12 Things to Do to Prevent Your Kids From Acting a Fool in Public

Last week, parents were outraged when they heard the news story about a store clerk that spanked a customer’s kid. Apparently the kid had beenrunning through the store and after a confrontation with the clerk, he threw a cookie at her. The clerk proceeded to take out a belt and spank the kid.

And parents were outraged; many of them said the clerk was wrong and that she had no right to spank another person’s kid. But there were some parents who said that the kid deserved a spanking for his behavior and if that had been their child, they would have administered a spanking right then and there. And we also heard lots of stories about how people’s parents would have handled this situation back in the day:

“My momma didn’t play that…she would have……”

But at the end of the day, sometimes even the best kids have melt downs in public. So I have crafted together 10 tips to help you prevent your kids from acting a fool when you are out in public.

Take a look and then tell me what works best for you.

  • Give a Warning Before You Even Get Out of the Car 1 of 12
    Give a Warning Before You Even Get Out of the Car
    Yes, you have to set the stage before you go into the store with a warning. You pull into your parking spot, turn off the car, and then turn around and look those kids square in the eyes. And then, you tell them: Don't ask for anything because you're not getting anything. Don't touch anything, no running, no loud talking, or doing anything to embarrass me (aka act a fool) or you will regret it when you get home. Photo Credit: Lamar Tyler
  • Try Positive Re-enforcement (aka the bribe) 2 of 12
    Try Positive Re-enforcement (aka the bribe)
    This may work just as good as the warning (for some kids) Like the warning, you want to do this before you go into the store. Let the kids know that if they are well behaved, then they will have a special treat or activity when they get home. Photo Credit: Jake Hellbach
  • Master the LOOK 3 of 12
    Master the LOOK
    Every parent needs a LOOK; a look that will stop their kids in their tracks when they see it. A look that says everything, with you not even having to utter a word. A look that says if you don't stop what you are doing right now and get back in line it 's not going to be pretty. And this look does not have to be a frown. My look is expressionless. I look at the kids with an eerie calmness. But my eyes are telling the story. They are piercing my kids' souls. Photo Credit: Nutech21
  • Master the Public Take-down 4 of 12
    Master the Public Take-down
    Last week, there were some parents that claimed they would spank their kids right then and there in public. I am not one of those parents. While I do not spank my kids very often, I do believe in spankings for certain situations. But I will not do it in public because I am not going to be the one parent on the news that night. So, I have mastered the public take-down for the extreme situation where the child is in full "act a fool mode" and has ignored all warnings and the LOOK. It involves squeezing the arm tight, pulling the child in very closely, clenching your teeth, and putting your mouth and hot breath right up on their ear......So that only they can hear you tell them exactly what they are going to get when they get to the car or home. Photo Credit: Ronnie Tyler
  • Divide and Conquer 5 of 12
    Divide and Conquer
    Normally, when I take just one of my kids with me on a shopping trip, she doesn't give me any problems. She sticks close to mommy. She begs for things a little..and asks a lot of questions. But for the most part, it's a drama free trip. It's only when one of their siblings is with them that they get the bright idea to hide under the clothing rack so mommy can't find them. Photo Credit: Andrew Breeden
  • Stay off of the Cell Phone 6 of 12
    Stay off of the Cell Phone
    Yep, could also be contributing to your kids running wild in the stores. If you are shopping and talking on the cell phone, then your ability to keep your eyes on the kids has been impaired. And the kids know this and will take advantage. Photo Credit: Galina Barskaya
  • Bring Back-up 7 of 12
    Bring Back-up
    That's right. For some kids, you need backup. This could be your spouse, a friend or a family member. So while you are shopping, someone is keeping the kids in-line. Photo Credit: Pavel Losevsky
  • Put them in the cart. 8 of 12
    Put them in the cart.
    This will only work for so long...but there is no need to be chasing small kids around the store. Strap those kids into a cart or stroller. Photo Credit: Brokenarts
  • Make Sure They are Rested. 9 of 12
    Make Sure They are Rested.
    If some kids don't get their nap, they are unmanageable. My youngest daughter is like that. So we try to make sure that she is well rested before we go on outings. Photo Credit: Renata Osinska
  • Bring a Snack 10 of 12
    Bring a Snack
    If the kids are sleepy or hungry, you will not have a great shopping experience. It's also a good idea to keep snacks with you because even if they ate before leaving home, they will say: "Mom I'm hungry." in about an hours time. Photo Credit: Bob Smith
  • Say Bye Bye and Leave Them at Home 11 of 12
    Say Bye Bye and Leave Them at Home
    Yes...this is a viable option that I use often. If I am tired and I am not at the top of my game and don't feel like being bothered, then I leave them at home. And this guarantees a peaceful shopping trip for mom. Photo Credit: Lisandro Moises
  • Take them out more 12 of 12
    Take them out more
    This is the exact opposite of the last option. But how are your kids going to know how to act in public if you never take them? So keep working with them (using any combination of the above tips) and hopefully things will get better. Photo Credit: Pavel Losevsky


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