Likes: Writing, reading, twitter and chocolate
Dislikes: Negative and angry people
It was a bit tricky to put the list together, because there are so many different kinds of “special needs”. For some children, their disability is quite well manageable with medication, or with assistance and therapy, and you’d hardly know they had any additional needs. You may have heard of autism or Asperger’s Syndrome – these are part of the autistic disorder spectrum, a range of conditions that affect how people communicate and relate to people around them. You can’t tell by looking at someone if they have ASD.
Other children have disabilities that are apparent when you meet them, such as those with Down’s Syndrome, which we have covered in more detail here. Or they might use a wheelchair to get around.
What thing do they all have in common? They sometimes get asked really silly questions, and get treated badly by people. Make sure you aren’t one of them, by listening to what the kids (and their parents) had to say!
You might have noticed that many supermarkets have a similar layout. This is no coincidence. Researchers have spent many years working out how to set out the store in order to get customers to spend more! See how many of these supermarket tricks you recognise, the next time you go shopping with your parents!
Shopping trollies are deliberately MUCH larger than needed for a weekly shop, which encourages customers to buy more. In fact, they’ve been getting bigger and bigger in the past few years.
That smell of freshly baked bread? Not only does it make you want to buy a yummy loaf, it also makes you hungry. It is well known that if you go shopping when you are hungry, you buy more!
After the bakery, comes the fruit and veg section. This often strikes me as a bit daft – by the time I get around to tins and packets of pasta, my salad is squashed at the bottom of the trolley! The bright colours tempt customers, and lots of supermarkets present fruit and veg in baskets or crates, to make it seem like they’ve come straight from the farm! Once you’ve filled your trolley with healthy produce, you’ll feel better about the packets of biscuits and crisps that come later!
Just popping in with your parents to quickly to pick up some eggs, or milk? You might notice that these essentials, and others like sugar, salt and flour, are spread around the store. The supermarket planners want you to walk around the store as much as possible, passing all those tempting special offers at the end of the aisles.
The shelves at the end of the aisles are the ones that we pay most attention to, and so supermarkets stack their special offers there, to persuade you to buy them. These are often things like fizzy drinks, that you might not normally purchase.
Supermarkets don’t just give their customers loyalty cards to encourage them to come back to their stores. They also use the data (information) collected to target their advertising better. If your parents have a loyalty card, have a look at the next letter they receive to see if they are giving discounts on products that your family often buy. Have a think about what the supermarket would know about your family – if you have a pet, when you have birthdays (e.g. if you buy a cake in the store), what toys you like, which interests you have (e.g. your parents bought a magazine about traveling to Italy).
Ok, hands up if you’ve ever asked your parents for sweets when you were at the checkout! In Germany, they have a word for this – Quengelware. The word is made up of “quengeln” which means “to whine” and “Ware”, which means products. Products that make kids whine or grump at their parents, who are fed up with the hassle of shopping and give in to their kids’ demands! Some supermarkets now advertise that they have lanes without sweets, so that parents can avoid this argument.
Talking of kids in supermarkets, did you ever notice that products aimed at kids are displayed at your eye level? The cheese strings are placed at that height in the hope that you will ask for them!
How many of these supermarket tricks did you recognise? Next time you go shopping, take a good look at how the store is laid out and see if you can find some more.