It can certainly be stressful trying to control children in public especially when shopping.
Follow these success strategies you can use when taking your children out in public
1. Establish rules that everyone is expected to follow when you are out in public together. Generally, all rules should include respecting self, respecting others, respecting property (not grabbing stuff) and listen to mommy/daddy. Depending on your child's age, you will explain and get more specific. Depending on your own experience with your child, you can add other specific rules as well. For instance, children not allowed to play hide and seek up under clothes racks.
2. Before you enter the public place, make a plan with your child for how your time together will transpire. What do you want? What they can expect. This will alleviate anxiety.
3. Be sure to build into the plan something enjoyable for your child to do while you are busy occupied elsewhere. Play-doh works great because they keep busy making shapes, games on the phone or game device, listen to music, color, read, etc.
4. Before you enter the building, review your established rules. For example: Once you have parked the car at our designated destination, but before you exit. Once you have done this process enough, all you will have to do is ask your children, "What are the rules?" and they will tell you. 5. If your child begins to slip into irresponsible misbehavior, immediately and calmly (and if possible privately) ask your child "Remember our plan? Remember you said you could follow the rules? Do you need my help in doing that now or can you make a better choice by playing with your game?" And follow this process every time. There is no need to yell, yank, or threaten your child. Simply and calmly remind your child that you are in this together.
6. Once you are back in the car, everyone is given an opportunity to self-evaluate his or her ability to follow the plan. Please remember that this is a self-evaluation. You are not evaluating your child's success or failure. You are evaluating yourself. Here is the question everyone is answering: How did you do in following our plan? After everyone has answered that question then everyone answers: Is there anything we should do differently for the next time?
IF THE CHILDREN BEHAVED – Praise them and let them know you are proud of them and their behavior.
IF THE CHILDREN DIDN’T BEHAVE – Evaluate and ask them how you can help them to behave better.