping experience helps them to become better shoppers themselves. Give them little tasks like fetching the brand you’re looking for in a mall. This will not only take care of their excitement and inquisitiveness but also make them more aware of the ‘buys’ and ‘not to buys’ in the world of shopping. This also makes the whole shopping experience more memorable to them.

3. Prepare a ‘to-do’ list

Make a list of things to shop and give an excerpt of the list to your child. It may contain the list of stuffs that they would be particularly fond of shopping like their favorite cookies, dress, stationary etc. Doing this will help them focus, be attentive and also learn to prioritize things when shopping. In fact getting them to prepare their own lists before embarking on a shopping journey is an even better idea of teaching them the ways of shopping smart early.

4. Get your kids to compare the prices of various commodities

By getting your little one to compare the prices of various products and deciding which among those are a better buy and a value for money, you have imparted yet another very valuable lesson in shopping to them. Getting them to do this helps them in better decision making, hone their math skills and also realize the value of money. On the flip side of it, it saves your time from doing all the boring comparisons and mall research because your kid is not only doing all that for you but is also enjoying in doing so.

5. Teach them to read and understand labels

Your little ones should be taught to read and decipher product labels in terms of ingredients that has gone into the making of that product, number of pieces in a box, quantity etc., because you might not want a product made of leather or a food item that might contain gelatin or artificial flavors. When shopping for games or toys get them to check for stuffs like if the parts in that toy are non-toxic, if batteries come along with it or if it should be bought separately, etc. This helps them become more aware of the products they intend to buy and other related facts about it.

6. Take them shopping for big items too

Kids are known to pester and nag their parents to purchase that big car, TV, home theater, etc. Get your kids to do a homework about all those products, compare prices, specifications, features, etc., with the competitor’s brands and furnish that research work to you. You can then analyze their work and give them a feedback on their work accordingly. This enables them to develop that much needed confidence to tackle shopping for bigger, costlier products and also readies them for such shopping in the future.

7. Raise them to be good and polite customers

Teach your kids the importance of manners and respecting fellow human beings. Get them to be respectful and polite to all the sales people they come across when shopping by being that way yourself because kids learn by way of observing and imitating. Lead by example. Teach them to request and thank the sales person and not command them like they owned them. By teaching them this, you would also be indirectly contributing to raising a well mannered, compassionate and a civilized human being who knows to treat all human beings alike and with respect.

8. Make them plan their purchases in advance

By encouraging your kids to plan their purchases well in advance, you will be helping them to forecast. Spending a lot at one time can prove fatal to your wallet. Instead, purchasing in small amounts regularly would ensure that you do not feel the pinch of spending. Planning ahead would also help you be prepared to meet the expenses that your kid may come up with. Therefore, a good planning would always result in both happy parents and kids.

9. Help them make better choices when shopping

Tell and discuss with your children the importance of manufacturing products in different countries and how that might affect the quality and price of that particular product. Brief them about the labor laws and regulations governing import and export. With the download of these information you would be helping your kid decide if the product is worth its price or not.

10. Give them some pocket money and allow them its full ownership

Last but not the least, make sure you give your children some money by either making them earn for it or by entitling them to some amount at the start of every month and calling it ‘pocket money’. Let the kid decide what to do with it. Let them save or spend it or do a bit of both. Giving them some money to call it their own will make them more careful about how they spend it. This will also teach them not to get extravagant and help them understand that if they have emptied their pockets, then they don’t get to buy or shop anymore. It is another way of making them smart and money wise.

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