When grocery shopping with my younger children, I would give each of them 2 quarters to spend in the gumball machines at the end of our trip.
While shopping, they would see all kinds of things that they didn't need, like a certain cereal just because of the toy inside or some over priced item in the toy row. I would just say to them, "Well, if we buy that, you will have to give me your quarters and not get anything out of the machine." They would always keep the quarters and save them for the end of the trip.
Giving choices shows great parenting skills. I really believe that giving even young children choices helps them think things through and allows them to feel in control. I always did this with my son when he was young. Even if the choice was as simple as if you are good at the grocery store we will go to the park later to play, if you don't behave, we'll stay at home and you'll have to play by yourself.
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