First, I laid out my expectations for their behavior in the store. I had four simple rules
1) hold hands in the parking lot
2) stay close to mommy and the cart
3) keep your hands to yourself, unless instructed otherwise
4) use your inside voice
We talked about these rules before we left home, before we got out of the car and reminders when I saw them about to veer off course.
Next, we talked about the consequences for breaking the rules. Each one got 2 silly bands, the first time they broke a rule they lost a band, the second time they broke a rule they lost their other band and their treat. Misbehavior after that would result in a trip to the bathroom for a spanking. After that they would have to ride in the cart for the rest of the trip. I showed them the belt in my purse to show them mommy meant business.
Finally we discussed the reward system. It was simple, I pulled out two dollar bills and let them know that if they had at least one band left when we headed for check out they would get a dollar. They could use it for whatever they wanted, a toy, candy, coloring book or save it up for a bigger prize in the weeks to come.
Like I mentioned before, we went over the rules, consequences and rewards several times before and during our trip. I am proud to say that both children were able to purchase a prize. Maddux wandered one time when he saw a coloring book he wanted, but once the first band was taken he knew to keep it together. He even asked to sit in the cart for a while so he wouldn't "lose" me. Maddux left with a bag of army men and Brooke chose one of those gooey hands that you throw against the wall and it sticks. The best part of the whole trip was that I was able to praise the children so much more than correcting them, which made us all very proud! I hope our future trips to the store are equally successful.