How to discipline your child in public

How to discipline your child in public

Here's how you can discipline your child in public effectively to nip that tantrum in the bud...

I know it can be hard to control your kids’ tantrums in public particularly if you are still very new to parenting. There will definitely be a few challenges when it comes to disciplining your child in public.

This is because; there is a fine line between disciplining in public and disciplining in the privacy of your own home. It can be a traumatizing and humiliating experience for your child, making him/her feel badly about their actions.

So, here are a few effective methods to keep in mind whenever your child is having a meltdown the next time around.

How to discipline your child in public

Set clear rules in advance

There are chances of not having to discipline your child in public, however, that is not always the case. Nonetheless, setting clear-cut rules beforehand will definitely be beneficial.

It is also advisable to set the rules with precise consequences so that your kid will at least be wary if he or she chooses to act out in public. Sit down and have a talk before leaving the house.

Let your child know about how you would want him or her to behave and also there will be consequences for any bad behavior. For example, you can choose to not bring him out in the future if he chooses not to behave.

Additionally, it is also important to provide small incentives or compliments if your child is able to behave well during a day out.

Know how to empathize

At such a young age, children can be easily embarrassed if you lash out to them all off a sudden. So no matter what, it is always important to consider your child’s feelings first before disciplining him or her.

The right way to do so is to correct their behavior without having to criticize them. This is because; the ultimate goal is to allow your child to know that his or her behavior is not right. Instead, tell your child about what you would like them to do.

Being discreet is an effective way of saving yourself and your child from any embarrassment. No one should be involved in the disciplining as it only needs to be between the parent and the child. Make use of reassuring words such as “please and thank you” and also be specific.

Avoid using harsh words such as “stupid” or “useless” as you are only belittling your child which in turn will cause him or her to become rebellious.

Be firm

Although knowing how to empathize with your child is important, sticking to your guns is also equally important. Once you let them know about the consequences of their bad behavior, it is needed for you to follow through with the punishment and make sure it is immediate.

Telling them that they are in trouble once you get home brings no benefit as chances are they have already forgotten why they are being punished in the first place. Thus, the punishment will also not have much of an effect on them.

Part of parenthood is having to sacrifice a lot, which means when you give your kid timeouts, it is most likely you have to join them. Nevertheless, your actions will show your child that you are serious about the consequences. 

Keep being positive

At times your child’s misbehavior can be frustrating but it is crucial to keep your cool. Be positive around your children and do not speak about to them in a discouraging or negative way.

Your child will repeat their behavior as they might not have a good image of you as a parent. Even so, there are times that you will feel exasperated and hopeless and this is perfectly normal. Do turn to your spouse, pediatrician, family member or a trusted friend for advice and emotional support. 

So the next time your child throws a fit out in public, do take comfort, embrace, and remember that it is in these moments that your child learns about the consequences of life.

On the other hand, keep yourself reminded that the basic rules you set should be consistent and then only teach expectations in your daily parenting. This will ensure that your child will become well-disciplined.

What's your method of tackling your child's public tantrum? Tell us in a comment. 

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Written by

Jillian Cheong

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