Are you one of those parents that worry about what other people think of your kids when you are out in public? I am. I swear my children can sense my fear of public humiliation. The minute we enter a store, they develop this whiny, high-pitched voice that gets increasingly louder when we pass by a group of three or more people.
In an effort to avoid judgmental stares, I use to do everything I could to keep them happy. But over the years I’ve come to realize that catering to them requires way too much work. And you know what… they still act out!
For those of you who can relate, here are a few things I suggest you no longer do to appease your kids:
I see families all the time maneuvering those family carts with the seats attached to the back that no normal size child fits in. I mean really, can the seats be any smaller? Whoever created these monstrosities must not have kids. I have yet to see a parent with an Oh this makes my life so much easier expression on their face as they push these contraptions around. They usually have a look of exasperation and seem to be muttering some version of I hate my life right now.
Leverage a New Toy For Good Behavior
No matter how much your kid says they hate shopping, isn’t it amazing how the minute you go past the toy aisle their complaints about being dragged to the store turns into a chorus of ‘mommy can I haves’. That’s usually the cue for many parents to enter negotiations for how the shopping experience will go. If you behave, you get to pick one toy. But why exactly are we bribing our kids so we can shop to feed and clothe THEM? Parents are the ones who need a reward for surviving shopping with little people in tow.
Give Them Their Own Tablet
I offer this suggestion not to throw shade at you for using an Ipad as a babysitter. Nor am I saying this because constantly being in front of a screen will probably put your child at a disadvantage in the social skills department. (You can always brag that your kid has the best hand eye coordination).
No, the problem are those annoying in-app purchases. One minute your child is happily playing their favorite game and a second later they transform into something from Poltergeist because they don’t have enough points to unlock something. Do these app creators really have to prey on our children’s need to have everything?
Splurge On Expensive Souvenirs
For the brave parents who dare to take their child to live shows like Disney On Ice or the circus, don’t count on your kids being happy just to be there. As soon as they see a vendor with a light-up spin toy or an overpriced stuffed animal, suddenly getting it becomes the reason they exist.
No one wants to be the parent to that kid. You know, the one screaming and hollering throughout the show because you refused to buy them something. So I get why you might be inclined to spend twenty dollars on cotton candy. But here’s my question for you, why are you placating your child so you can sit through ninety minutes listening to squealing children? It seems more logical to just cut your losses and leave the venue. You can even secretly pat yourself on the back for dodging a bullet. We won’t judge you.
Give Your Kids Access To Your Cell Phone
I understand why you would think allowing your child to use your phone is a good option. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s easier to give in than to listen to their incessant whining. However, when you give your child your phone, be prepared for them to accidentally call someone you haven’t had a chance to delete from your contacts. Count on them to also take pictures and videos that could possibly land you in jail or at least on the outs with your in-laws.
When they do decide to give your phone back, the screen will be covered in fingerprints and residue from whatever they were eating. Oh and most likely your phone will be dead. Seriously, keep your phone off limits.
Your kids will have several public meltdowns in the future (or later on today) that will leave you feeling embarrassed. Take comfort in knowing that there will come a day when the tables will turn, and you’ll be the one embarrassing them. Cheers!
*Disclaimer: This is not my ‘professional advice of course just a wee bit of mom humor 🙂
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