YOUR EMBARRASSING ME!
I think the one emotion that most everyone has trouble handling is embarrassment. Feeling embarrassed is like someone stabbing you in the ego. It is so hard to handle because it attacks the very part of you that is most prideful. It is a feeling you can only experience in front of the people, because it is the audience that makes the feeling. Without a spectator to witness your humiliation, being embarrassed doesn’t even exist.
No one has ever felt embarrassed by themselves.
So this is the problem with disciplining your kid in front of other people. Your kid does something obnoxious, you want to scold them, but chastising your child in front of other people is inherently uncomfortable. So your kid isn’t focusing on what they did wrong, but instead how crappy they feel that you are punishing them with someone else watching. The embarrassment supersedes any lesson you want them to learn. Munch hates being embarrassed and if I scold her in front of someone it usually makes her want to act out more because she gets so pissed I would do that to her. She gives me a look that says “oh no you didn’t Mamma… now I am going to embarrass the shit out of you and throw this rock at your head.”
So how do you deal? Public punishment may not be effective, but you also don’t want to say nothing either. Because then whoever is watching will judge you and think you are a weak, passive, parent with your thumb up your ass. And you can’t whisper your disciplinary words into kid’s ear because then everyone will think you are lame.
Right now I think the best strategy is to somehow take your kid aside and explain that they shouldn’t be such an asshole…. Especially in front of other people because they are making you look like an asshole, and we can’t have that.