Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Creative Ways to Manage Your Children's Behavior in Public by Mark Lakewood, CEO
Does your children's behavior embarrass you while shopping? Do your children appear to be oblivious to rules and consequences while in public places? Do you intentionally avoid bringing your children with you to public places in fear of developing extreme frustration and anger? If you answered yes to any of these questions, please consider the following:
Managing your children's behavior in public is perhaps easier than most might think. Parents simply need to follow some simple and basic rules before allowing their children to enter public places.
First before exiting your vehicle, it is very important that you ask your children to recite rules for appropriate public behavior. It is important for your children to recite these rules appropriately without your assistance. If you help or put words in your children's mouth regarding rules, this first step will be ineffective.
Once your children appropriately recite rules for appropriate public behavior, it is encouraged that you consider offering a reward for appropriate public behavior. Rewards can consist of a later bedtime, a special treat or privilege at home, or an inexpensive purchase at the store. It must be made clear however that if your children break any rules they previously recited, they will no longer be eligible for the reward. It is important that you make no exception to this rule.
After this foundation has been established, feel free to exit your vehicle with your children to enter the store. As you shop, simply monitor your children's behavior. You should find virtually instant improved conduct as your children will be very aware of their own behavior.
While in the store, it is strongly advised that you avoid yelling, arguing, or engaging in physical discipline of any type for this may be considered or interpreted as abusive behavior which can subsequently be reported to the police. If your children do misbehave, it is imperative that not only do they lose their reward but they also receive a specific consequence to be served at home.
Most children who lose their reward privileges will attempt to persuade their parent for a second chance. It is imperative that you resist this temptation because if you give your children a second chance, this will manifest a conditioned response where your children will always expect the opportunity for second chance. Therefore if you truly want appropriate public behavior from your children, it is important for you not to give your children a second chance.
Regarding rewards, some people think that rewarding children for appropriate behavior is inappropriate as this is a form of bribery. However, rewarding children for appropriate behavior is not a form of bribery because bribery can only affect those who have a clear understanding of right and wrong. By default, children do not as of yet have this understanding perfected. If they did, they would not be required to reside under adult supervision and they would be granted all the rights awarded to adults who by default should already know right from wrong. Please keep in mind that rewarding children for appropriate behavior in essence is called 'shaping behavior'. As parents, our job is to train, shape, and mold the behavior and minds of our children.
Please be aware that these techniques to manage public behavior might be difficult if your children's behaviors are out of control at home. If your children have difficulty engaging in appropriate behavior at home, it would be strongly advised that you first consider developing a behavior management program with your children therefore making the above strategy more effective in managing your children's behavior in public places.
Mark Lakewood, CEO, a distinguished author, speaker, and parenting expert with over 20 years of clinical experience as a mental health therapist, graduated with a Masters degree in Social Work. He was employed at medical/psychiatric hospitals and clinics, and a family preservation agency. Afterwards, he opened his own private practice providing mental health therapy services to children, adolescences, and adults. Mr. Lakewood developed the Sudden Compliance Program, http://www.SuddenCompliance.com. Presently, Mr. Lakewood develops and facilitates seminars that focus on family and school-related issues.