Should I Discipline My Child Now or Later?

Sometimes, well, lot’s of times, when I’m out with the kids they do something wrong but we are out so I can’t discipline. I end up forgetting later. What can I do in the moment or can I just forget about it?

This is a big dilemma for many folks.

Ya don’t wanna scream at your kids in front of others, and what do you take away? Dessert that will happen 5 hours from now? Toys that have nothing to do with what is going on at the moment? Grrr, it’s tough. Many just throw in the towel and let things go. Who wants to have a melt down in the middle of the zoo, at a birthday party, in front of the in-laws? NO ONE…

BUUUTTT it happens and either people walking by totally get what you’re going through because they have or work with kids or they don’t get it at all and who cares about them anyway? We sure don’t! So what to do: Think small.

Huh? Small? How will that work? TRUST ME. Discipline does not need to be huge to work. It’s not only about taking things away, it’s also about stopping an unwanted behavior. As soon as you see a flare up or unwanted behaviors appear, take a breath and calmly ask your kid to come over to you or go over to them.

Think National Geographic.

Approach the animal sloooooowly as to not spook it into running away (creating that uncomfortable and horrible “have to run after your kid” moment). Let them know what you don’t like about their choices and the choices that you want to see. Be clear that if they cannot make safe and thoughtful choices you will have to have them take a break.

Take them into another room, find a bench at the zoo to sit down on and chill. Leave if you must. If kids are not being thoughtful and safe when out and about it must be addressed not just for them, but for the people around them. The child that they grabbed from, the grown up that they yelled at, the furniture that they tried to write on.

Everyone with kids has been there, and everyone has had to correct the behaviors of their child – so no worries about being embarrassed. The REAL discomfort comes when the behavior continues and your child spirals out of control – THAT is hard to contain.

The idea is to jump in fast, be sure to be clear about the rules before you even leave the home and remove the child from the situation sooner than later and take a break. Yes, they will tantrum but not as badly as if you let it go for an hour and then decide to care.

Don’t be afraid to discipline in public. It’s important for them, you, and the folks that surround them.

Brandi Davis, ACC, is a professional Parenting Coach, Parent Educator, and Author of O.K. I’m A Parent Now What? She can also be found on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and be sure to catch her parenting podcasts on iTunes. The goal of Brandi’s practice is to bring respect, calm communication, teamwork, and FUN into the home or classroom. To discover all that Child and Family Coaching can bring to your family stop by www.childandfamilycoaching.com.

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