February 22, 2013

How To Take Your Kids To Public Places (Without Being Embarrassed)

Okay, so picture this: It’s Saturday morning and you’re standing in the checkout line at the grocery store. In the line next to you, there is a mom with 3 […]

Okay, so picture this: It’s Saturday morning and you’re standing in the checkout line at the grocery store. In the line next to you, there is a mom with 3 kids. One kid is standing in front of the candy shelf saying, "MOOOMMMM, can I have some candy? PLEEEEASE???" When Mom says no, he starts to cry and throw a fit as he says, "You’re mean!!! I don’t like you anymore!"

The other 2 kids are screaming at each other, still arguing about the best kind of cereal and tugging on Mom’s arm, begging her to get both of their favorites. She finally caves in and says, "FINE! Go get it," just to shut them up. Both kids take off running at full speed back to the cereal aisle. Mom looks around, totally embarrassed by her kids’ behavior. Frazzled and humiliated, she finishes checking out and leaves the store as quickly as possible.

We’ve all seen that before. If you have kids, you’ve probably experienced it yourself. And why does it happen? Because of a lack of preparation.

If you take your kids into a public setting (like a grocery store or a restaurant) without preparing them, then you are basically telling them that anything goes! They are wild and crazy. They are spilling things and throwing things and yelling. But you did nothing to prevent those mistakes. In fact, you actually provoked those mistakes by not preparing your children ahead of time.

It’s important to talk to your kids about situations and behaviors before they are faced with them. All children want to succeed, and all children want to please their parents. When you prepare them for the situation they are about to walk into, you are setting them up for success instead of failure.

So here’s what I do…

Anytime we take our kids anywhere, whether it’s a restaurant, doctor’s office, grocery store, church, or any other public place, we use a few very easy steps to prepare them.

First, we have a "pre-game talk". This lets them know what they are about to experience and lays out the guidelines they are expected to adhere to. In this talk, we make sure they understand where we are going and what the environment is (Is it a fancy restaurant? A hotel? An airport? A friend’s house?), who will be there (Mostly kids? Mostly adults? What kind of people will they encounter?), and what their conduct should be (Quiet? Inside voices? Good manners? Patient?).

I encourage them, telling them, "I’m so proud of you. We are going to have a great time! I am confident that you can follow directions, obey, and set a great example for others to follow, just as you have done in the past." I also let them know the consequences if they do not obey.

And guess what? They do exactly as they were asked to do!

After we leave, we have another talk – a "Post-game talk". This is just as important as the pre-game talk. This is when we celebrate their success! "You guys did great! Thank you for following directions!" I verbally reward the behaviors I want to see more of. I tell them that they honored me by following directions. I encourage each of them individually for their achievements and efforts.

And what is the result of this? Their excitement level goes through the roof, and when the next opportunity to be in a public setting comes around, they’re ready to do it all again!

This is a dynamically different kind of situation as the one I described to you at the beginning of this post, wouldn’t you agree?

So do you see how important it is to communicate with your children? They really do want to please you. They really do want to succeed. And if you prepare and motivate them beforehand, they will step up and do the right thing.

Preparing our children on how to respond properly in different environments teaches them how to honor us, themselves, and those who share the environment with them. This sets them up for success. How? They are being trained to look ahead, make decisions, and plan their time wisely.

And here’s the kicker… This doesn’t just apply to kids! This goes for adults, too. Can you imagine if the people in your company knew the proper way to respond instead of flying off the handle and saying something stupid or walking away because of some big fat ego trip? Imagine if you were groomed in this fashion. Imagine how much more successful your life would be if you knew how to look ahead at what you’re about to walk into instead of blindly walking into a situation and reacting inappropriately. I’m here to tell you that it’s not too late!

I can’t tell you how excited I am that you have this information in your hands today. This has helped to shape our family, our companies, and our community. We’ve heard so many stories from people who have used this strategy with their own kids, their students, their staff or co-workers, and their entire companies. I can’t wait to see you do the same!

Please take a minute to email this to every parent, grandparent, teacher, or babysitter you know. Send it to your friends, family, and co-workers. Share it on Facebook and Twitter. Print it out and give it to your kids’ friends’ parents. Get the message out there! Together, we are going to groom our families, companies, and communities for success! Please also let me know your thoughts about today’s Daily Fix by leaving your comments here.

Have an awesome weekend, and until next time, God bless you!

 

In great faith,

 

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P.S. Don’t stop here… It’s time to groom your children for success. Here’s where you can get proven strategies, tips, and techniques to help your family succeed in every area of life!

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