Discipline is already a thorny issue; now imagine having to dish it out in public. Here are some tips.
You’re with your toddler having a great time, and then boom, she sees a toy and throws a full-on tantrum because you’ve told her she couldn’t have it. Or maybe she’s seen anything that would make a toddler go wild if they don’t get their way. Most parents have been in this situation where their kids act out in public. It’s one thing when your baby misbehaves at home, and it’s another when you’re out in public.
Discipline is already a thorny issue; now imagine having to dish it out in public. So, how do you deal with this? Do you give in to your relentless toddler’s demands or exercise discipline there and then, regardless of the disapproving looks bystanders keep throwing in your direction? It’s important to remember that your baby probably means no harm. She is yet to gauge the reactions to her actions- she has no idea that she can’t always have what she wants or that picking her nose at Grandpa’s birthday lunch is impolite. Here’s how to discipline your baby in public.
It’s Inevitable for Your Toddler To Misbehave In Public
If you have a toddler, brace yourself for some awkward moments. Babies this age are starting to express ideas and delight in their physical abilities but haven’t yet understood that some things aren’t okay to do or say in public. That’s where parents need to step in, especially if your baby’s actions could hurt other people’s feelings or even physically injure someone. It can be hard to set boundaries, especially for little people whose curiosity and energy seem to defy limits. However, it can be done lovingly and effectively. Don’t assume that your baby’s rude behavior reflects bad parenting skills.
Also, Parents advises that you ignore any glares from other grownups, which are inevitable if your baby is, say, grabbing grapes at the grocery store. Your obligation is to your toddler and not to bystanders. Concentrate on how to correct the problem tenderly and without blame. Punishing a toddler can leave her feeling crushed, and she’ll respond with aggression or fear.
Tips for Discipline In Public
Here are tips for disciplining your baby in public:
- Don’t read much into the situation- If, for example, during your baby’s 3rd birthday, she tosses her grandmother’s gift aside and asks to see the rest, don’t read too much into such a situation, since babies cannot empathize with other people, they express what they feel, and are brutally honest. Talk up the present to your kiddo, and apologize to grandma later.
- Understand the behavior: According to News 24, you can break the vicious cycle of public disobedience if you understand your child’s behavior. If you don’t read your toddler’s basic needs of exhaustion, hunger, thirst, boredom, and seeking attention, she’ll use negative attention-seeking habits to draw your attention to her. There are various reasons why your baby is acting out: you may be busy, and he’s acting out to let you know that he feels neglected; he may have tried to get your attention in subtle ways, and her loud disobedience is the final attempt at getting it; or your baby feels out of control, and her behavior is a way of feeling in control.
- Be firm and consistent– It’s important to remain consistent in disciplining. Kids can find it confusing if the consequences or rules change in various situations and public. So, check your child even if you’re right in the middle of the mall. And even though it’s easier said than done, you don’t have to feel embarrassed about disciplining your baby in public. On the contrary, you’re teaching her that you’re keeping your word. It’s important not to delay punishing your toddler too long. For kids under six, the consequences of misbehaving need to be implemented straight after they misbehave because they need to know what they’re being punished for. If you’re avoiding making a scene in front of people, take her aside. You don’t have to measure yourself or your baby, it’s destructive, and you want to break this negative behavior cycle, not perpetuate it.
- Set clear rules from the get-go: There is a chance of not having to discipline your toddler in public. Still, she may misbehave. So, it is beneficial to set clear-cut rules beforehand. Also, set the rules with clear consequences so that your toddler is wary of what to expect if she chooses to misbehave in public. So, seat her down and talk about the rules before leaving the house. Tell her your expectations and that there will be consequences for misbehaving. For example, you won’t bring her on your next trip if she misbehaves. Also, The Asian Parent advises that you offer small incentives or compliments if your toddler can behave well on a day out.
- By: Karen Samuels
Article originally published by babygaga.com