Podcast Episode 157: Three Steps to Well-Behaved Kids Out In The World

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and press the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

The part of a wedding “where they do karate.”

Any graduations, weddings, vacations, or visits with family coming up in your life?
If you’re nervous about how your child will behave, hopefully we can help you feel better by the end of this episode!

As I see it, there are three steps to getting our little kids to behave out in the world (at least – most of the time…)

Click weturnedoutokay.com/157 for the show notes, including an outline of the 3 steps, for a picture of “the wedding where we do karate,” and for key links that come up in this episode!

Without further ado, here are the 3 steps to well-behaved kids out in the world:

1) Understand why they do what they do.
– Contrary to how it may seem, kids’ bad antics aren’t done to get to you. Kids just have a tolerance threshold; if we exceed that, then there’s trouble!

2) Come prepared.
– If you’re lucky, you’ll have a situation like ours, when my brother married his wonderful sweetheart and they gave careful thought to how the young children at their wedding celebration would be amused!
They had it all: a gift bag for each child filled with fun, quiet amusements; a courtyard filled with statuary and bushes just perfect for running around; and even karate lessons for the children! (Which came about because of my youngest, who was about four when they got married, and prior to the ceremony asked “is this the kind of wedding where they do karate?”)
– But not everyone is lucky enough to have special events out in the world specifically designed for it their children.
That’s why it’s up to us to come prepared:
– bring quiet amusements, like play dough or small fidgets
– scarves and other light and silent objects are great for when kids can move around
– this is where the Loose Parts come into play; coming prepared is all about open-ended play, recognizing that kids don’t have the same threshold-tolerance for family events that we do

3) Don’t apologize for your child’s behavior.
– If you’ve got a kid who can’t sit still AND you are responsibly giving that child what he or she needs, then you owe no one an explanation or justification. Kids are kids, sometimes they’ll be noisy, that is just life… And anyone who doesn’t understand that, you don’t need to justify yourself to.


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With littles, meltdowns are hard to avoid.

So I came up with the HEART method to help you:
– remain calm
– stop worrying about judginess with public tantrums
– know you’re not alone

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Key Links:

Click here to listen to my conversation with college professors Lisa Daly and Miriam Beloglovsky, episode 152; if you haven’t heard it yet, it’s a great chat about how open-ended play is everything to young children. I spoke with them back in March, and our conversation is STILL blowing my mind.

Click here to check out the Ninja Parenting Community, a place you can get help if you’re seeing aggressive behavior, or passivity, or excessive sadness in your young child. Or if something your kids are doing is just plain driving you nuts!