SECURITY staff at Merlin’s Walk are to receive training in ‘tantrum taming’ this summer as part of a nationwide initiative being rolled out at NewRiver shopping centres after research found that almost half of parents (43%) would rather avoid a shopping trip with the children for fear of them misbehaving.
The survey, commissioned by NewRiver, owner and operator of 33 shopping centres in the UK including Merlin’s Walk, highlighted a common problem for parents as over a third (38%) said that their child has thrown a tantrum while shopping.
NewRiver enlisted the help of child psychologist Dr Sam Wass from Channel 4’s ’The Secret Life of Four Year Olds’ series to provide tips for taming tantrums to the 150 security staff across its portfolio.
The training involves advice on spotting warning signs and how best to support children and parents while shopping, giving first class customer care. Security staff will be looking out for good behaviour that they can reward with a high five or a sticker. The initiative is a key element of NewRiver’s Kids Club scheme which aims to improve the shopping experience for families.
Parents, grandparents and guardians who sign up to the scheme will have access to free events and activities in the centres and exclusive discounts at retailers including Animal, Saltrock, Steamin Mugs and more.
Charles Bevan-Barratt, centre manager at Merlin’s Walk commented: “Our Kids Club aims to improve the overall experience for our family shoppers by helping to keep kids entertained in our centre and incentivise good behaviour. Free events like our Wizard’s Workshop make shopping fun for kids and allows parents to get on with their shopping.
“Our security staff also have a key role to play in this. As well as being trained to oversee the safety of our centres and their customers, they will now be able to help create a welcoming and enjoyable environment for both parents and children.”