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Going out in public with a bunch of crying kids

I have 3 girls ages 3, 1 1/2, and 3 weeks. Both my older girls are ALWAYS off in their own playland either pulling each others hair out or tickling each other and being goofballs all day. I'm glad they are happy, even though they do fight, but they don't listen to me AT ALL, my oldest one is especially bossy and mean to any adult and my middle child is only learning this bad behavior. It is embarrasing going to the store or anywhere outside of the house, sometimes they want me to carry them, and I can't carry them all into the store. It just seems like there should be a little bit more cooperation than what I am getting out of them. Or do I just have to stay at home until they get older?

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Asked by tiffalicious at 4:10 AM on Feb. 24, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (12 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • Sounds like you have your hands full, mamma! I remember when I only had one child and I heard my sister-in-law say that she went to the store for the first time ever by herself with her kids (they were 5 and 2) and she said she would never do it again. I thought that was kind of crazy that she couldn't handle taking them out by herself. Then I had a second baby. It is so much harder when there's more than one. I just have two, but one thing that makes it easier is I leave them home with my husband while I go to the store or wherever. I still end up having to go places with them by myself, but not everywhere. It's hard, but it will get better.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:22 AM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • sweetie, they are babies, & even though the 3 yr old is the 'oldest' she is still a tiny little girl with almost zero life experience.I know she can be mean to adults - she's 3! She doesn't know anything about hierachy, manners or respect, she is only 3, she didn't ask to have 2 little sisters at that age, & the pressure of being the oldest is unfair at this age. Even though plenty of people will tell you to teach her all those things, to demand polite behaviour, that their kids stood & behaved... she's only 3! If their kids did that it was out of fear, not respect.
    If at all possible avoid going to the shops, & if you must, plan for it to take a long time, for the oldest to act up a little & for you to need to detour a little. Tell her she's a great help, but allow her to be little & silly & emotional. I promise one day you will look back & feel sick at how much you expected the oldest to understand. Still a baby!!

    Answer by myheartx4 at 5:10 AM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • I disagree... i think that 3 is a great age to start teaching them about manners and proper behavior, and if she has little sisters she will want to be the example... my daughter was awful to shop with, and I only have 1! But as she got older I taught her the polite way to speak to her elders and behave in public and to me that is a big deal... rspect for your elders. she learned no problem, even young you would be surprised what they can understand. And when she realizes that by behaving she gets to go with mommy she will do it more often.
    Also, my daughter is not afraid of me... it is my responsibility as a parent to raise her to have respect and manners and I take it very seriously. Maybe mine is mature for her age, but it has never been an issue to correct her behavior when it is needed.

    Answer by LolaRae at 5:49 AM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • you could try to put the big girls in a stroller, and carry your baby in a wrap, sling or carrier. i have a 6 yo, 4 1/2 yo, and 2 2yo's. we used to go out in public all the time. once i got pregnant again, and it is winter, i find it too difficult to get out. so now when we do go out, the kids do not behave as well as they used to. they are not used to it. maybe you could try taking them to a mall with a play area for kids and let them play if they are well behaved for a while.

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 10:46 AM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • My five and three year old act up at the store sometimes too. However, when I reached a point where I felt like I couldn't go anywhere because of my kids, that's when things changed. I made it clear that if they were going to walk with me that they must walk beside the cart and nowhere else. I give them one warning if they run off that if they do it again, they are getting in the cart and I follow through. Yes they will scream if you put them in and people will look at you but you can either finish shopping or leave the store. I have done both. Now they both now what is and is not acceptable behavior in the store and even though some days are harder than others, at least they know the rules! Good luck and hang in there!

    Answer by khedy at 11:18 AM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • you need to just teach them how to behave in public and how to treat you. sounds like you need to start heavy doses of tough love! dont let them get their way by crying or being bad.

    Answer by AmaliaD at 12:27 PM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • Tell me where you are going to be so I can not go there. I want to cry when parents have kids in public that act like that. Get a sitter until they learn how to act

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:20 PM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • you can still teach manners etc, but the oldest is 3, so yes, you are going to explain she needs to stand next to you and not be silly, but at three, her ability to remember that is about 5 minutes long, so then she'll get distracted and you need to remind her. Her language skills are very immature. It is normal and healthy for a 3 yr old to ignore or shrink away from strange adults... it is the beginning of their understanding that you don't trust everyone in the world. If all the manners, respect, common sense and good behaviour could be taught at 3, our kids would be leaving home at 3. Its a learning process that takes around 18 years.
    Good luck

    Answer by myheartx4 at 3:30 PM on Feb. 24, 2010

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