The past few times I have taken my 3-year-old son shopping with me, I have witnessed something quite remarkable: people genuinely want to be happy; they just need a little prodding.
Each time I take my son shopping, I place him in the front of the shopping cart. As we move through the store, he waves and says a quick and enthusiastic “Hi!” to each person passing. The odd thing is that before his outbursts, most of the people aren’t even looking at us and definitely aren’t smiling. But as soon as his voice reaches them, they all look toward us immediately and form a smile.
We get responses like “Well, hi!” or “How are you?” My son might explain a toy he’s playing with or mention the fact that Momma ran out of gas today. Whatever it is he says, everyone who interacts with him for those brief moments seems to be happier than they were before.
My advice: ditch the stroller and let your kids interact with the world because their joy has a natural magnetic effect on others and everyone could use more joy these days; don’t you think?