It is always fun for parents when they go shopping for their kids, but when a daughter gets into the preteen stage, she starts to fancy designs and styles that are different from those of her parents. So as a parent, heres how to make shopping fun:
Be in the know. Observe--this is the most important preparation before shopping with your preteen daughter. Watch her favorite shows, and take note of how the current teen celebrities dress up. When her friends come over, or when you drop by her school, look at what girls normally wear, the style, color and the accessories that come with the clothes. Also take note of your daughter's music preference. If she likes rock music, chances are she will want to dress up like a rock star, with matching leather boots and eye make-up.
Budget. Budget both time and money before setting off on a shopping expedition. Make it a whole day activity, just so you need not rush her in choosing her clothes and accessories. If you finish early, you can eat out or catch a movie, which will be a good parent and child bonding time.
Then also set a budget for shopping and for your meals. Make it clear with your daughter that she can only spend this much, and if she exceeds the budget, she will have to use her own money. Better yet, encourage her to save up and you can set a condition that she can buy whatever she wants, as long as she will spend her own money. But if parents' shopping money will be used, then you, as a parent, have a say on what she chooses to buy.
Discuss options. You may have given your daughter the liberty to choose her own clothes and shop for whatever gadget she wants with her own money, but you still need to guide her. Kids are usually impulse buyers and are easily swayed by sales talk. Tell her to take note of the items she like, make a list, if there are a lot of options, then think it through while you grab some snacks. It is better to think about it first and prioritize between wants and needs when shopping. This is also the best time to teach your daughter about being prudent and spending her money wisely.
It is also important to watch how you react when she chooses designs and styles that you find revolting or funny. Ask her why she likes a certain design. It will surprise you to note that you still need to know more about your child. Also avoid being critical or sarcastic. You want to encourage open communication, and shopping with your daughter will reveal a lot of interesting insights from her.
Enjoy your time together. Time will come when your daughter will want to shop with her girlfriends instead of her parents, so while you have the chance to shop together, make the most of it.