What do you do when your kids don't listen in public?

Moms!! How do you handle your children when they just won’t listen to you especially in public. I’m sick of looking like the out of control mom, I’m sick of screaming at them. Sick of being in that negative space. I try and be patient…but these kids (ages 6,5,4 &2) see me as a weak link. They will literally look at me laughing as I’m yelling or chasing them. It’s to the point no matter where I go with them…I have strangers intervene and tell them to listen to me. :sob::sob::sob: I’m a good mom and I love my kids but I’m sick of being the mean ugly mom. Idk what to do anymore


Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. What do you do when your kids don't listen in public?

You said it yourself they see you as a weak link. Some good old fashioned discipline consistent at home and while out. If I see a mother disciplining there child in public there is absolutely no judgement, you need to set firm boundaries. If there are no consequences there may as well be no boundaries. It’s your job to teach them right from wrong.


YOU are the adult. You need to get control NOW because if you don’t - you certainly won’t have it when they’re teenagers. I would NEVER chase my child, but there would be punishment when I did get my hands on them. Children need boundaries and they need to learn QUICKLY that there are consequences to their actions: good consequences for good behavior and punishment/bad consequences for bad behavior. I raised 5 sons all 21 months apart (men now) and they’re still respectful to me - but I earned that early.


Right this is what I think and I hope you don’t take offence. Usually children don’t listen to their parents as the parents don’t listen to them. Whenever they want to talk, stop what you are doing, and listen. They grow so quickly and need your time and attention. Most other things can wait :heart:


Take them home. No treats, no toys, no fun. Take away what they value (tv, electronics, games) and confine them to their rooms.


I don’t yell and chase in public, the second my three year old doesn’t listen we pack up and leave. I explain to her that her behavior was inappropriate and that’s why we left. Usually all I have to say is “if your going to act like that well just leave”. The attitude usually changes after that. When we get home after shes misbehaved she isn’t allowed to watch TV at all for the rest of the day.


Punishment. They need to learn there are consequences to their actions and rewards for being good. Take things away of course the younger ones learned from the older ones. Also is there a way you can leave them with someone and only the ones that don’t act out can go?


Another suggestion, try avoid going out during nap times or when they’re hungry. Make sure they have appropriate time to play outside or home so it helps them burn some energy. These may help as to why they act out. Just a thought though.


Omg hugs. These ladies have no clue what four+ is like at the same age. I’m sorry to say it but you literally have to leave the store and sit in the car.
And four means not all are in a stroller at all times. And you still have to get milk and you have to get dinner whether they are tired or cranky whether you slept this week or not. Hugs. When it comes to a bunch and I got six. They definitely gang up on you when they want something or are extremely bored with what you need to do. And no ladies there is no leaving them all at home it doesn’t exist with four plus. And that age. Omg I congratulate you on getting them all in the car dressed in less than an hour.
If you could take a friend that would help.
When we get somewhere o say ok I’m not buying anything I’m not wandering we have “ “ amount of time and we have to go home and get dinner ready. If you act up we’re going home. Unfortunately at that young of an age it probably will only work with the older two if there’s juice and their fave movie on when you get home. Out here everything closes so early. At least In the lower mainland I could go grocery shopping until 12 if I had to.
Hugs. Hugs hugs. I feel you mama. Don’t worry one day it’ll all just fit. And I have six and four were that ages together. Hugs


Prioritize you outings especially at the shops. Focus on what NEEDS doing first, so if you have to do the whole ‘if you can’t listen to mummy then we go home’ you can. Maybe try giving them a list or a job of their own to get them involved. I personally HATE shopping so we don’t wander just in and out. I also order groceries online for delivery now and only
Pop into the shops for those immediate needs. Definitely reduced the stress. I figure if I don’t like it why should they :woman_shrugging:t3:


Don’t yell. Give them 1 command. If they don’t follow it immediately then discipline. If you don’t follow through they lose respect for you because they know you won’t do anything. And never say anything if you don’t plan on following through with it. And I agree with the mom above that if you don’t get control now they’re teenage years are going to be a nightmare.


I know this is probably not the answer you need to hear but it’s the only one I got. I had 3 boys, all 2-3 years apart and when they were young and did the same, my oldest was the worst, I just stopped taking them anywhere. Eventually they started asking why they could never come, and I would tel them, because mommy doesn’t have the energy to fight with you outside the house anymore so until you can behave yourselves, you can stay home. And I did that, for years, before they finally realized they needed to listen to me if they ever wanted to do anything again.

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Explain to them why running away is dangerous, they could get lost or kidnapped and never see you again. Don’t chase them, the older three are old enough to know not to go too far, when they run off call them back and if they keep going then stop and tell them I’m not chasing you, I’ll wait here for you. They will stop at a point they are comfortable with being away from you and if you don’t entertain their game they will eventually get tired of it and come back. Each time you do that they will learn and eventually stop doing it. Another option is to get toddler harnesses and tell them that if they can’t listen to you or run off they will have to wear them and then make sure to follow through every time. They definitely need to be told why they shouldn’t run off though, they don’t know how serious of an issue it is. Kids listen better when they know the why to the rules.


When my daughter was little and misbehaved in public I would either crouch down to her level and in a very calm serious tone tell her to stop what she was doing and what the consequences were going to be if she didn’t stop or I would pinch the back of her arm. It always worked and she is well behaved.

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I feel you my son feels like I have more then one child at times because he has ADHD and his hyper hyper all the time especially in public. I struggle with a 4 year old all the time in the stores every time and that’s just one child I tell the cashier to page the security guard loud on the speaker if needed or walk up to him and tell him to tell my son behave or he will have to go with him. And my son gets embarrassed so he shapes up quick and says sorry. The cashiers know me in my town btw or I see random person and say if you don’t listen they are going take you but I wink :joy: and usually ppl are nice and say oh I’ll be happy to take him and he can clean my house or be put to work or something lol! Keep my child in the basket too because once I let him out it’s over you have 4! Everyone’s different this works for me but my son thinks their is a baby jail :hugs::face_holding_back_tears::smiling_face_with_three_hearts: my elders tell me to pinch my kiddo like they did me I don’t - I remind my kiddo I’ll get him a candy on our way out if he does good!

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Try a more effective And CONSISTENT DISCIPLINE. Every kid will learn differently. Some w getting a toy taken away, some w time out and some w a spanking. It depends what works, but Always follow through and stay consistent.

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If you’ve used discipline then it’s time for punishment. Leave when they misbehave. If you don’t have milk and they misbehave then they don’t get milk. Try again in a day or two. Removal of favorite toys when you do get home. Idk with 4 kiddos if time outs in the store will work but I’ve done it with the youngest. Make the rules and be consistent with discipline and then punishment when needed. I’ll back up any parent I see struggling too. We all need a little help from others sometimes. Kid harness for the littler one too. Set clear expectations for the trip. So they know going in if they misbehave they don’t get the cereal they wanted, favorite snack, etc. when they suffer from their behavior they’ll start catching on.

Find what the love and use it as a tool. My son is three and he laughs and finds lots of his misbehavior funny, sometimes a hand pop is needed because he takes it too far , now he’ll do something wrong and give me his hand to get popped and would laugh, pissed me the hell off so I tried time outs but he would never stay out anymore until I put him in his sister crib, this deviated him , mind you he can easily climb out, but the fact I place him in there on a time out and left the room, usually no more than a minute because that’s all it really takes at the moment, would really hurt him so now I count from one to three if I get to three he goes in the crib. I heard this one mom do this and thought it was brilliant. So she has twins and when she went out with them she would bring two ziplock bags filled with 10 m&ms each, every time they misbehaved she would get their attention and make them watch her each one from each bag, now lessening their rewards if they behave well in the store. And I thought that was decent idea, maybe you can find a way to implement that in your life.

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Put the little ones in the buggy, if you are shopping, and the older ones holding each side of the buggy. Give them all a lollipop. That worked for me. Also make sure you are getting them outside and playing as much as possible. Park, backyard, nature walk.

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Unless it’s a family event I usually try not to take all if my children with me. Or cut my visits short. Generally they’re just a little to hyper and run around and it’s not that bad but it does make a simple 20 min trip too long.

Walk away an Leave them in an isle alone if they’re not listening (obviously not too far) don’t give rewards, and ignore it (in your mind think I don’t have time for this don’t give into the screaming try to ignore) people are gonna give looks but who tf cares you’re parenting.

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So example of this my oldest didn’t want to stay in the basket at the grocery store. Kept trying to climb out. Wouldn’t be a problem if he would stay close but he’s a runner. So I told him if he’s not going to listen he can sit in the car with his dad and brother and won’t be allowed to come with me anymore. Now if I would have been a line without the help I do my best to calmly explain to him what will happen but he doesn’t usually listen unless I act on the consequences. Im very firm with my kids though. I never took them inside a restaurant until my oldest was almost three just because he’s very active and doesn’t like to sit still for more than a few minutes. Took a lot of teaching at home or other family memebers houses. Consistently teaching them.

I’d pick it some snack each like for a special treat. Tell them, this is your special treat, to earn it you behave. If you do not behave in the store, I do not but the treat. Period. When they are behaving praise it.

Alot of us have been their. We limited the amount of running we did with our kids when ours where that age.

On-line grocery shopping wasn’t a thing where we lived at that time, and Amazon wasn’t an option either. I’d recommend using those options as much as possible for the time being. If possible try a sitter, or see if someone is willing to go with you. Good luck.

Been there done that. Girl kids are just made to test your limit. I don’t know your circumstances but me and my husband would take turns going in the store shopping while he, or me, sat in the car with the kids until they learned how to behave their asses. It took about a year but they are well behaved in stores now.

I always see these and have to point you in the direction of Super Nanny Jo Frost. Look her up on YouTube, she has episodes on Facebook, she has amazing techniques to help with a proper discipline. When jt comes to disciplining your child, you have to stick with it. You HAVE to follow through. Nanny Jo steps only if you follow through and do them correctly, but I promise they work. I did her steps with both kids at very young ages and I’ve never had to deal with misbehaving kids in public. I’ve been lucky enough to never have to deal with a public tantrum. Seriously look up super nanny jo frost, you’ll be amazed in what you can learn from her.

They need to have consequences for their actions. Be consistent with them at home and when you are out. If they act up when you are out immediately take them home no matter if it’s just one or all of them that are being bad once they realize you’re not messing around their attitudes may change

The oldest is accountable for the next - on down - discipline is started at home - your a lil’ late but still can be taught - limit yourself with oldest and youngest at first (6-2) - then next trip do the next two( 5-4) Before going in - tell them if one misbehaves they both get in trouble. Then switch up (6 - 4) and (5-2) - again stating same thing - than 6- 5 and 4-2. Eventually working to all of them but again restating what’s the rules are. As far as what to do as discipline- that’s your call - my momma raised us with a biggo heart But she was deadly with her shoe( she was a softball catcher) - there was 10 of us ( same parents -20 years of kids) but also foster care kids too. But like I said it starts in the home - it takes time - these kids did “just all of a sudden” started acting like this. It gonna take some time to undo and redo proper their behavior. Stick to your guns. Heck if it’s to much leave them home with Pops - he should be part of all this

They are bored, go home, and play with them! I would do the same thing if I had to go shopping!

You have to teach them love and respect at home first, so when you take them out they know how to behave.God Bless your family.

Spank them. Works wonders. Be consistent say no once next time spank, it won’t take long to have very well behaved kids.

Mother of 6. DO NOT YELL ACT!

They act up, you leave. They don’t get anything, no treats, eating out. Take away things they like/cherish, no screens, no games, and they don’t get to go to any funny places since they don’t know how to listen. When they ask for something tell them no since they don’t want to listen. They continue then take it further, they don’t get their favorite snacks, water no juice, books only no toys. Make it a prison if you have to. And don’t entertain any fits that may happen. No need to lose your cool and yell, be matter of fact so they know you aren’t playing. But, bark when you need to. I’ve always told mine “You are not going to make me and you look a fool. I am not the one” Stay consistent and be ready to leave wherever you are when you start taking them out again.


Don’t take hungry or overstimulated kids. Don’t yell have consequences that you follow through on like taking screen time. Forgo spanking. Also why go in to the store with that many kids ? Hello curbside


Prayers for your family now deliverd from AC in Jesus mighty name Amene! Godbless your family. Amene

Try incentives and praise. Point out the ones that are doing right and how proud you are. Ignore the ones that are trying to get a reaction. Possibly leave them at home if they can’t behave prior to leaving. Another option is to do time out and punishment but you have to stick to it. Also be sure that the punishment fits the crime and it has to be at that moment for them to understand. They’re still young and you have plenty of time to figure it out. We all struggle in areas when it comes to raising our children, you’re not alone and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

I give them this look that means test my gangsta lol.

Parent of 30 years, Take child over your knee, Apply your hand to thier butt liberally, Repeat until child understands that the behavior will Not be tolerated . I’ve used this method and can assure you it WORKS!

watch supernanny Jo !!! this women is a miracle !!

You are the link to everything
Give them food shelter and clothing and nothing else

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You haven’t trained them to listen at home so of course they don’t listen in public. Teach them they must listen the first time they’re told. It will suck at first and there will be tears but they need to no mom means business. I’d put a backpack leash on the two year old if they’re running off too.

Pull them close close. Talking quietly and being right in their face works way better than yelling.

Wondering do they do this with their dad?

Put them all on a lead so they can’t run off