SELF HELP RESOURCE - Parenting / School Age


A child misbehaving in public may lead parents to overreact and feel frustrated. After all, kids of good parents are supposed to behave themselves. A public incident is very embarrassing for parents as it attracts a lot of attention. They may try to discipline the child through all sorts of techniques. Yet, a little planning can help parents deal with children misbehaving in public.

Understand Your Child
Screaming at your child without understanding the reason for his behaviour does not equal discipline. Each child is different. One child can be kept interested for a long time while another needs to constantly to move around. Try not to stretch your child's endurance, as it would lead to an embarrassing situation for both of you.

Make Expectations Clear Before Taking Your Child Out
The child should be told where you are going and for how long. He should understand clearly how you expect him to behave when out, what he can do, and what he cannot do.

Do Not Shout or Scream
Screaming at the child does not help as it provokes the child to react more violently or badly. Shouting may distract the child for a while but once he gets used to the shouting, he may later ignore it which may cause you to get even more angry.

Ignore Bad Behavior
Sometimes children react because they want to distract their parents and get their attention. Even the negative behaviour or punishment gives the child a satisfaction of having the attention of the parent. Therefore, avoidance could be useful at some times in a public place. For instance if your child is demanding a chocolate in a shop you could tell him once your reasons for not buying the chocolate. But if he persists with his demands (as long it is not disturbing anybody) you could ignore him for a while. However, any misbehaviour which disturbs the environment or can lead to physical injury to him or his playmates, should not be ignored at any cost, and should be dealt with immediately. You could take the child outside for a while if he is really unruly.

Be Consistent
The rules should be made and then followed, even outside the house. If you give in some times and try to be strict at another time in a similar situation, it would never work. Rather it will make the child more confused. For instance if your child is allowed to play with the ornaments kept in the sitting room at home, then you can't expect him/her not to touch and play with similar things displayed in a shop.

Praise Your Child
Praise gives a child impetus to grow. They feel encouraged to behave well if they are praised frequently.

Involve Your Child
Give your child importance and make him a part of outings (shopping, party, restaurants.) Do not get so engrossed that your child is left out and heads towards misbehaviour. For instance, you could make the child push the shopping cart and place the selected items in the cart.

Do Not Bribe
Parents cannot buy their child's love and a new toy rarely guarantees good behaviour. Too many times parents reward misbehaviour with a present or the promise of a gift if they are good in the stores. Children who behave the best are the ones who get the most praise and attention, not the most gifts.


Latest Comments

anks94 on 11 Jun 2021, 18:23 PM

As an adult, when I look back at my life, if I would have had a bit more empathetic and a sensitive environment from all the adults around me, I believe that I would have been a better and a well-adjusted human being. I think this article really reinforces the impact of childhood experiences on our adult life

SWASTEEK27 on 30 Jun 2017, 11:23 AM


arijitmodak on 06 Apr 2017, 11:01 AM

nice topic covered

Winner28 on 03 Apr 2017, 12:08 PM

informative & insighful

Kalash28 on 31 Mar 2017, 14:22 PM

very good & helpful information....

Kalash28 on 31 Mar 2017, 14:21 PM

Very nicely articulated thoughts...

nagaravi on 31 Mar 2017, 12:14 PM

while reading everything looks so simple, when we start handling the kid we forget everything and handle the kid in quite opposite way that was told in the article

Neerish on 30 Mar 2017, 23:28 PM

Nice article. Same here. How much ever I tell myself 'Today I should not shout or scold my kid'...the moment they start a tantrum, you lose your cool :(..

joka on 30 Mar 2017, 20:42 PM

Very well articulated, thank you.

kesaba on 26 Nov 2014, 12:08 PM

informative and be practicable