When Your Child Acts Out in Public


Why is it so much more aggravating when our kids throw tantrums in front of other people, be it family, friends, or strangers. I find it embaracing in public places like the grocery store or laundromat but more particularly, places where everyone is supposed to talk in hushed tones like the library, doctor’s office or hospital.

When disciplining our children in public places can be viewed as abuse and talking to them in even tones doesn’t get through to them, what are you supposed to do? I’d like to say that I would never hit my daughter because it teaches her to hit but there are times where I feel that it is called for.  It is when they are putting themselves in danger that I throw this rule out the door.  Power outlets, heaters, and chemicals under the sink are all big no-no’s in my house. And I find that saying no and slapping the offending body part does the job (I say body part because my daughter will use her foot to touch things I have already said she couldn’t). This helps clarify what is being done wrong.

So is it ok to dicipline in this manner in public? Just a stinging tap on the hand should be ok, as long as you don’t go overboard in my opinion. But if this doesnt work, I remove my daughter from the situation and let her throw her fit.  The way I see it, she should be allowed to show her anger and frustration as much as her happiness and love. They are all emotions and all healthy when balanced. My job is to teach her when and where to let emotions overcome her. By leaving the grocery store because she was crying and flailing in the cart, we show her that we do not permit those actions. By bringing yer to the car, we show her that this is a safe place to act out.

Some may say that allowing my daughter to act this way anywhere could be harmful in the long run. I say the time to teach is not when they are freaking out but when they are calm and receptive. I want to teach her constructive ways to deal with emotion and to do that, she must be open to learning at that moment.  It is not time to teach when they are hungry, wet or tired. They will not take the time to listen and understand what you are trying to teach them. What are your feelings on this subject?

By JL Meicht – Posted from WordPress for Android


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