Discipline your kid at the Mall. Yes, it can be done tactfully, and this little girl proves it. Today when we were walking around an outdoor mall, I spotted this kid siiting by herself. She was actually watching her family who were sitting next to the window in the food court. They were still eating, and I noticed her grandmother sitting on a bench nearby…ignoring the child in solidarity with the others. The little girl was trying to rock her time out vehicle back and forth to no avail. She kept looking at the window, looking at grandma, then back again. No one was paying any attention to her. I silently applauded the parents who had won this battle. 

I feel sorry for parents who need to discipline their children while we are all mixed together in public places. We’ve all noticed the child who needs to be corrected, and we know what happens when the parent does nothing. The child grows up to be someone we have to deal with, and it never goes well. My Mom had ‘the look’. You know the one, the glaring stare that could stop your blood from flowing…you knew when you got it you were doing something unacceptable and the ride home would be a quiet one. Do parents now a days not have that look? Or have they not perfected it enough for it to be effective? 

I think as adults we have forgotten that discipline is a gift to our children. It helps them learn boundaries and appropriate behavior. We forget that we learned how to be safe and manners from discipline. We learned that some things were good habits and others were not fitting for public places. We learned how to treat people with respect and inside voices in places we were visiting. We also learned how to sit still at the restaurant and wait while everyone finished their meal. Discipline reinforced that the world is not all about us, there are other people around us who matter more than what we want. 

I exercise compassion and admiration when a parent disciplines their child while in public. It is a tough road, yet consistency is what makes it all work. No one likes to see it, it makes everyone uncomfortable, Yet we like it even less when we have to work with spoiled adults who never learned these important life lessons. So parents, consider yourself fully supported by the rest of us when you discipline your child in public…we silently applaud your efforts to make the world a more pleasant place to shop. 

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