Who hasn’t rolled their eyes, whispered in the ear of the their spouse or close friend, or simply jumped up by being startled, while listening to a mother yell at her child in an aisle in Walgreen’s or at one of your child’s basketball games?
Better yet, who hasn’t been that mother in the grocery store or family dining restaurant attempting to discipline a child when everyone in the restaurant is around eating and listening to see what move you are going to make to quiet your child down, and you seriously pray that others are not watching and judging you in the process.
But girl, disciplining children in public has certain challenges. Who wants someone at Six Flags or the check out clerk at Starbucks to think that you do not have any control over your children, and you just allow them to act disrespectfully in public.
Listen, the hardest thing to deal with when disciplining children in public is to not get caught up in other people’s judgment and to stay true to your parenting skills and growing principles as a caring parent.
Believe me, this can be so hard, when your child is not listening in the Family Dollar aisle, when you are waiting in line to make that final purchase with fifty people waiting behind you! When you are in the process of finally get that last go-to item on your shopping list. However, I am here to tell you that all things are possible with empathy, patience, and understanding between you and your children before leaving home.
I am offering some helpful tips to allow you to confidently, and firmly discipline your children, without judgment or shame in public.
8 Ways to discipline your children in public
1. Pray over children and cover them with positive affirmations: It is beyond important to pray over your children and to cover them with guidance and protection before going out into the world, and into public.
2. Have pre-car pep talk before entering the store or public place: This is similar to a pre-game pep talk that athletes have in the locker room before a big game. You would have set the expectations for your children before entering a public place or facility!
3. Have your children as a strong part of your daily life activities outside of the home: When you include your children in your daily activities such as church, grocery shopping, dropping clothes off at the dry cleaners, they are better equipped to behave accordingly through trial and error from experiencing being with you in each designated life location.
4. Remove the child immediately from the situation by going to an isolated place in the area. The go-to place for my children is the public restroom, where I clearly talk to my child about the behavior that just took place in that very moment of discipline.
5. Make clear your limits and expectations before leaving the comfort of your home: This is very important for children to have home rules and public rules. When you go out clearly establish the behavior of the day, similar to the rules that they abide by in their school setting too.
6. Keep your cool and remain calm in the situation: Keeping your cool is the most valuable skill and helps with learning self-control for both you and your child.
7. Quickly calm child down, by introducing firm and consistent choices for your child: Keep the rules of home and public consistent with your child, include rewards for following the rules by implementing a behavior chart, sticker rewards, and solid consequences for not following the rules in public.
8. Show empathy and compassion towards your child: Depending on the age of your child, they may not be aware that they are doing wrong things in public, this is the time to show empathy and care towards them to show understanding and abundant love!
How do you discipline your children in public?