I am not one to give in to the gimmes when we are shopping. I do let the kids take turns picking out the cereal or the ice cream flavor or the fruit snacks or the yogurt flavor. I let someone decide stick or twist pretzels, all white or twisted string cheese. It works. It empowers them. It makes for a more smooth shopping adventure. Then we someone inevitably asks for something off the list, I can answer, “No, you got you to pick out the cereal, remember?”
While this works pretty good, I have another strategy that I love. As the daughter of a mom that did cave from time to time and say yes to the impulse items at the checkout, I feel like they ought to get something for their patience. Ah-ha! Paint chips! Any discount or home improvement store that sells paint has paint chips. If you are pushing a cart behind me you are likely to hear, “If you are really good today, we’ll go get paint chips.” When we’re finished shopping we cruise by the paint department so each “good” kid can pick out a couple colors of paint. How is that for a deal. They’re free! The kids behave! They take them home and get creative! Paint chips work for me.