The sound of it stopped me right in my tracks: A harsh, “Cut that out! That is not okay!” It almost sounded like she was snarling. Where had my daughter learned to talk like that to her little brother? It sounded so terrible coming from such a sweet young lady in training. I heard that sound before? Oh, no. I knew exactly where I had heard that before, and where my daughter had gotten it. Straight from my own mouth. Did I really sound like that?
Another incident- this happened at Aldis. T’ the 2yo was sleepy & went on a rampage. He started yelling! Then he started crying! Oh goodness. One of the siblings pointed out a toy Elmo (which he LOVES) and it went up a hole other level. He wouldn’t stop. A nice older lady tried to reason with him and he went off on her, yelling and waving his arms saying” NO, no, NO. no.NO!” How embarrassingly rude!
We’ve all got behaviors we’re not proud of. I’m a chronic procrastinator. And I’ve been known to sneak snacks while no one looking in my mouth. Disliking those behaviors in myself makes it all the more painful when I see glimpses of them in my kids. More so when it’s out in public! People can be so darn judgmental. I know what they must be thinking, but thank goodness I’ve gotten to a point where I know it’s my job to raise them,and if I don’t encourage certain behaviors, no one else will. So I overlook them and continue on with my parenting. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it.
Here are some of the ideas we use: Feel free to add your own.
Tips for parenting in public
- You know your child better than anyone else. If you know that he gets restless quickly or gets overexcited in a crowd or is cranky when he hasn’t had his afternoon nap, plan your outings taking all these factors into consideration.
- Lay down the rules before you leave. If you’re taking your child shopping, tell him that he’s only allowed to buy one book or toy and this is not negotiable under any circumstances.
- Equip yourself to keep your child entertained. Carry some toys, crayons, coloring books, etc. with you so that your child is kept occupied and won’t think of throwing tantrums.
- Make your child feel included by giving him the right to decide certain things like what you should see first at the aquarium or which ride you should go on.
- At the first sign of restlessness, take your child out for a break. Don’t wait till he is miserable and crotchety.
- The minute he misbehaves, tell him that you understand that he must be tired and fed up, but remind him firmly about the rules you had agreed upon at home.
- Be prepared to leave as a last resort. Once you have decided to leave, don’t let your child dissuade you even if he promises to behave.