Tips on bringing your Kids to Public Places
I would like to share this few tips with you and the community about visiting public places, such as a doctor’s surgery, dental surgery, libraries, restaurants….etc. This is the approach that I used with my children. It worked most of the time, so give it a try.
I use these three steps:
- Manage their expectation
- Prepare them and explain the situation
- Reward or Consequences
My children are 21 months apart; so when one played up, you can bet the other would follow suit. When I had to take them to public places and knowing that there was a possibility of waiting, for example the doctor’s surgery, I used to talk to them before we left. Prepare them in advance.
Manage Their Expectation
First I told them where we were going, explained to them the environment and that there were going to be other people as well.
Prepare them and explain the situation
So try and explain the conduct you would like your children to display, such as “you need to be quiet in there, as there may be people who are sick”, and “I need you to be patient, as there may be many people waiting to see the doctors”, “use ‘little’ voices if you need to talk”, “what would you like to take with you?”. Get them to pack their “entertainment stuff” in their bags…etc.
Reward or Consequences
Tell them also the good bits, such as if they listen and do what we agreed, there will be rewards (even 30 minutes playing in the park is a reward). In addition, I would tell them how proud I was of them. This is very important.
However, if they disobeyed, there will be consequences as well, which my children learnt to understand. It is important to communicate all of the above about each situation in advance – you will be amazed with the end results. Children do understand so much when we take time to communicate with them.
Copyright Lay-Ean Eng, GoKids