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How do I discipline in public without being embarrassed?

Lately my four year old has really been testing his limits. At home, things seem to work out because I am not afraid to let him scream/cry for not getting his way. I have a very hard time disciplining him in public, I can't place him in a time out, so I end up asking him to do things 5 and 6 times before he will listen. I just get so embarrassed when people look at him like he is a bad child. He's really not, he's just a typical 4 year old going through a phase. I know that I should not worry about what others think, but I also don't want to be the mom with all of the screaming kids in the store. Does anyone have any special discipline tricks that they use in public?

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 2:36 PM on Mar. 23, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (14)
  • When mine act up in a store I grab them and take them outside, gently tell them to go right on ahead and trow their fit and to let me know when they are done because I still have shoppig to do, and that I will not tolerate it in the store and to get it all out right there. Usually they are so surprised that they stop and are begging to just go back inside. I had to do this with each of my kids at around 3 and 4 years old. Only had to do it 2 or 3 times and worked like a charm. Just make sure they know you are going back in to shop or they will think if they throw a fit momy will leave the stre cqause usually thats what they want
    AK_aries

    Answer by AK_aries at 2:39 PM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • i would pull your child aside, and tell him that his behavior is unacceptable, and this is a warning. If you have to tell him again, you will take away a privledge when you get home- ex. no t.v.
    bellasmom32808

    Answer by bellasmom32808 at 2:45 PM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • When mine act up, we get done and leave, asap. then I tell them they cannot come until they are like they are supposed to. Works pretty well.
    KARRIEMARIE

    Answer by KARRIEMARIE at 2:46 PM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • I can only offer what I did. Whenever mine would act wild, I'd just leave. Didn't matter if it was a store, a party, whatever. My point was that nobody came to that place to listen to a kid scream and act like a maniac. People go out for a good time. The child is interrupting, so they have to be removed. My kids learned to stop real quick. Yup, it made me angry that I couldn't do what I wanted to, but I had to teach them right then.
    EireLass

    Answer by EireLass at 2:48 PM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • Looking back I definitely think I dealt with this the wrong way because I would make all sorts of threats to get my stepson to stop his bad behavior - I wouldn't recommend that because I know I made threats at times out of frustration that later I didn't want to follow through on (going straight to bed when we get home - even if it's noon!, etc...). Maybe try teaching him a warning system - something like giving him 2 chances to change his behavior and on "3" means something more serious happens.....so that when you start to see the bad behavior emerging you could say "this is your 1st warning" and it might keep the behavior from getting worse...It's definitely a tough age and I appreciate how embarrasing it can be when he acts up in public! Another thing I tried now and then when I had a few errands to run would be to offer a "deal" and say if you can be good in all 3 stores that I need to go to then he earns a reward...
    stepmom929

    Answer by stepmom929 at 3:18 PM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • I KNOW SOME PEOPLE CAN STAY AND RIDE IT OUT BUT NOT ME AND IT NOT THAT I CARE WHAT THEY THINK ITS JUST IM NOT GONNA LET THEM BE IN STORE GOING OFF TO ME ITS RUDE (ONLY TOME)I COULD CARELESS IF OTHER MOMS WAIT IT OUTTANTROM AND ALL SHOOT I GIVE THEM PROPS IM JUST LIKE OK YOU DONT WANT TO BEHAVE WERE GOING HOME AND I LEAVE BUT LIKE I SAID IT DOESNT BOTHER ME WHEN OTHER KIDS CRY
    raycher

    Answer by raycher at 4:43 PM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • Bring on the bashers..... When my girls act up, I tell them quietly (but in my no bullshit tone) in their ear to knock off whatever they are doing. If they do it again, I flick them on the back of the head. There has only been a couple of times where I either need to flick them a second time or take them out of the store or wherever we are at. Also, once I made both my girls pay for a sitter with their allowance or birthday money instead of taking them shopping with me, but that probably wouldn't work for a 4 yr old.
    marbear98

    Answer by marbear98 at 5:15 PM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • The grocery store we go to gives out free cookies to kids and my 4 year old knows this so he always wants one when we are there. So I tell him he can get a cookie before we go if he is good if not no cookie. We have had a few times when his 2 year old brother got a cookie and he did not. Let me tell you when that happens it is a long time before he misbehaves at the store again.
    joleensboys

    Answer by joleensboys at 5:33 PM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • when I was kid my mom had this look that she would give us whether we were at home or out and about. When we got the look we shaped up right quick. Perhaps practicing a more subtle technique at home will give you the ability to use it in public. You could also try timeouts when he gets home if he misbehaved just ake sure he knows why he is being disciplined.
    humaniterian87

    Answer by humaniterian87 at 6:08 PM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • First, you need to learn how to not care about what everyone else is doing or saying (or that you imagine they are thinking). Once you get out of that mode of thinking, then just discipline him out the same way you do at home. Consistency is key - if you change your discipline depending on location, your kids will latch on to the idea that they CAN behave differently at home or away...But if you are consistent both at home and away, then they will learn that it doesn't matter where they are, they are expected to behave a certain way and if they don't, they know what will happen. Don't be afraid to walk out with groceries left behind. Don't be afraid to pick up a screaming child and marching him out the door to the car. Don't be afraid - because you are the mom, not the strangers around you who are probably thinking "I remember those days...".
    JPsMommy605

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 6:15 PM on Mar. 23, 2009

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