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Trinbago
Trinbago asks:
Q:

I have a 3 yr old who is constantly disobeying me in public and chooses to do what she wants. How can I deal with this?

In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges, Communicating with my child (The tough talks)
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Jun 30, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

When our children misbehave in public it can be so embarrassing!  We feel that everyone is not only watching us, but judging our parenting skills too. Because we’re embarrassed our reaction is often greater than it would be if the same behavior occurred at home.

In fact, many parents spend most of their time reacting to their children’s behavior, often focusing simply on the negative things their kids do.  We encourage you to be proactive when you teach by anticipating what your child will likely do in a situation and teach a more appropriate behavior before that situation occurs again.

Take a situation where a small child disobeys in public.  Using a proactive approach the parent would;
1.) Show and tell the positive behavior. (Clearly let her know what you want her to do.)
2.) Practice. (Make it fun and brief, do it often, by pretending or playing games)  
3.) Show Approval. (Use words of praise, encouragement, hugs, or high-fives for her efforts to practice.)

If you spend more time and energy proactively teaching what you want your child
“to do” in those situations, you will spend less time correcting the misbehaviors.

Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000

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