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How to Successfully Take Your Kids Out In Public

  These days manners, morals, and discipline seem to be almost extinct in society, making it seem like such a drag to take your kids out in public. In a society where kids are not made to work for almost anything and given almost everything, it seems like they are the ones running the show. While that may seem “cute” or “funny” to some, it is a real inconvenience to others. While some parents are aware of their surroundings and how their kids influence the environment, many are not or just don’t care to do anything about it because it’s easier not to. But, what many don’t know is that with simple shifts, guidelines, and consistency, taking the kids with you for errands, or out to eat, or shopping, or even just out for a walk can be much easier on everyone involved, and not involved. 

 When I had my daughter about 10 years ago, I was majoring in Nursing and minoring in Psychology. Luckily, a large portion of that was child psychology, allowing me to learn then apply, and see the results fairly quickly. Now, if you have a newborn or baby under 2, this article may not be for you, and I recommend the book “Baby Wise” by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam, it is literal magic! Teaching children how to be considerate of others may seem like a daunting task but it is much simpler than we think. It all boils down to this; It is our job as parents to ensure that they grow up to be decent people as adults. Teaching a child good Manners, Morals, and being Consistent with this (MMC) lays the groundwork for what they’ll believe and be as adults. So many studies have shown that what children learn in their first 5 years of life, is the basis of the values they live by as adults. 

 So while many people were allowing their kids to rule their schedules, homes, public outings, and entire life, if you stay busy not only teaching your children this but also exemplifying it in daily life, you will see a huge difference in your children. It has also been proven that children who lacked discipline as children have an unhappy life and much harder time as an adult.

 So let’s get into it. Etiquette (aka Good Manners) seems to be a term from the 19th century and previous, and they seem to have stayed there with their name. While it may sound like it’s something from the aristocratic societies, it is simply a phrase used for when one is aware and considerate. Doing the right thing for the people around you, to help make them comfortable and show respect. I do not think it is ridiculous to teach a child at a very young age how to say “please” and “thank you”, “yes ma’am/sir”, cover their mouth when sneezing/coughing, looking at people when they speak to you, not interrupting adult conversations, using their inside voices when inside, and saying “excuse me” to get someone’s attention. These are very basic manners that every human being should be accustomed to using in everyday life. This is basic etiquette. Now if I was saying how not to touch the silver, or only use a grapefruit spoon for a grapefruit, then I could see how that wouldn’t play into 95% of people’s lives however, that is not the etiquette and basic table manners I am speaking of. 

 Morals easily play into this when you’re teaching a child manners. When you are teaching a child these common courtesies, it is imperative that you explain WHY it is so important that they do this. When explaining this to children, they learn that there is a reason for everything they do thus, teaching how to think AND in that thinking, they need to be aware and considerate of others. These basic practices will take them a long way in the future if you are consistent in ensuring they use their manners, and why, their emotional intelligence and awareness will always help them in any situation they may find themselves or just to be successful. This reasoning is what will help them determine right from wrong when they begin to think and act independently, and to keep up with their moral compass throughout adulthood. 

 Last but not definitely not least is consistency. Consistency is the glue that brings this all together. If you introduce manners and morals to a child once or twice but give up after they don’t do it immediately or on their own right away, they will never care to do it or listen to anyone else when they are told to do it. My daughter will be 10 years old this month and I still occasionally have to remind her to say “please”, or cover her mouth, or look at someone when they’re speaking to her. While it is rare that it happens now, there was a time when I thought to myself “My goodness, this child is never going to learn manners or do it on her own! I’m never going to be able to let her out of the house!”. Thankfully I stuck with it anyways and made sure I always did it myself (especially in front of her) and shortly after, I noticed her doing the little things on her own, no reminder necessary. Staying consistent will change everything! After all, a baby doesn’t give up learning how to walk after they fall a couple of times. They consistently try and try again.

  So the secret to my success of being able to take my child out in public is the MMC method! (Manners, Morals, Consistency). If we remember that one day we are going to have to let these kids lose on the rest of the world, ensuring they have the right mindset and manners to move forward will seem like more of a fun game than a daunting task brought on by parenthood. Doing this will also make your life so much easier being able to go wherever, whenever, without having to worry about a last minute sitter! Your children will be a pleasure to be around instead of the headache that they are now-a-days painted out to be.

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