Not in Public: How to Curb Inappropriate Behavior

More Than Words

If talking is getting you nowhere, however, it's time to take action. "My son Steven was a climber," says Paula Krasnoff, of Columbus, Ohio. "No matter how many times I tried to explain to him that climbing was rude or dangerous, the only thing that really worked was removing him from whatever it was that he was scaling. He'd eventually lose interest."

This strategy works even better if you offer a good distraction. For example, if your child is a chronic nose picker, always have something on hand for her to play with. And if he's running down the department-store aisles, the ultimate distraction may be in order: a change of scenery. "You may not be finished shopping, but sometimes it's easier to change your plans than to change your 2-year-old," Teitelman says.

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