The title of this article may trigger a reaction of anxiety, delight, or impartiality. I fall into the middle category; shopping never has felt burdensome, not even grocery shopping. While there are certain types of shopping that are more pleasurable than others, there really is none that I dread. In fact, as a parent, I have looked at shopping as a tool with which to teach my children.
Obviously, shopping is an excellent way to teach your children about money. Not only can you explain the value of coins and bills through shopping, but as they get older you can educate them about credit and debit cards. Plus, it is a good way to teach budgeting, wants, needs, and more. For more advice on shopping as a form of money education, check out this week’s Shopping Secrets article.
Shopping also can be a way to teach manners. When shopping with your child, remind him to use please and thank you when speaking with clerks. It also is a great way to teach gratitude. When buying splurge items that are not a necessity, such as a pair or earrings, make sure that you teach your child to thank you. Help her to understand that an item like this is not a need but a special treat. Shopping also can teach about disappointment and how to handle it appropriately. Perhaps the shoes your child wanted are not available in his size; that’s a teachable moment. See how one of our teen writers handles disappointments when shopping.
Finally, shopping can be used as a reward or a fun excursion, if your child enjoys shopping. With teenagers, it’s an easy way to connect for a couple hours. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to buy your child’s attention. An afternoon of window shopping and a soda make a great time spent.
Yes, shopping can be viewed as a necessity, but it also has much more to offer.