There are times when parents are forced to discipline their children in the presence of others, which can be quite tricky. This delicate situation should be handled as such, in order to avoid damaging a child’s self esteem and leading to taunts from the observing classmates. These ten tips can strike a balance between effectiveness and overly harsh when your child is acting out in public.
- Acknowledge the Behavior – Immediately acknowledging inappropriate or naughty behavior in a calm voice lets your child know that you are aware of the situation, and that their behavior isn’t acceptable.
- Pull Them Aside – If at all possible, separate your child from his or her friends before doing anything more than acknowledgment; explaining to them in a one-on-one setting that there are repercussions for making poor behavioral choices is much more constructive than berating the child in the presence of their peers.
- Inform Them of Impending Discussions – When it’s not possible to pull your child aside, simply inform them that you’re aware of what they’ve done, and will be discussing it and the resulting disciplinary action when you get home.
- Keep Your Voice Down– Never shout at your child, especially in a group setting. In addition to creating the impression that you’re an angry parent, it also embarrasses your child by attracting more attention to the situation.
- Avoid Humiliation – Belittling a child is never acceptable, but it’s certainly not the right track when they’re surrounded by others. It is possible to be respectful of your children while expressing disapproval for their actions, and it’s the best possible route in public.