Unruly kids? How to calm them when out?


Lola Alli

 If your kid behaves like a prima donna at the most unlikely time, for example when in public, try using some uncomplicated parenting methods to assist your child learn positive manners patterns.

Positive behaviour is learned. Ensure you mould the way you would like your kid to act. As an illustration, if you would like them to speak lowly (talking in low voices rather than yelling).   Before going to a cinema or movie theatre, speak to them in advance that it is impolite to stop others enjoyment if you talk noisily or rant during a film. Those around will not hear the movie and it is irritating to them to pay attention to children speaking to parents (or each other) and in the background the characters in the film will also be speaking. Advise them that daddy and mummy are not going to speak during the film and you are expected not to either, unless there is a toilet moment or illness. After that stand by it! Mentioning one of their “appropriate” role models or cartoon characters and how they would act may also help them put behaviour in check.

Reward positive behaviour and put off negative behaviours. For instance, have an enticement, like a little gift, for excellent behaviour. If your child speaks during the film, they will not receive the incentive. If they are silent once they get their initial movie snacks and ably chomps the snacks, only talking in undertones for the next 30 minutes, they receive the little toys after the film, etc. Set clear anticipations in advance and after that stand by what you say. If they do not “earn” their reward, do not grant it to them. Ensure you have set reasonable targets for them to achieve hence they can make it and discover that excellent choices bring about positive support.

Many parents have a difficult time taking their children to the grocery store. Children get bored, go astray, and get in trouble. An excellent approach to keep them engaged and occupied is to offer them their personal list or have them assist you select items you want. Say something like, “Next on your shopping list is apples”, “which apples do you fancy?” After that ensure they find a bag, pack it up, and place it in the shopping trolley. Then say, “Next will you assist me to get the cornflakes’ in the cereal aisle?” At the till, allow your children to unpack the trolley and assist bag the groceries (secretly hoping they do not see the sweets that are normally in big displays there).

More pearls of wisdom to follow..


Lola Alli




Director of a Finishing School in Lagos


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