One September Day

Monday, November 23, 2009

Out in Public

I have been asked, as many moms do, "How do you get your kids to....?"
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)
-Try it.

Grocery Shopping-
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.


  • At November 24, 2009 at 12:06 PM , Blogger Kami said...

    Thank you for this post! I really love that you've given these tips! It's such a hard thing to be the one in the grocery store with the screaming child (this is initially why I switched to ordering my groceries online - now a trip to the grocery store is a treat to him!). Sounds like you have a lot of experience in these areas!

    Bless you for putting this up :)

  • At November 24, 2009 at 2:16 PM , Blogger Kate said...

    Love this post, and I am so trying all of it! Especially the quiet time, great idea! Thanks for the encouragement and happy words!

  • At November 24, 2009 at 9:55 PM , Blogger Joye @ The Joyeful Journey said...

    Wow, September, I am so thankful for your wisdom in this post. With all of my kids still pre-schoolers, I am desperate for WISDOM!! Thank you for sharing these, I am definitely going to work on them!

  • At November 24, 2009 at 10:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    OK...this is from MOM. I just couldn't resist this post. September was a VERY compliant child and NEVER (and I really mean NEVER! caused problems when I grocery-shopped - except for one time when she was 2 yrs. old.

    She decided in the peanut butter area to ask for for some peanut butter to take home. As usual, I quietly told her "no, maybe some other time, honey; we already have some home." I thought I would continue to shop until she yelled, totally out of the blue (DON'T HIT ME and raised her hands up around her face." By the time I regained my composure, some older woman walked next to me, stating, "Some women just shouldn't have children!"

    Well, needless-to-say, she did NOT get her peanut butter, but she did get something else when we got home. :) (smile)

    That has been one of our favorite memories and the one and only time (truly) that she EVER misbehaved.

    And that's the truth!


  • At November 25, 2009 at 10:36 PM , Blogger Lynnette Kraft said...

    Okay "Mom". Seriously? Nah, I don't buy it. Oh wait - you said "in the grocery store". Okay, that might be possible. I never misbehaved in the grocery store either - nope never. Ask my mom! (ha! Yes, I'm laughing because I don't remember misbehaving in the grocery store, but I'll bet my mom could think of a time.)

    Great advice - I should come up with a helpful post like this, but I'm not sure I remember how to go into a grocery store with kids. I just always leave them in the car with the big kids! ha!!! There ARE many advantages to having big kids huh? :) :)

    Love ya.

  • At November 27, 2009 at 9:25 PM , Blogger Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

    Great words of wisdom, September...thank you...many frazzled mamas could use the encouragement!

    Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  • At December 17, 2009 at 4:16 PM , Blogger Angela said...

    Thanks for this post, September. It's hard to admit that bad public displays could be a result of my negligence at home, but I know that this is often the case.... Now I'm examining myself.... Thanks. :-)


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