What do I mean?
Most parents probably don't brief and debrief the children before and after each evolution.
Now, we don't do this EVERY time - although that is the goal! - but every time we do, we are very glad we did! So, if ever you see us sitting in the car before the unload process begins, you will know the brief is occurring:
"Alright kids, we are about to go into a parking lot. What does that mean?"
"We have to hold a hand!" (From one of the girls....normally String Bean's hand rockets up high whenever we ask a question.)
"Good job. And we are going into Chick-Fil-A (best place ever. EVER.) and this is how we are going to behave: No whining, yelling, pitching fits, or crying when we have to leave. We will go in and you can play while we order. Then, you MUST eat your food. Then you may play. When we tell you it is time to go - it is TIME TO GO. You must be happy leavers - or we will not come back for a long time. Got it?"
(That was String Bean, Jumping Bean, and Bitty Bean's answers. For some reason "Woody" has been deemed an appropriate response to everything.)
Does it work? Sometimes.
Are our children perfect angels? Not by a long shot.
But I think it helps to prepare them - as much as possible - for what will be expected of them when we go places. It helps us (the parents) to have a game plan and be on the same page for outings. Which is ALWAYS a good thing!
However important the brief is, the DEbrief is just as important - or more!
When we re-load after our outing, we praise them for their obedient areas and good behavior, and discuss what could have been better. Unless it needed more than "discussion." Then that is normally handled immediately.
All in all, that is one thing the military has taught us and I think we are better parents because of it!
What non-parenting places have you found parenting pointers?