Out in Public
You can fill in the blank.. sit in Church?...Go grocery shopping with you?....Use good table manners at a restaurant?.. etc.
AND... I have seen my children act not quite so perfect in all of the above mentioned areas.
I write this post to encourage all moms/dads to take heart... It is not all a weary road of work and training, but one thing I have definitely learned is that our training for our children is best done at home.
This is what I mean:
Trying to teach your child to sit through Church?
-Begin at home. Instill a quiet time into each day where your child sits and reads/ is "quiet" for a short time to begin with.
-Gradually increase this time until you have reached a goal of sitting time that you think is reasonable for your child.
-Follow thru with your requirements for this time at home, so that when it IS time to sit in Church/ or an outside quiet function - your child is not being set up to fail.
Table Manners - Going out to Eat -
-I agree that this is one of the most challenging outings for a family of small children.
-Again, Begin at home.
-Begin by integrating a family meal time, where your child finds sitting AT the table for more than 3 minutes of eating is a normal habit they experience.
-Teaching good table manners - such as chewing with their mouths closed, using a napkin, using utensils (lol), not being loud at table, sitting while everyone finishes meal, etc.
-Think about what the "problem points" of eating out have been for you and your family, and address them at the Family Meal Table.
Do not try and train while you are out.
( Silly as it may sound, I even taught my children where their silverware goes, place settings, ordering from a menu, putting their hands in their lap when served, and using please and thank - you while ordering their OWN meal)
From What I hear.. ( from other moms), this is the "dreaded outing," that all moms try and do with out their children.
-I am no super-mom. If I had the options to go grocery shopping without my children - I would- in a heart-beat!
But, I don't.
So,, here are some things that have helped me survive the "dreaded!"
-Have a PLAN! Have your list ready,, in order of the store lay-out. ( helps when distractions -potty-breaks, crying episodes, diapers, etc. happen)
-Be prepared. Bring little snacks for children.
- Give them jobs as they grow. Helping load and unload the cart, finding items on shelves, using a calculator to "add" up totals, ( I LOVE this one,, it keeps their hands busy and minds sharp!)
-Choose a few items for a special meal they would like to help make.
-Comparing prices for brands- ( as they get older.)
-Don't be afraid to use a reward system. ( I am not promoting bribery here, just a good, healthy system of reaping and sowing.)
-Go alone if you can! ( Heehee.. I am not going to give ideas that I myself wouldn't try first!)
Being a Parent in Public can be difficult, humiliating, frustrating, and more.. but it doesn't always have to be that way.
I can attest that the majority of times that I have had "issues," out in public was merely my lack of dealing with the same things at home.
I usually find that their "bad public moments," have been prompted by my not paying attention to the details that have always been there right along.
Boy- Being a mom sure takes a lot of self-examination, doesn't it.
All for the better, right?!
All for Jesus, All for Jesus- Keep pressing on.