lil'bee

Talking to your child about public vs. private behavior

Social   |   Age: 10 months


article_14063.jpg

Talking to your child about public vs. private behavior

Part of being a parent means being there for your child when it’s time to have the big conversations, from ‘what is death?’ to ‘why does Santa look so much like Grandpa?’ There's a good chance that most of these conversations are at least a little ways away - most babies don’t start to play detective over Santa’s shoe size until they’ve started speaking in complete sentences. Other conversations may need to come a little sooner, though, even if your baby might not be ready to hold up her end of the dialogue very well yet.

Public vs. private

Babies are blank canvases, both in that they’re full of innocent wonder as they explore the world around them, and in that they really have no idea what’s expected of them in polite company. This means both that your baby doesn’t mean to embarrass you or make anyone angry when she starts climbing all over the fabric of your college roommate’s nice new couch the same way she might in the living room at home, or start wailing when she loses her temper at the library. She is just curious, or restless, or overwhelmed, and is responding the same way she usually does, regardless of the venue.

Some parents find it’s easier to just make a rule against certain behaviors all of the time, instead of trying to explain to your baby that she can act one way at home, and another way in public. In the end, it’s a question of whether you feel it’s better to start talking about the differences between the way people act at home and in public early, so your baby grows up with the idea and grows into understanding it, or whether you feel it’s better to wait to talk about it until your baby can understand and respond in a meaningful way.

The Talk

One of the biggest keys to conversations with your baby at this age is consistency - she’s not going to get it right away, but if you’ve patiently talked through the importance of using an indoor voice at the grocery store three, or four, or fifteen times, you may notice it start to make a difference. An important part of toddler-proofing is talking to your child about household dangers and how to avoid them, and dealing with public vs. private behavior falls under a similar category.


More articles at this age

MYOB: 6 responses to people who interfere with your parenting


"It takes a village to raise a child" can be a dangerous sentence when everyone seems to think they should be a part of your village. Anyone from your great aunt to the cashier at the grocery store may think they're telling you what's best for your baby, but that doesn't mean you have to listen.

Wellness incentives through Garter


Making positive changes isn't easy, especially with regards to health. A wellness program is a tangible way to see the benefits of leading a healthier lifestyle, and to reward yourself for the good things you already do each day.

Baby's 1-year immunizations


Whether your baby takes getting her shots like a champ, or if it makes her cry like, well, a baby, you'll probably both be glad to know that the vaccine schedule slows down a lot after this appointment. Just like the shots themselves, this visit to the family doctor or pediatrician should be over before you know it!

Self-care as a parent: finding time to recharge


Finding time to take care of yourself might seem counterintuitive now that you have a little one to take care of, but self-care is more important than ever now that you're a parent.

Extended family networks and only parents


It doesn't always take a village - but sometimes, having a village on-call can help

Common sleep disorders in children


Sleep is just another skill for babies to perfect, and sometimes there are a few bumps along the road to mastery.

Welcome to lil'bee!

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. That's okay. Who doesn't? But without advertising-income, we can't keep making this site awesome. Please disable your ad blocker and refresh this page.

Thanks for understanding 🙏