How to get your Toddler to Behave Perfectly in Public

Either you’re here to amuse yourself with a bucket of B.S., or you knew I was going to bait you in with the headline and completely switch it up. One way or another, you know (I hope) that there is no possible way to ensure an event-free public outing if a toddler has anything to do with it. I know I’ve said this before (see here) but today, I stand here with the strength and self-awareness to tell you that I, Carter and Monroe’s Mom, still don’t know what the heck I’m doing with this whole mommying thing. But 4 years in, I have a just a little experience with managing how toddlers behave in public.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen this picture:

Acting a PLUM fool while Mrs. Claus was reading a story.

This was the day I thought I was grown. I believed in myself. I prepared. I had backup. And still, it was a fail that ended with a walk of shame through the Gaylord Hotel, a screaming toddler trailing behind me, a baby on my hip, and me crying on the phone to my husband.

That day scarred me. Bad. So for the next year, I didn’t take them ANYWHERE alone, essentially punishing them for that day–for being kids. Not only were we bored out of our minds waiting for my husband to get off work every weekend so we could finally leave the house, but I felt like a completely crappy mom scrolling through Instagram watching all the fun moms do cool things with their babies. I felt like I was standing on the outside of a big window, with my face pressed against the glass. I’ve been depriving my kids of memories and life experiences all because I was afraid they might act out in public. As this summer approached, I knew it was time for me to stop taking my parenting insecurities out on them and let them be kids out in the world.

Where did I go wrong that day at the Gaylord? I didn’t. Nothing I did was wrong per se. But since then, I’ve taken the time to analyze the environments I put them in, the things that stress them, and the things that keep them relaxed. That sounds like work huh? It is. Parenting is work. (Write that down) And that’s something that I needed to make sure that I kept top of mind. But I also needed to learn not to beat myself up while I’m still learning how to do this thing. We only have experience to grow from, but here are a few more things that you can file in under each one, teach one:

Read the rest HERE.

 

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