We’ve all been there. You’re out someplace with the kids, and they start to act up. Sometimes they know darned well that they’re misbehaving. Other times they’re flirting with boundaries that you’ve never actually stated. Sure, it seems logical that the kids should not be climbing through the clothes racks at the clothing store. But have you ever told the kids not to?
I’ve found that the very best way to avoid frustration with kids out in public is to talk with kids specifically about behavior before you even get out of the car. This has been especially helpful dealing with various new situations and our newly arrived older daughters. But it is also helpful for kids who’ve been in the family since infancy.
A recent example is our upcoming trip to family camp. We’ve already talked about being respectful to camp counselors (who are also older siblings), telling counselors when you go anywhere, paying attention and participating during chapel, getting to breakfast on time, and the mandatory once/day ‘come-find-mom-and-hug-her’ rule. (Although it is family camp, it is amazing how much time we’re all off doing our own thing!)
Now, there are bound to be issues that I haven’t discussed with the kids. But I’ve found that a little preplanning and a bit of conversation beforehand is a tremendous help when it comes to kids and their behavior. Works for me!