Unruly children in public can be such a handful. They can get even the most patient of parents screaming and yelling if s/he does not constantly caution herself.
Successful and stress-free managing of kids in public starts right at home before we set out.
Tutoring and reminders help me a lot. One thing I have realized over the years is that every time I take kids out without having a word with them at home, we get the same old results of rowdiness, difficulty in managing them, At the end of the day, we come back home really tired as a result of a stressful outing.
These are some of my tips:
- First of all, I try to find out who is interested in going out and trust my kids, everyone would love to go out with mom. I do this because, anyone that is not interested in the outing may not keep to the rules. So, I will always take those who really want to go out and are willing to do anything I say to enable them have another chance at outing.
- After that, I remind them a few things like: not collecting gifts from strangers and before I complete my first sentence, they are already singing out the rules to me, with that done, I assure them that we will go together. If it is to a shop. I remind them the following.
- Mommy can't buy everything you want so, do not go pointing at things you like and telling me to get them for you cos that is embarrassing to Mom. I make sure that they promise with their mouths that this won't happen.
- Then, I ask them what each one will love to get from the shop. Why I ask this question is to know ahead so that we arrive at a consensus.
- For those who have pricey tastes, I try to make them see reasons why they cannot get that now, and help them make up their minds on something else.
- After we have all agreed on what we are going to shop for, we leave the house.
- At the venue, once I stop the car, I turn round and face them and then ask who would love to wait in the car? The response I get here is always the same. No one wants to wait in the car. So, I ask further, "Is there any one who feels like the temptation of wanting to take away all the beautiful things in the store will be too strong? Let us know now so that you wait in the car" and as usual, everyone will assure me that this is a very small temptation. "No running ahead of mommy" So, off we go.
- At the end of the day, the outing is fun. People have told me many times that my kids are very well behaved outside their home, and I smile knowing the indoor job we do before going out.
Apart from shopping, sometimes we get to go to parks, and I feel uncomfortable when I see kids crying and pleading with parents because they want to enjoy all the rides. NO WAY!
If we are going to go on a particular weekend, I inform my kids ahead of time and remind them that they can't have all the rides and cannot sit in every bumper car available.
- I get my jotter and everyone tells me her favorite and the ones that they would love to ride, and, even the snacks they would love to enjoy up to the kind of drink. Please do not call me thrifty o. kids sometimes have a way of making you feel embarrassed so that you empty your purse on just one outing and at the end of the day, you may just begin to realize that you dread taking your beautiful kids out. It can be fun!
- They are free to change their minds before that day and write down their new options.
- At the park, They enjoy themselves and sometimes, I get generous by asking them to enjoy one other activity that wasn't picked earlier on. We leave the park happy and not with a child dragging feet and crying for more.
Schools' open day (visiting day) is another place where kids can make sure that a parent spends beyond expectation because they want every book and snack on display. The older ones do not even need a reminder here cos they know what is expected of them. For the ones in lower primary and nursery (kindergarten), we agree on the books to get for them. Some schools have even made it easier by sending a list of all the books that will be on display for sale.
- on the list, they circle the books they want to have. Sometimes they pick the ones we have bought before and what I do is remind them and correct the list.
- We agree on the number of books one child can have
- Each child keeps her own list in her school bag.
On the D day, it is very easy for us, while kids are pointing at different books and changing their minds, we just get there, ask for the ones we need, pay and leave immediately.
Basically, how I manage kids outside begins right inside our room before we set out.
Have a stress-free outing!!!