Should you bring your kids Black Friday shopping with you?
Your kids are out of school for Thanksgiving break, and they need to get holiday gifts, too. If you are planning to hit the pavement on Black Friday, you may be wondering if you should bring your kids with you.
The short answer: No.
Not if you want a good deal and you want your kids to come out unscathed. One man left his kid at Kmart one year. Another teenage shopper was mugged. Then there are the lines, the waiting, the cold; tthe list goes on and on.
Here are some tips to balancing your parental duties with your bargain-hunting compulsion on Black Friday.
1. Create a solid shopping game plan so you can get in and out as quickly as possible. If you leave early enough, you may be home before your kids even wake up. Maybe. Check out this list of the best Black Friday deals.
2. Plan ahead. If you wake up before the sun, you’re going to be exhausted by 3 p.m., and we all know kids don’t care if Mommy’s tired. Add a new movie, toy or game to your Black Friday list and bring it home to surprise your children with an early gift. Hopefully it will occupy them and buy you some time to recover.
3. Team up. Find other parents who want to participate in Black Friday and go in on a babysitter together. After shopping, relax together while your kids play.
4. Keep your cell phone charged and handy while you’re shopping in case your kid needs to reach you. Put it on ring and vibration so you can still feel the call coming in, even in a loud crowd.
5. Consider staying home and doing your deal-hunting online, instead. No crowds. No muggings. And your kids can sit right next to you and help you shop. Then take the money you would have spent on a Black Friday babysitter and buy yourself something special.