Thursday, January 14, 2010

To Market To Market...

Or actually in our case this morning it was off to Gymboree to use up our Gymbucks! I have to say, I was honestly dreading taking the kids with me to the mall today. I just wanted to have a peaceful time looking around and not feeling rushed because they were having issues behaving while in the store...yes we have problems with that! While listening to "Training Toddlers" the other night I was encouraged to hear Carla talk about her times she would just have to shop after her husband was home because she didn't want to be shopping with her kids because of their behavior issues. The other encouraging thing for me was that no matter how well behaved your child is or has been, there comes a point where every toddler and preschooler have certain behaviors they demonstrate -- it's just part of growing up. Even with those points, we aren't to excuse our children's behavior. Instead we are to work with them to overcome their issues they may be facing. And one great place to start is with training times.

There are many opportunities for training your kids ways of right behavior and the most effective is during times of non-conflict. I have seen first hand the huge improvements in my kids behavior by just having non-conflict training time with them each day as we go over the behaviors and issues I see that need improvement on. One of them specifically is how do we act at the mall while Mommy is shopping and since I was running late we had a short talk before we got in the car and then while driving down to the mall I quizzed them on what were the expectations.

We discussed that mommy was bringing the stroller and both of them were to be sitting in the stroller. We would not be walking or asking to get out of the stroller. I have a side by side stroller and so we talked about where our hands were to be at all times while sitting next to each other in the stroller (on their laps or their side of the seat). We talked about how we act while in the store (we obey mommy right away, we won't be running or screaming or being loud). I really just stressed the staying in the stroller, keeping our hands to our self (Anna is a hitter!) and obeying mommy right away.

So we get out of the car and both kids climb into the stroller, just like we discussed. We go to one store to make a return and then headed over to Gymboree. Now if you've been to Gymboree they do have a little sitting area with TV shows and so I parked the stroller over there and did tell Owen he could get out and sit on one of the chairs if he would like to. And he did. But I did tell him he needed to stay there. Anna stayed in the stroller mainly because there were no other open seats for her.

All in all, I have to say, I was very impressed with my kids! They did great! Both sat there and watched the shows. I heard no crying or fussing from them. I spent 35 minutes shopping. And when I went to get Owen and Anna, they both got into their stroller no questions asked.

Then because of their behaving so good, I did reward them with Owen wanting to watch the man work on the train and we got some pretzels to share. Which brings up the difference between a bribe and a reward. A bribe is if I would have said before going into the store "Now, Owen and Anna if you do what mommy told you to do and behave nicely while I shop, then afterwards we'll get a treat to share". That's a bribe and that is not how you form good behavior since you are putting the child in charge and if they don't like what you are offering them, then well they're not going to do what you asked them to do. However, a reward is something the child wasn't aware would happen and is unexpected.

Anyway, I do want to have some additional training time on outings and appropriate behavior we need to be I'll be posting more about that later.

Was curious how you handle outings? One thing I have never done was if my kids misbehave just leaving my grocery cart of food and taking them home. Have you ever done it and what has been your experience? To me I have the issue of by me leaving the store to take my kids home that they are winning since I'm sure they rather be home then at the store. What are your thoughts?

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