Yes, we need time for ourselves. Yes, we need date nights. But yes, we also need to expose our children to real life, grown up environments. This is the only way they will become accustomed to being out and learn how to act appropriately.
It may be hard. It may be annoying, but it’s absolutely necessary to avoid those melt downs I see so often when children are 3 or 4 years old. What else would we expect?
If children are use to being in the house all the time, of course they’re not going to know how to act appropriately in public places. The more you expose them to large gatherings, restaurants, other adults and children when they are young, the better they will behave as they get older. They will not require heavy disciplining to be out in public. Your children will be pleasant to be around simply because they’re use to being out. Children who’ve never been anywhere, act like they’re never been anywhere.
I’ve been traveling and going out with my daughter since she was 6 weeks old. Of course since she was still very young I didn’t overdo it. She went with me to a book club meeting, quick runs to the store, and walks around the neighborhood. After about 3 months, we went out all of the time to the park and restaurants. She even flew on an airplane and was perfectly behaved while a two year old sitting across the aisle from us threw a tantrum.
My daughter is very observant. Not only do I think taking her out contributes to developing her social manners, but it also helps increase her brain capacity. The more she sees, the more she knows is possible. Remember your children usually only know what you expose them to, especially at very young ages. They want to learn, see new things, and explore the world. Let them.
Don’t be afraid to go out, even if you only go out in small spurts at first. The more you do it, the easier it will become.
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