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Old 10-10-2012, 10:55 PM   #1
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Punishments Outside of the Home

We met up with a friend and her daughter today at our mall for the kids to play in the play area and to have some dinner. It started out ok, but my son started getting out of control. He screamed at me, told me to "Shut up!" at one point, and tried to swat me with his hand. I felt completely at a loss with know how to institute punishment, though. My friend lives out of town so it wasn't like we could just skip it and do it another time, though it would have saved me a lot of headache. And I had my 4yo DD with me, and she was being very good and was really enjoying hanging out with our friends' daughter. So, if I told DS we had to go because he wasn't behaving, it would be a punishment against DD too (and me, because we don't get to see each other often). I also couldn't really let DD play in the play area and not DS because I couldn't watch them in two different places at the same time, and DS would just scream louder and the situation would escalate further - which is what happens with time-outs. I deal with it at home because I can keep him in a safe, quiet place long enough for him to calm down, but I couldn't locate a suitable place in the mall that would work for that. But I didn't want him to "get away with" his behavior just because of the situation... He is never normally that bad, I think today was just a perfect storm of tiredness, hunger, and overstimulation (yes, I realize prevention of these things is key, but I'm not sure why he was so tired and I can't control his hunger because he doesn't eat). What I ended up doing was taking away his favorite thing, which was to read two books before bedtime. He's not quite 3 though so I'm not sure that it sunk in, because it was about three hours later and when I reiterated to him why he wasn't getting the books he didn't seem to comprehend it, which is what I was afraid of in doing an after-the-fact punishment like that.

I recognize that I pretty much failed all around on this one, and I'm not so ignorant as to expect that it will never happen again (I'm actually pretty impressed that we've gone a total of 4.5 total parenting years without dealing with it in either child), so for the future - what do YOU do in this case, punishment-wise? PS, for what it's worth, we do not believe in spanking. If you want to share your spanking advice, by all means, but it will fall on deaf ears (er, eyes?).

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Old 10-10-2012, 11:05 PM   #2
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Re: Punishments Outside of the Home

It always seems like kids act up when you are out doesn't it? It can be really hard to discipline in situations like this but my best advice is if you want to use time outs (and this is what I do essentially) remove him from the fun. Say "uh oh time to sit down" or "corner time" or whatever and remove him to the benches or a corner in the play area where you can still keep an eye on your dd but control him as well. Yes he will probably scream and throw a fit but that is perfectly fine. You can let him know that he is welcome to come out of the corner or off of the bench when he is ready to be sweet again and then as soon as he has calmed down give him a moment to compose himself and ask "are you ready to be sweet?" If he says yes you can say "That is great I love you." And send him off to play again. The important thing is to not let him go until he stops having a tantrum and acting out.

I'm not saying this always works, things get crazy and I lose my temper and Tharen can get really out of control but this is what I try for.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:38 PM   #3
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Re: Punishments Outside of the Home

I always do time outs right then and there; I think the toddler age is a bit young to grasp the idea of losing privileges or fun stuff later. If there is a behavior that isn't ok, I sit him down on the floor next to me and have a little break until he's ready to be nice.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:46 PM   #4
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That's a great idea - an in place time-out. Sit down right where you are and take a break. What a useful coping skill to teach too. Even as adults, we can't always leave a situation that is upsetting to us, so we have to calm down right where we are and resist the urge to scream and lash out.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:53 PM   #5
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I guess what I'm saying is that I tried the time-out thing but there was no place quiet enough for him to calm down...he just kept getting louder and more upset. (That is also when he yelled at me to shut up...such a lovely thing he picked up somewhere...). It usually works at home, heck he even sets himself down somewhere, usually in his room, without me having to actually do the time-out myself...but it didn't work in this environment. Sigh.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:57 PM   #6
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Re: Punishments Outside of the Home

Tbh, i probably wouldve asked my friend if she could keep an eye on my daughter while i took ds for a bathroom break and given him a time out somewhere like the hallway by the bathrooms, etc. Where he wouldnt disturb so many people. If I didnt feel comfortable with that, I wouldve left and done something special with dd later.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:03 AM   #7
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Re: Punishments Outside of the Home

If it is small misbehavior, I might overlook it, but speaking that disrespectfully and trying to hit me would have pushed me over the edge. I would have left the play area, even if it meant leaving with my other child. I would have tried to find another option to spend time with my friend (possibly inviting said friend back to my house while I dealt with my child) but in my experience, I can't concentrate on having fun with friends when my children are acting out, so if I had to, I would have said goodbye.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:31 AM   #8
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Re: Punishments Outside of the Home

We do time-out then and there. At the mall- family lounge area if they have one, on the bench at the play area, where ever. We usually find a dressing room and that is where we do it. I have only had to do it once at the mall and once at Target. Once dd realized that I could institute a time out in public me asking her if she needed to go to time out became a valid warning. I never leave places. I live too far away to come back late because of a tantrum- I have gone to the car for a time out at the grocery store (this was before I lost my embarrassment over sitting dd down in public. Last week I sat ds down beside an empty shelf at the checkout aisle because he was throwing a massive fit. That was his very first public time out- it took him about 2 seconds to stop.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:41 AM   #9
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Re: Punishments Outside of the Home

I do the old fashion "face the wall" timeout. Honestly I like it because it is sort of calming because he has a blank space to look, that removes some stimiuli. Sometimes he still cries, but most of the time this gets him to calm down enough to continue. I have used it at train stations, he faced a fence post yesterday at school, pretty much anywhere. Because we walk so much, it has worked the best for us, because often times we can't just leave and don't have a car to use.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:51 AM   #10
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Re: Punishments Outside of the Home

I have btdt and I feel the same as PP have stated. A time out then and there. If you needed to be watching your other child, then he should have sat there next to you. At first I would have ignored the escelated behavior when you placed him on time out, then I would have explained that he was being rude to everyone by being so noisy and screaming. If that was not working, removing him from the situation while asking your friend to keep an eye od your dd. And honestly, as a last resort, I would have to leave. Yeah, it would suck for your dd, and for you since it is your friend, but there is a lesson your son needed to learn and waiting several hours to punish him for his bad behavior is not doing him, or you, any favors.
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