Tips on Going Out with Kids

I read with interest the furore on social media regarding the Straits Times article on how prams have become a ‘distressing social ill’.

In all honesty, when I was younger (and more impatient) I couldn’t understand why parents would push their shopping in prams while carrying their tot. Why should they bring a pram out when their kid wasn’t in it?! I just couldn’t wrap my head around that.

Now that I’m a parent, though, I laugh woefully at my younger self.

Venturing into the world with an active toddler is challenging. And the more kids you have, the easier it is to just stay home. Even a small errand can turn into a major ordeal. Frankly, I think it may be easier to be Queen of England for a day than it is to take a trip to the zoo with three wound-up 2 to 4 year olds!

Yet despite these challenges, I think parents should avoid being cooped up at home. Kids need plenty of sunshine and exercise, and they need to experience new things. It might seem like a hassle, but getting them out of the house is an important part of their training.

Here are some things to note when bringing kids out:

+ Lower your expectations
Kids may not behave the way you want, but that’s okay. Just make sure you have plenty of diapers and snacks on hand…!

+ Be flexible
If you planned to go to the supermarket and the petrol station but the kids are acting up, choose to do either activity and then head back. Be prepared to cut the trip short if you need to.

+ Bear their dispositions in mind
Knowing their dispositions makes it a lot easier. A child who doesn’t like large crowds will get frantic in the evening; consider instead a trip to the supermarket in the early morning when it is less crowded, thereby making it more enjoyable.

+ Consider others
We were all once young, and perhaps a little naïve towards the challenges that parents face. Now that we’re on the other side of the fence, let’s bear them in mind. Be careful not to run over toes, and say “Please excuse me, we’re coming through” if you need to go through a crowd.

I hope these 4 tips will help to make it easier for you when you go out with your child(ren). You’ll be amazed at how much fun you can have with them in tow!

Agnes Goh is a Parenting Specialist with Focus on the Family Singapore. This post was written in her personal capacity as a mom of 2, one of whom is madly in love with Rainbow Looms right now.

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