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Snot running down the nose. Taking deep breaths. Dragging your feet through the mall. Y’all remember the days when your mother would take you to the nearest corner or bathroom to beat your behind for acting out in public. She knew she taught you better and you were so sure you could act a fool…because she wouldn’t hit you in front of other people, riiight.

Well nowadays, there’s a fun little group of people called Child Protective Services and they’re at you children’s beck and call. Many parents are scared to even discipline their children at home lest they be call “abusive”.

But as old school folks know, there’s a thin line between abuse and training a child. It’s truly an art form to get the kids to behave in public.

Experts say that if you’re an effective parent, your discipline techniques don’t waver regardless of setting. If going to someplace special, remind the kids of this and what behavior is expected.

Dr. George Scarlett PhD, a child development expert at Tufts University, suggests the method of pre-notice to Parents Magazine. Say something like, “We’re going to the mall and there will be a toy store there. We can go in today, but we can’t buy anything.”

Make sure your child looks at you when speaking to them and have them repeat your words back. If you must touch, grab your child’s arm or shoulder to calm them down, but not too hard.

So the next time little Angelica wants to pretend she’s a top model and grab all the clothing from the racks at Wal-Mart, no worries. You’re armed and dangerous.

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