Here’s an all-too familiar situation for parents of children: you have your whole family all dressed and finally out the door for family pictures at the park. You’ve got your camera, a picnic lunch, and the best of intentions, so what could go wrong? The answer, unfortunately, is your child’s behavior. Before the car is unloaded and the photo props are set, someone has already begun whining, arguing, or disobeying. Inevitably following are frustration, a battle of wills, and the descent of your lovely afternoon into utter chaos.
All parents have moments like these, so what can you learn from it? Teaching better behavior is an ongoing process, but you can get a step ahead if you have the right tools. Let’s discuss some helpful tips for parents before, during, and after events when children have a hard time behaving well.
The first thing you can do to help your children cooperate is to set realistic, age-appropriate expectations clearly. For example, “I expect Johnny to pose for a picture when I lead him by the hand” is more reasonable for a four-year-old than “I expect Johnny to stand still in one spot for an hour straight.” with this preparation, children may be more cooperative with your instructions when the time comes. The second strategy is to bring the children to your event/outing with all of their foreseeable needs already met.
A sleepy, hungry, bored toddler will be everyone’s worst nightmare, so plan to get your child well-rested, fed, and dressed comfortably right before it’s time to leave. Make a routine of keeping some portable snacks and toys ready to pack up and take with you, and while you’re at it, be prepared with everything to make the day easier on yourself, too. Moms and dads can stay at the top of their game when they’ve got protein bars, bottled water, and top-notch equipment for the job.
One example, sticking with the “family photos” scenario, is a camera and lens that will get you the results you’re looking for as quickly and smoothly as possible. Check out Sony camera lenses for portraits in 2021 for guidance toward the right lens type and quality to meet your family’s needs. With the right equipment you can lead your tribe confidently into the day.
First, try to involve the children in the process if possible. A child who is engaged in helping to set up photo props and poses will be listening better than one who is bored and distracted. Second, set limits on behavior early, before you start to get frustrated. This may look like holding your toddler on your hip after the first time he runs away, instead of yelling across the park after the third time you have told him to stay close.
If you’ve warned your child about any consequences for misbehavior, be sure to follow through every time. It’s true: your children will learn to believe what you say, and your consistency will pay off. Finally, point out positive behaviors often, so you can encourage them for the good things you see them doing.
Congratulations, moms and dads. You’ve successfully made it through a family outing with a little less stress and chaos. Each time you follow these tips, you’ve added building blocks to your repertoire of useful techniques and smart equipment. It will get easier with practice, so high-five yourself, your partner, and the kids. Here’s to the happy memories.