Bad behavior in public places - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 07-08-2014, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Bad behavior in public places

Hey everyone! I am a mother of two happy girls ages 5 and 3. They are loving and sweet but lately their behavior in places such as supermarkets, Banks, pharmacy or any other place us adults have to go, they just act uncontrolably. I include them in whatever im doing, let them pay, help with the groceries... they always get to bring a toy, book, crayons or whatever they want to keep them entertained. But it only Works for a bit. Then they start playing rough, jumping over chairs, Rolling on the flor, fighting, yelling pulling, yanking on my leg. AAAHHH it drives me crazy. So I know kids will be kids and i dont expect them to just sit and stay. But it gets out of hand. They either knock something down, get hurt, bump into someone...I always talk to them before we go out, tell them how to behave and that it makes me sad when they dont. They promise they will behave but its always the same story. I will tell them when they get home they will not have certain thing they enjoy, but they dont care about consequences. At home its usually time out and loss of priveleges when they dont behave, and a positive reenforcement system I have involving a ¨friendship chart. They dont care when not at home. Any advice?
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#2 of 12 Old 07-08-2014, 09:50 AM
 
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Sorry, that must be real hassle for you! This sounds like an age/stage issue. My daughter didn't act up too much as you are describing but I did when I was younger. Popping up out of the inside of clothing racks was one of my favorites, as I recall

When I did have a problem with my daughter I just left. Sometimes we sat in the car or on a bench for awhile until she "sobered up" to the understanding that her disruption wasn't funny or fun for those around her. Mostly it was restaurants for us since we were frequently on social/business engagements when she was that age. When she was in that precocious stage my husband would frequently go without us or I would do errands in the evening when he was available to parent. She grew out of it and so did I but for now could you maybe not go out with them as often? It sounds like you are doing everything right and I do think that this stage will pass.

Hang in there
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#3 of 12 Old 07-08-2014, 11:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pazyamar View Post
I will tell them when they get home they will not have certain thing they enjoy, but they dont care about consequences. At home its usually time out and loss of priveleges when they dont behave, and a positive reenforcement system I have involving a ¨friendship chart. They dont care when not at home. Any advice?
I had similar difficulties at that age as well, and the consequences remain the same: however inconvenient for me, I will do errands alone, or have dh do them. You can simply do it, and mention why while you prepare to leave, but I prefer having a talk well beforehand.

At the same time, I've tried to minimize the errands I do with them. I try to fit it in with a park visit, or a place where they can run off energy, especially if it a place of their own choosing. Even though they've enjoyed some aspects of the errands, even I get wiped out, and for kids this can mean crankiness or rambunctiousness, depending on the kid and the moment. Either way, it's a sign that it's all too much.
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#4 of 12 Old 07-08-2014, 11:40 AM
 
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I made the consequence more immediate, typically it was riding in the cart seat or holding my hand. A couple times it was going to the car then returning to finish shopping when dd was bored enough to be ready. I found that a sandwich bag of dry cereal or crackers got us most of the way through the store happily. The shopping cookie also helped. Some stores have car carts and regular carts that can fit two kids.
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#5 of 12 Old 07-09-2014, 05:30 AM
 
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Great advice so far.

I agree that one solution would be to try to minimize errands for now. I also agree that if rewards and consequences are a solution, that they really need to be immediate. Kids this age just do not really grasp delayed gratification, time, and etc. well.

Shopping with a 3 and 5 year old sounds pretty terrible to me (but I generally don't like to shop so shopping with bickering kids just makes something unpleasant seem even worse).

Do you think they're bored? Have you tried to give them separate jobs like something the 3 year old can do in a cart and something a 5 year old can do while walking? How about adjusting the pace? Speeding way up or slowing way down? Or changing when you do errands? Perhaps doing errands first thing in the morning or late at night or just after lunch may help?

Also, maybe the activity-errand-activity pattern could help. Something fun and filled with exercise first, followed by the store and then another activity that you can mention as your are shopping to help motivate them to be efficient.

I also agree that just because this is hard doesn't mean you are doing anything wrong. There are some ages and stages where certain daily life stuff is just a challenge for a while. "This too shall pass" is pretty good advice for shopping with a 3-5 year old.
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#6 of 12 Old 07-10-2014, 10:41 AM
 
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good info, You can simply do it, and mention why while you prepare to leave, but I prefer having a talk well beforehand.thanks
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#7 of 12 Old 07-13-2014, 08:56 PM
 
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Just go without them for awhile. Leave your SO in charge some evening while you run errands alone! Then, after you regained some sanity on this issue... make your expectations clear to your kids. I used the "your turn, my turn thing.".... taking you to play at the park is "their turn"... running a reasonable pair of short errands is "your turn". Don't try to make more than a couple of stops with active kids.. it leads to misery.
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#8 of 12 Old 07-17-2014, 08:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by philomom View Post
Just go without them for awhile. Leave your SO in charge some evening while you run errands alone! Then, after you regained some sanity on this issue... make your expectations clear to your kids. I used the "your turn, my turn thing.".... taking you to play at the park is "their turn"... running a reasonable pair of short errands is "your turn". Don't try to make more than a couple of stops with active kids.. it leads to misery.
My kids are a year and half apart, and my DH has always traveled a lot with his job. I had to take them places when they were little. You are doing a lot of stuff right, but here are more tips:

  • Limit the number of places you go on one trip, make sure they know the plan.
  • Make the last stop something fun for them (this doesn't work on grocery day, but for other errands it works).
  • Make sure they are hydrated. Water bottles or tippy cups.
  • If they misbehave, take then out, but then return when they are calm. Don't let the misbehavior continue, or be a way out of running errands, just a delay on doing the eventual fun thing.
  • Be more specific about why each behavior isn't OK. Some of what they are doing isn't safe -- they could knock over an old lady or something. They need to use inside voices to be respectful of others.
Start by just doing one errand and then either going to the park or the library or whatever they like. Once they get the hang of one errand with no drama, make it two, but keep the fun thing at the end.



At that age, my kids could handle may be 3 errands. We didn't do other errands on grocery day, just the groceries. But they got to pick one treat at the end of the grocery shop, and it went on the top of a bag and they could eat it while I put everything away.


I'm all for sharing the load with partners, either having them run errands or keep the kids while we do, but that isn't always possible, and it is possible to teach children this age to behavior if we break it into small enough steps.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#9 of 12 Old 07-18-2014, 02:49 PM
 
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Sometimes "rules" can help my kids achieve more parent desired behaviors.
We made three big family rules. Ours happen to be "inside voices", "gentle bodies", and "listen to words". You can adjust rules to your own needs of course, these are just the biggest and broadest most simplest ones I could come up with to tackle most of our current issues. My kids are 7, 4, and 2.5 and the older two are on the Autism spectrum.
I frequently do (or MUST) remind them of the rules. Sometimes it is like screaming at a deaf child but 75% of the time I have seen big improvement in behaviors when we go over and then constantly repeat the rules throughout whatever we must accomplish and even while at home.

Examples when to use "the rules":
Before leaving home, getting into car/on bus, arriving at destination, during transit to where you are going, while putting shoes on/readying to leave, sitting down at a restaurant table, any time they begin getting a tad too wild for your tastes, etc.
I also like to specifically call attention to the rules so that they understand what they are/are not supposed to be doing. Example:
"Monkey #1 , are you using inside voices right now?" or "Monkey #3 , is hitting your brother using gentle bodies? Are you following our rules?"

It takes a week or two to really start sticking with them.
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#10 of 12 Old 08-19-2014, 07:37 AM
 
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In the grocery store, my rule was always that kids had to be riding in the cart, or keeping one hand touching it. Always. I can't stand watching 2 directions at once, especially while trying to remember what came to the store for in the first place!

One thing that I did when the Dumplings were that age was to start in the frozen food section. We would choose a box of frozen peas or corn, and they would snack on that all through the store. Yes, of course I paid for it at the end. Because this was not something we would normally eat at home, it felt to them as a treat.

The other thing I did (maybe when they were a little older?) was to give each child a dollar, to spend however they wanted. This kept them from whining for everything they saw.

Of course, these tricks don't apply at the bank or post office. When I had to wait in line at such a place, I tried to find a nearby corner where they could sit down to play or read. I carried small, light books and toys for just these times. Not the regular stuff from home, but a special coloring book or whatever just for outings. Again, the newness made it a treat.

Good luck! I promise, they really will outgrow this stage!
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#11 of 12 Old 08-20-2014, 10:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LanaMama View Post
Sometimes "rules" can help my kids achieve more parent desired behaviors.
We made three big family rules. Ours happen to be "inside voices", "gentle bodies", and "listen to words". You can adjust rules to your own needs of course, these are just the biggest and broadest most simplest ones I could come up with to tackle most of our current issues. My kids are 7, 4, and 2.5 and the older two are on the Autism spectrum.
I frequently do (or MUST) remind them of the rules. Sometimes it is like screaming at a deaf child but 75% of the time I have seen big improvement in behaviors when we go over and then constantly repeat the rules throughout whatever we must accomplish and even while at home.

.
We do similar with rules, but we also use strikes... when they pass the limits of strikes they get to go without their daily 30 minute TV show, if they get another one, they go to bed after dinner (6pm)
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#12 of 12 Old 08-23-2014, 09:14 PM
 
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