Thursday, 28 July 2011
As a mother to a 2 year old, I have mixed feelings about these bans.
But then I read about child-free grocery shopping at a Missouri Whole Foods. According to the store's website, they will offer child-free shopping hours. Activities will be provided at the store for kids to allow their parents to shop "in peace", without distractions.
I'm not gonna lie- my immediate reaction was "COOL! I'd do that! I'd finish shopping in half the time without Jaime!"
But the more I thought about it, the worse I found the idea, and here's why.
I recently heard about grocery stores offering classes to help adults shop for fresh ingredients and navigate the store to make healthy food choices. Apparently we have become so removed from food and cooking that we are willing to pay someone to teach us how to shop!
I grew up shopping for food with my mother. Although she never "taught" me to cook or shop for food, I always felt intuitively that I knew how to pick a ripe melon or select the ingredients in homemade pasta sauce. I was surprised as a young adult to see many of my peers struggle with how to shop for food to make at home. The frozen and prepared isles seemed extra appealing to them because it was simple and easy. Many of them confessed that their mothers had always done the grocery shopping alone, and they were at a loss on where to start to stock a kitchen.
When I take Jaime to the grocery store now it's an ideal time for learning. He's captive in a cart, facing me. It's a chance for him to learn the names of fruits and vegetables, to tell me what color they are. I hand him food items to place in the cart and try to tell him where each ingredient will go. For example, "Here is a bag of beans to make tacos!" or "This squash will go in our soup!" When he's older he can help with weekly menu planning and cooking. And I hope that will set him up in making his own healthy choices down the road.
My point here is this: the more we work to remove kids from our day to day lives, the more we're setting them up for failure as adults. Kids learn by being with us in the mundane activities- they learn to behave in restaurants by practicing with their parents. They learn to shop for food and cook for themselves by accompanying their parents to the local grocery store. Cutting them out of our routines will leave them clueless later.
How do you feel about child free shopping? How do you involve your kids in day to day activities?