While walking through WalMart today, I watched people standing in line grabbing all sorts of stuff and adding to their carts. Hats off to the business, thumbs down to the suckers who just had to buy the latest People magazine and/or grab that ever so seductive pack of M&Ms.
The experience offers a great opportunity for teaching important lessons. Our kids are allowed to have candy, for example, if they want it but they have to ask for it before we go into the store. If they don't, then they don't get any! This approach helps teach them about planning and watching for impulse desires. Additionally, we often make it a game as we stand in line .... we make guesses about which people will grab what items. We talk about what is causing people to be driven to grab things. We make suggestions about what the store could be doing to get more people grabbing things. All this helps the little ones understand the psychological warfare that they are being assaulted with.