1. Winifred Rosenburg

    I agree with EPI since it is an older child. I wonder though for younger children if the same would apply. I’ve noticed some parents take a more passive role when they are in public, I’m guessing because they’re embarrassed to reprimand their child with people watching. It seems like sometimes younger children (around 3-6) realize that they can get away with more when there are people watching and use it to their advantage. Sometimes it even puts the burden on other adults who should not be responsible for parenting someone else’s child to tell children not to hit, etc. I’m very much not an expert on parenting so I would appreciate other views on the subject

    • Ami

      I agree. My children are 9, 6, and 2. I always correct them immediately so they can immediately practice proper behavior. I tell them what to say when they say something wrong. For example if my 6 year old were offered candy and were to say”I want the blue one!” I would say “How about we say ‘thank you for the candy’ and take whichever piece we are given? Remember they don’t have to give you anything and are being really nice is sharing.” The biggest one though is a safety and manners thing, dogs. All of them love animals and a dog is a magnet. Every time I remind them that they need to ask the person holding the leash if it is ok to touch the dog, and then listen to what the person says. With toddlers you remind them of things before it happens, not waiting until after to correct. Things like “we need to remember to share the crayons” at the craft table. I am always told how great my kids are when out in public. Gentle, but consistent reminders are all that is needed.

      Now for the original post, a 15 year old could have waited until they got home.

  2. Since this was a teenage son that got scolded in public for something that happened earlier in the day, that was not correct. However, I do agree with Winifred Rosenburg in a way too passive role when parents are in public with little children. They ought to get corrected right on the spot so they understand what it is about!
    Very interesting subject…
    Mariette’s Backt to Basics

  3. Heather

    It really is a no-win situation sometimes with young children. My son is 2. At home we are very strict with him, and I TRY to be consistent when we are in public. However, the reality is that “correcting” a two-year-old (time out, take a favorite toy away, etc) often results in screaming, crying, flailing on the floor, etc. All of which would be much more disruptive to the strangers around us in the grocery store than it is to just let him get away with things. So there really isn’t a good solution– let him get away with grabbing things off the shelves, and people might notice and assume he’s a spoiled brat. Wrench the taken items out of his hands and return them to the shelves, he will react in totally natural two-year-old fashion, and people might assume he is a spoiled brat!

    • Joanna

      IMO that’s different – a two-year-old has such a short attention span that you pretty much have to correct any behavior right on the spot, or s/he will not associate the two together if it’s hours later. An older child, of course, is a different matter.

    • MM Thomas

      Here’s how we cured dd of tantrums. When she threw a tantrum at home, we laughed and told her she was doing it all wrong. We then proceeded to show her how by screaming, falling on the floor and throwing our arms and legs about. 2 yr old dd looked at us as if we had gone insane. “Now you try it.” we said. She shook her head and never threw a tantrum again. When other children threw a tantrum around her, she would give them a funny look and shake her head disapprovingly.

    • Ami

      One thing that sometimes helps with 2 year olds is making sure they are getting enough sleep. Most toddlers still need 12 hours of sleep a day (some more some less). And an afternoon nap can do wonders. I try to plan outings in the morning when my toddler is in the best mood. Then home by nap time, then dinner, family time, and bed for the kids.

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