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How can I get my kids to behave well when we go out? Everything is fine at

home, but as soon as we go out, they won't listen. I don't want to be a pushover all the time, and usually end up putting them in time out when
they are too much to handle.


Asked by Anonymous at 8:39 PM on Aug. 15, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • "stop going out, that is, end the outing when they start acting up. It sucks for parents but if they can make a connection between their behavior and the fact that fun just ended because of it, they will get it."

    Yeah and this teaches kids act up and mommy will never go anywhere or if the kid doesn't like where they're at they can act up and get to leave. Not saying it's wrong if it works for you then that's good i'm just saying how it seems to be in everyone I know that uses this approach it always backfires on them as the kids get older.

    Answer by KalebsMommee at 8:59 PM on Aug. 16, 2009

  • it's called spanking them. my toddler knows better than to act up in public, and he's now a little angel. got him saying please and thank you too

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:41 PM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • They may be overcome by excitement about the outing, or they may realize you are reluctant to cause a scene. I wonder if you would reinforce appropriate behavior if this would help.

    For example, Tommy, climbs into his seat and sits quietly while you order a meal. Then you can tell him how grown up he looks sitting politely at the table. Or if another child across the restaurant is misbehaving, you can tell Tommy how impressed you are that Tommy knows good manners. This kind of thing.

    If my children got out of control I'd remove them from the room and have a stern talk with them.

    Answer by Bmat at 8:43 PM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • I'm all about a cocktail of bribes & motivation & a teeny sprinkle of guilt psychology.
    "gosh we were gonna go bowling after running the boring errands... but since you're so nasty to me in public I'll go alone when you're with dad tomorrow"

    "Babysitter will be here at 1 to watch you while I go shopping... too bad you were so naughty last time. I could use help picking out some dinners. But since I'll be all alone, liver it is"

    And sometimes I just take the previously better behaved kid with me out... and the other one will generally shape up next time naturally

    Answer by hibbingmom at 8:44 PM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • stop going out, that is, end the outing when they start acting up. It sucks for parents but if they can make a connection between their behavior and the fact that fun just ended because of it, they will get it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:29 AM on Aug. 16, 2009

  • if they misbehave they need to be punished right away !! whether it is time out in a public bathroom, the back seat of your car or leaving the event that you are at. Never tell them that there will be a punishment that is not true or real or that you are not prepared to dish out. Don't make fake threats. You need to be consistant all of the time do not waver
    Google , buy &,read the book 1-2-3 magic

    Answer by justgrape723 at 12:17 PM on Aug. 16, 2009

  • I tell my DD,what's cute and acceptable at home, isn't acceptable on outings, some of this behavior is happening in your home,but,like other parents it don't bother you in the home. Also,kids do get excited on outings. I don't believe in bribing kids,I do think children should be punished wherever they act up at. The rule,say what you mean,and mean what you say.


    Answer by lady-t3984 at 7:18 PM on Aug. 16, 2009

  • Depends on what you mean by "misbehaving". Is it running up & down the aisles of the grocery store or is it just bickering with siblings? There's definitely a wide spectrum. You have to identify what is "expectable" behavior & what is "acceptable" behavior. It is expectable that a 3 yr old will become bored & antsy waiting for a meal out. It isn't acceptable for the 3 yr old to run around the restaurant yelling. Crazy example, U get what I mean. You don't say what the age of your children are, but I know that time out doesn't do diddly squat for my 8 yr old, taking away screen time or an early bed time absolutely does. U have to find the jugular of each kid :) My 4 yr old recently didn't get ice cream @ a furniture store because of his behavior, my 8 & 10 yr olds did. I carried the 4 out to the car screaming while DH took care of the other 2. You have to be willing to follow through on all consequences. Good luck!

    Answer by lisaeNH at 8:34 PM on Aug. 16, 2009

  • To follow up, I have definitely changed a meal out to a to-go dinner of which the kids got to eat & then went straight to their rooms & bed. U have to be willing to be tough &, ultimately, not care what others around you think, for example, the waitress. I've even had to leave a grocery cart full of stuff--which totally sucked! Man, those kids went to bed early that night & what bliss I had going back to the store by myself that night :) Again, I had to not be concerned what the cashier or manager thought. I am all about telling them what my expectations are before going in: Stick w/me, don't fight, inside voices, etc. (whatever the place requres). I do that in the car, before we enter the place and reinforce when they're following the rules "U R really sticking to me--thank you!" etc. There are still times I"m ready to string them up but eventually I remind myself they are just kids, that is how they are wired :)

    Answer by lisaeNH at 8:42 PM on Aug. 16, 2009