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How to Teach Social Skills: Enjoying Your Children in Public

How do your children behave in public places? Do you cringe at the idea of going to the store with them? What about church? Or an extended family event? What about when you are on the phone? Or at the park talking to a friend? Do you already know if your children are with you an uninterrupted conversation will be impossible? Do your children ignore others who greet them?

We have all seen it, and possibly experienced it with our own children. A friend of yours goes up to your child and says “hello”. Your child doesn’t respond and may even ignore them. Have you ever greeted a young child only to have them turn away from you, or ignore your attempts to engage in a conversation? Or come up to you and state that they want something, with no manners? So, if this sounds like you, be ready to learn a few things that can help!

Does it really have to be this way? Is that just the thing to expect with children? NO. It definitely doesn’t have to be this way and it is definitely NOT the thing to expect with children… who have been trained to understand how to behave socially.

You can teach your children to behave in public and to greet and respond to others in a polite manner, prefer others ahead of themselves, say “please”, “thank you”, “excuse me” --- and like it! Very young children do not yet grasp the concept of their reputation with others. While they are still very immature, they think only of what they want at the moment. Some of the training we have already discussed in “Be the MOM: How to Take Charge” and “Creating Calm in Your Child: No More Bedtime Battles” will already be teaching your children to think of others. To realize they are not the center of the universe and that they do not get everything they want when they want it.