It is funny to see the different things parents do to try to control their children. One of the best places to observe this is at the pediatrician’s clinic, where the long wait really makes it so challenging for parents to keep their children behaved, myself included. While I was waiting for our turn, I heard two different moms sitting on opposite sides of me threaten their child with ” If you don’t behave, you’ll get an injection.” Poor child. This only increases the trauma of doctors visits. And poor doctor too. Because now the child sees him as the person who inflicts punishment.
Last weekend, our 3-year old Joaquin was a ringbearer at the wedding of two of our good friends. I anticipated that Joaquin will become restless sometime during the course of the ceremony and reception so I brought some toys with me. His toys kept him occupied for some time but when the ceremony was over, he started running around with another boy. I had to pull him aside and explain that this was not an occasion for running around and that he had to behave or he will get discipline. He seemed to give heed to my instructions. And well, the iPad helped him stay in his seat too.
The truth of the matter is, it is hard to make toddlers stay still. Whether it’s in the movie house, restaurant, church or even in our very own bedroom, most toddlers have a limit to how long they can sit still. You can distract them for a while but eventually their tiny bodies will not be able to hold all that energy any longer and will make them want to move around. So instead of expecting your child to sit through the whole wedding, it is wise to think of ways to keep him occupied. Play gadgets, colored pencils, paper, biscuits… these things come in handy.
But while you understand your child’s limitations, it is not an excuse to tolerate disorderly and rowdy behavior. Do not allow your child to run around when it is not proper to do so, especially when they could be distracting other people already. You can start teaching them little by little about self-control and patience. And soon enough, they’d be able to sit through a wedding without stirring a commotion.