As a childcare provider or parent, does your kid’s behavior make running errands a nightmare? Are they running all over the place and pay absolutely no attention to you? Try what I Call “Expectations of Behavior”. In the car on the way, to say, the library, ask your kids “how do we behave in the library”? Discuss their answers and add anything they might have forgotten. You will be amazed with how much a 2 to 3 year old really comprehends. You will get some great answers if you keep prodding them. I find that by letting them tell me what is expected, they remember better and actually try harder. The whole goal of this exercise is that if you let your kids know ahead of time what you expect of them, they will usually try to fulfill those expectations. In fact, I have found that it makes kids really happy to try to please. They will even try to make it a game and try to be “better” than everyone else!

Children Expectations

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At the end of the outing, if your kids have behaved appropriately, give them a small reward of your choosing (geared towards your kids of course). Also, heap lots of praise on them. If their behavior was not as discussed, let them know what they did wrong and ask them to try harder next time so they can earn their reward. DO NOT GIVE IN AND GIVE THEM A REWARD IF THEY DID NOT FOLLOW THE EXPECTATIONS! Small consequences can be a powerful tool. Give it a try and see what happens, you’ll be surprised!

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