Thursday, September 27, 2007

Impulse Buyer

A while back, my son and I had a discussion before heading to the grocery store about not coming back home with a new toy. We both got into the car voluntarily, knowing that our agreement was that we could only look at the toys and that there was a possibility of our purchasing something on our next trip to the store.

Halfway down the toy aisle (When did it become necessary to have a toy section within the grocery store?), I noticed a pink metal container with what appeared to be a set of dice on the cover of the box. It said BUNCO in big, pink letters and so I picked it up.

Immediately, my son looked at me and said, "Mom, put that back. We're only looking." I couldn't help but laugh as he repeated a phrase that I have found myself saying time and time again. But it worked. I put the box back on the shelf and enjoyed watching my son decide, after much deliberation, what toy he was going to buy next time.

We spent a long time in that aisle, probably much longer than we would have if he actually was able to purchase something. Luckily, he has not inherited my shopping habits (at least not yet).

I'm what they refer to as an impulse buyer. When I'm standing behind someone in line, I almost always add something, last minute, to the purchase.

I am trying to become a much more sensible shopper these days and I think I learned something from my son that day. Knowing the dollar amount that he's typically able to spend on a toy, he realizes rather quickly that the bigger toys are out of the question and continues to pick up the smaller boxes from the shelves.

In my case, however, the smaller the box, the higher the price tag usually is so maybe that technique won't quite work for me, after all.

Still, I enjoy shopping with my son. Yes, I said it. I enjoy shopping with my son. I didn't always, though.

It wasn't until I took the RCB course myself that I learned the most valuable lesson of all. There are 4 Goals of Misbehavior (Attention, Power, Revenge, Avoidance). When a child behaves in such a way that makes a parent want to react (in whatever way), it is the child's attempt at trying to have a particular need met.

My son is spoiled now that he has me all to himself since the little time I do have with him, I of course give him 100% of my attention. It's nice knowing that my son needs, wants and craves my attention. We've all heard about plants and flowers that thrive when people talk or sing to them, right?

I see other parents shopping with their little ones and talking on their cell phone or not allowing their child to participate in any way and it irritates me. Having a child around is so much fun, although certainly challenging at times, but I look at everything I do with my child, whether it be shopping, eating dinner, trying to get out of the house, or helping him put away his toys, as an adventure, a game of sorts.

I lost my train of thought here and what my point was in posting this. Regardless, I'm off to go get some much-needed attention and to share my love and attention with my son. It's the best part of my day.

Perhaps maybe we'll make a surprise visit to the toy section when I pick him up from school. After all, he did inherit my love of shopping.

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