Taking kids out into public can be challenging, difficult and hard.
Lets face it, kids like to touch EVERY thing they can, they want EVERY toy they see and will throw a fit to get EVERY piece of candy at the check out line.
As parents, we often feel like we are stepping into a war zone unprepared.
You may find yourself negotiating for good behavior, promising things if they will listen or threatening some kind of punishment when you get to the car.
If this sounds like you, take a deep breath and keep reading.
I want to talk about 3 different strategies regarding time that can be used to help maintain the peace and help you (the parent) have an enjoyable outing with your child.
So you may be wondering what does time have to do with when I go out, I will just buckle the kids in and take them with me.
This can work, however, if it’s right before lunch, during nap time, or if you’re going to be out for long periods of time then timing can be very important.
1. Nap Time: If it is close or it is your child’s nap time, then you may want to consider waiting until after nap to take them out or you can go before nap. We all know tired and cranky kids can be a recipe for bad moods and temper tantrums.
2. Meal/Snack time: Planning your outing around meal times can be very helpful because your child will not be hungry and this will help reduce irritability and chances for meltdowns.
3. Length of time out: It is important to keep in mind your child tolerance for being out and about. For example, if they get cranky after an hour then try to keep your trip at around an hour. As kids learn and grow they will be able to tolerate being out for longer periods of time.
Of course, these 3 strategies may seem simple to you at first, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed and forget the basics when you’re in the midst of hectic parenting your children.
Stay tuned for next week’s Part 2 where I give you 3 more strategies to avoid being “that parent” in public with your kids.