What to do when your kids embarrass you in public?

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Prince Louis, the youngest son of Prince William and Kate Middleton of the UK, has set the internet ablaze with his expressions on the Palace balcony and throwing tantrums at his mom. He became an instant meme fodder at the Queen’s platinum jubilee event for blowing raspberries at the Duchess and shutting her mouth with his hand. While some can’t get over his scene-stealer emoticon-like faces, some called him a spoilt little kid. Say whatever, the kid sure knows how to steal the thunder. Many say that he’s acting his age, but moms can relate to the struggle they go through to handle embarrassing kids.

One such Bollywood mom, Kareena Kapoor, couldn’t miss out on Prince Louis’ viral antics. She took to her Instagram handle and shared stories from the Queen’s platinum jubilee event. She shared a collage of Prince Louis’ many moods during the ceremony and captioned it “mood,” while dropping a heart-eyed emoji. In another story, she shared a video of Kate Middleton putting on a smile while turning red on the inside. The 3 Idiots actress captioned the post, “Why do I know this feeling.”

Well to sum it up, children act out publicly because they are acting their age. Either due to a rush in adrenaline or emotional restlessness or if they are unregulated at the moment; this is normal and rather expected of them.

Keeping in mind the woes of moms dealing with sheer embarrassment when they are out and about with kids, Health Shots spoke to Dr Kriti Israni, a child development and parenting expert.

When kids act in a way and you’re having a tough time to handle embarrassing kids, Dr Israni suggests following things to remember:

1. Realistic standards

Normalize their reaction and don’t have unrealistic expectations from children. They are still learning social behaviour, and emotional regulation and their brains are still developing. It is all a part of child growth and we shouldn’t rush our children to grow up.

Make sure you communicate well with your child. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Model calmness

“Children mimic how you react and express yourself, and they constantly observe you for how you are handling situations. So they are bound to test limits, seek attention and learn from your reactions. It is a part of their experimentation, curiosity and brain development. Calmness teaches them that their behaviour will not trigger a response or attention,” says Dr Israni, who is also the founder of Hale & Hearty kids.

3. Distractions

If your child is acting inappropriately, it is a good idea to offer distractions like telling another story, singing a song or showing them something of their interest. Taking cues from the Duchess of Cambridge, you can stop their embarrassing behaviour by shifting their focus to something that they might get engrossed in.

Interaction is important to handle embarrassing kids. Teach them ways to display emotions socially. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Time off for yourself

Dr Israni suggests taking a minute for yourself when kids try to embarrass you and you feel overwhelmed. Step aside and breathe and get yourself regulated. It is very important to feel centered before you get back to the situation at hand.

5. Put on a smile

Learn from Kate Middleton and her beautiful smile each time Prince Louis did a little wiggle. Every time the child leaves you embarrassed, you put on a smile for all others watching you. This shows your strength, keeps you calm, teaches your child that their behaviour cannot trigger you, and reiterates the fact that there is nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s a learning and developmental process.

6. Revisit the situation

“Once your child is calmer, you may revisit the situation with your child. Connect with your child while talking about the moment, and try to teach them alternative ways of expression in a manner where they feel safe, secure and trusted,” Dr Israni told Health Shots.

7. Meditate and breathe

To teach kids emotional regulation and help them in brain development, it is best to help kids learn and practice meditation and breathing. This is a slow, long process that will work over the years. However, the earlier we start, the better the rate of success to handle embarrassing kids and their emotions publicly.

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