Boys Town's Top 5 Strategies for Managing Children's Behavior in Public

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Boys Town offers adults five tips to successfully manage children's behavior when in pubic - from planning ahead to practicing behaviors at home that parents desire to see in public.

“Instead of avoiding social situations, seek them out. However, do it on your terms and in short time spans.”

Boys Town releases advice for parents on how to best manage a child’s behavior in public. The national child care organization, started over 90 years ago, says that planning ahead is essential to encouraging good behavior. Below are 5 ways to successfully manage kids’ good behavior in public:

1.    Start small with shorts trips to the grocery or convenience store. Practice having your child stay by your side and slowly lengthen your trips.
2.    Plan ahead. Make sure your child is fed and has made a trip to the bathroom before leaving the house. Bring items to entertain your child as you wait or shop.
3.    Practice behaviors you want to see in public at home. Praise your child for following the rules and for good listening.
4.    Set your child up for success. Make sure the environment is appropriate for your child. A formal sit-down is not the right environment for a toddler.
5.    Be patient. It will take time for your child to learn how to behave in new places. The key is to slowly shape and reinforce good behavior.

Boys Town counsels families and schools across the country on the best parenting and discipline practices. These strategies incorporate those teachings and can be used for effective parenting in the home. “Instead of avoiding social situations, seek them out. However, do it on your terms and in short time spans,” says Dr. Thomas Reimers, Director of Boys Town’s Behavior Health Clinic. “By controlling when you go out and for how long, you can set your child up for success.”

You can find more information at
The Boys Town National Hotline also offers free advice to parents 24/7. Call 1-800-448-3000.

About Boys Town
Nationally, Boys Town has been a beacon of hope for America’s children and families through its life-changing youth care and health care programs for more than 90 years. In 2011, Boys Town’s Integrated Continuum of youth care and health care programs impacted more than 500,000 children and families across America. This includes those who received services from Boys Town’s residential programs as well as those served by the many varied programs that comprise the Boys Town Integrated Continuum of Child and Family Services, including In-Home Family Services, health care services provided by Boys Town National Research Hospital and the Boys Town National Hotline.

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Kara Neuverth
Father Flanagan's Boy's Home
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