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How do you discipline your child when he/she misbehaves in public?

I have a nine year old, and she is usually a saint when we are out in public but when she was younger and started to throw a fit, I would take her to the bathroom to calm her down. If she was not listening and tried to run around or act up I would give her a warning and tell her that if it doesn't stop she will get a spanking when we get home. I rarely ever had to spank and just telling her NO in public was enough to get her to stop what she was doing. I posted this anon because of the reference to spanking, and to some, that means I am a bad parent, and I would prefer not to have hate-mail in my message box. Thank you!

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:00 AM on May. 29, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (10)
  • my daughter dosen't act up in public. i've been blessed with a good kid. i've never had a problem with her in the store, she sits in the buggy (shopping cart to others) lol, dosen't try to climb out, dosen't cry, just sits & enjoys the ride & talks... she'll be 3 in july & i'm just glad she's not a bad kid :)

    Answer by josiesmommy00 at 11:02 AM on May. 29, 2009

  • When mine was younger, I would give him a warning that they aren't to do what ever they are doing. If it cont. I would give him a warning that if he cont., he would get a swat. If he con't. I would get on his eye level and explain that he was told to stop and he didn't, then he was told he would get a swat and he con't anyway. And now he is getting a swat, right here in front of everyone. Then, he got a little swat on the hiney or hand. He only acted up once or twice. So, only one or two little swats. He has had any ill effects from it. he is 13 now. If he acts up now, he knows he gets to do absolutely nothing at home till I get over it.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 11:05 AM on May. 29, 2009

  • I have a three year old and a two year old that both love to act up in public. With my two year old I usually just let him throw his tantrum and pretend to walk off. I know his fits are usually because he's tired or hungry. That usually works and gets a laugh out of adults who have probably been there.
    My three year old who thinks she's going on sixteen is to smart for that. She'll walk the other direction too. I tell her I'll put everything back and we'll go home. That usually works. I have had to tap her butt a few times. That always works. I have gotten a few stares... but it doesn't bother me. I only tapped her butt and if nothing else works and she needed it.... Everybody else can mind there own business.

    Answer by rockn2abeat at 11:08 AM on May. 29, 2009

  • I will put them in a time out right there in the store, if that doesn't work we leave. Most of the time when I say we will leave it stops. I don't care if people look at me crazy for it, IMO if you let them get away with stuff in public they will know and use it against you. I can say that one time (during the terrible two's) my son had a HUGE fit and I put him in a time out (that time in the cart) and he was still crying and what not, this lady went walking by and said "geze I don't wanna here it." Like I'm ganna let my son get away with crap because we were in public to preserve her ears. Grrrr that will made me mad, His dad took him to the car that time.


    Answer by mommy-perks at 11:08 AM on May. 29, 2009

  • You know what? I think your idea of taking your dau to the bathroom to calm down is a good idea and to get her away from any distractions. I also have a girl about your age, and she is very good about behaving, but when she was younger that was a different story some times lol! I know it can be tough for a child to be still especially during long check out lines and they may get cranky and I respect that. I am an adult and I get frustrated too when only two checkout lines are open and the store is packed! But, what I cannot stand is allowing your child to run around with the possiblity of causing an accident. When my child tried to do that I firmly told her no and that if she did it again I would spank her as soon as we got home. I don't have to spank often but I do when her actions not only affect her but can affect other people too and I make sure she knows why she is being punished for what she did.

    Answer by MichelleJ23 at 11:09 AM on May. 29, 2009

  • Same thing I do at home....park their butts in time out. Right then. Right there.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 11:22 AM on May. 29, 2009

  • I discipline them the same way in public as I do at home. If they need a time out they get it if they need a spanking on their butt they get that too. Too many dam parents are all scared of CPS and I have had to deal with CPS for false claims and I flat out told the worker if you think for one minute my child will grow up thinking my momma is my friend or I've got momma wrapped around my finger your crazy as a loon and need to leave NOW. My children will know I am here to support and comfort them but also will respect me and know there are consequences for THEIR behavior good or bad... If I don't succeed in that I have failed my children

    Answer by Tygermommanikki at 11:46 AM on May. 29, 2009

  • same way i do at home.

    i dont spank unless its completely out of hand, but he luckily hasnt gotten like that in public. If we are somewhere he wants to be, i threaten to leave. If he calls my bluff, i leave (he doesnt call bluff anymore)

    Otherwise i get down to his level and do my best to calm him down, then i tell work it out with him and give him a time out. Hes only three and yelling only escalates it. He knows how to learn and adjust to what hes been in trouble for in the past, so it works. Hes generally an awesome kid.

    Answer by redderbedder at 12:04 PM on May. 29, 2009

  • My baby is only 11 months old, but she has an occasional meltdown in public. I am the master of the "evil eye"...I give her one of "those" looks, and that usually calms her down. I do the same thing at home. I usually cut her a break if she's a little tired or something like that though.

    Answer by Fallaya at 12:41 PM on May. 29, 2009

  • My son has adhd so he acts up a lot in public. I usually have a reward/punishment (bribe) ready for when we go out anywhere, but he has a onetrack mind and when he gets something in his head and wants to throw a fit about it, there is nothing i can do, i couldn't even spank him because he'll just get worse and then other people want to get involved... i just have to leave. on the spanking comment, i am not ashamed to say i have a 'whacker' and i am not afraid to use it tho i would rather not in public, just gets too dramatic with all the messy nosy people... if a teacher can hit my kid in school with a board, then i see no reason why i can't when he is getting out of control!

    Answer by deanamfinley at 3:42 PM on May. 29, 2009

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