If there's one thing I've noticed about raising children it's this: if I constantly give in to the whining, I am teaching them that whining works! It gets them exactly what they want and so, they resort to whining every time because they know I will eventually cave. There is nothing that grates on my nerves more than the constant wearing down of my resolution to shop only for the things we truly need!
It's logical really...and I have to give them credit for being astute and putting two and two together. Whine plus more whine = say cheese: ah, success!
What I really need to do is remind them that the more they whine, the less inclined I will be to give them what they are whining for! If they see that the whining is not getting them anywhere, they will eventually stop. What is wonderful to notice is that if I stick to my guns, and don't give in, then they will, over time, realize that their whining is futile. However, if I concede 9even occasionally) and they get what they've been begging for, the message is: keep whining and Mom will (or at least may) ultimately hand over the coveted item!
I have to learn to say: "Would you like a little cheese with that whine?"
Here's an idea...(Wish I had thought of this years ago!) Try this: give your little shoppers $.50 or $1.00 to spend as they choose. It keeps them focused on finding their prized purchase and distracts them from whining. They will learn how to budget on a small scale and will be (more often than not) content with what they finally decide to buy! If they have money left, encourage them to save it for the next trip. They can opt to put it away and buy something bigger in the future. Everyone will go home happy and less stressed!
And you'll save money by not needing to buy that block of cheese!