It takes training to lay out the behavior expectations and it takes consistency to follow through on unruly behavior in the stores, when you get home. Here is the kicker though: If you want well behaved children in stores and public you have to take them out and teach them how to act.
Before we went to the Post Office and the grocery store I sat all three boys down on the couch. We talked about what was expected of them in each place.
- At the post office there will be no running or talking loud. We will all get out of the bus on the same side (Mommy's side). Big boys, you will hold hands and I will hold the babies hand.
- Once inside we will hold the door open for anyone coming or going.
- Smile at people when you see them and say Hello.
- Stay quietly by my side.
- Anyone who does not obey the rules will answer to Daddy when he gets home.
We headed to the grocery store. Before we got out of the car I reviewed the store rules that we talked about on the couch before we left the house. We are parking by the buggy corral. Baby, you will sit on your bottom up front by Mommy. You may not get up or unbuckle. Big boys, you will walk beside Mommy in the parking lot, each with a hand on the buggy. In the store there will be no running, yelling or asking for things. We have a list and that is what we are buying today.
Once again, the boys did beautifully. I tell you this because I think laying out very clear expectations before leaving and reminding them before we got out of the car each time was helpful. They knew what I expected and they knew there would be a consequence when we got home for disobedience.
The reward for good behavior: Well, besides a job well done they asked if we could play Uno when we got home. Yes we can! The laundry was done, the food was purchased for the following week, I knew that tomorrow would be cleaning and sheet washing day, so with my week being laid out it freed me up to sit and enjoy my children. Even though they BOTH beat me it was really fun.
I hope this is helpful. It was very freeing to have all my errands planned for Town Day. It helped me actually get them done and not procrastinate. Thursday morning is Town Day. We'll make it a fun time in our week. The morning we get out the door and get out of the house. Hallelujer, we get to see people today!