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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

4 Reasons Why Your Kids Need To Go To the Grocery Store With You

When I was young, I can remember groaning when my mom made me go to the grocery store with her. Now, I find myself making similar demands of my kids. They always ask why they have to go and I've never really fully articulated why so I've been thinking about why I feel so strongly about them tagging alone for life's mundane events.

  1. Everyday interactions are full of teachable moments. Part of being a parent is passing on "tribal knowledge." Going to the grocery store equates to teaching them how to shop for food; i.e. how to judge whether a watermelon is ripe. Waiting for an appointment teaches them how to entertain themselves or how to have a conversation.
  2. I want them to know they are wanted. Beyond saying that I love them, I want to show them that I want them around me. I don't want them to get lost in the world where an iPod, an Xbox, or a TV has become the babysitter and so I endure the complaints even though leaving them at home would much easier at times. 
  3. They have responsibilities in our relationship. Relationships are about giving, taking and sharing. In any balanced relationship, they are going to have to do things they don't want to do and that is okay. Sometimes, you just need to show up. Being kids doesn't relinquish them of that responsibility.
  4. I want them to know me. I want them to see me living the values that I preach or I want them to question me when they don't think I am. I want them to see the real me. I want them to see how I interact with people, everyone from the cashier to my best friend. I want them to see me be silly. I want them to have memories to cherish and stories to tell.

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