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How to get your children to listen to you in public

How to get your children to listent to you in public by Frugalista Blog

My friends. This is easy. If no one has taught you the value of how to humiliate your children in public, then you’re doing it wrong. **

You see, I have a very high tolerance for my own humiliation. I’m pretty much fair game. Have you seen my Spanx post? Right.

Once upon a time, my children and I were at the mall.

We went to the Lego store to look around.

We spent a lot of time looking, putting together some pieces, sitting on those tiny stools they put at those tables, checking out the million dollar Millennium Falcon. I mean, don’t get me wrong. Legos are cool and Star Wars Legos are even cooler, but I was thirsty. And hungry.

Honestly being hungry and thirsty in a Lego store isn’t fun. There’s not even any lip gloss or shoes to distract me. So when it’s lunch time and mom is ready to go, it’s go time.

The children did that thing where when I say, “Okay kids, let’s go get lunch!” and I’m super positive and all happy parent on them, they are like, “Just a sec mom.”

Uh huh. I know ‘Just a sec’. It’s the classic stall. My husband does the ‘Just a sec’ when I tell him to take out the garbage. And now the children have mastered the ‘Just a sec’ as well.

Tick tock. Seconds are going by and my stomach is rumbling.

“Okay my little kidlets, this mama hen is hungry and it’s time to feed the chicks. Let’s go.”

“Wait mom, this is so cool, did you see this?”

“Yes, I did honey. Diagon Alley is awesome when it’s made from 15,000 pieces. But there’s a burrito in the food court calling my name. Let’s GO.”

“Sure mom…”

And then it’s like they turned into turtles. The Slowskies are now my son and daughter. Seriously? Like how cool can bricks of plastic be?!

“Hey kids, if you don’t come when I count to 5, I won’t let you have ice cream later.”

Them- “….”

“Hey kids, if you don’t come in the next two seconds I’m just going to start dancing right here in the mall.”

“MO’OM, Right. You’re just kidding. Just a sec.”

You did not ‘Just a sec’ me a second time.

“Okay here goes. OOOh, I love this song. Reminds me of high school. How do you do the Running Man again?”

I proceed to do some version of the Running Man. I’m outside the Lego store and the kids can see me through the glass wall.

“Hey kids, I’ll stop as soon as you join me.”

Kids come running.

“Mom that was SO EMBARRASSING!! How could you do that? Oh my gosh, like people were watching!”

“And from now on, you come when I call and I won’t break out the Cabbage Patch. Deal?”


Seriously. It’s worked ever since. Which is good, because my Cabbage Patch is worse than my Running Man.


**No children were harmed in the sharing of this blog


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  1. OMG, this is AWESOME!! I think I’ll put a little “lawn mower” in my back pocket and use it the next time they won’t listen to me in public! Although my boys are younger and not easily embarrassed just yet…they would probably start dancing with me…Hm. I might have to wait until they’re older for this to work. 🙂

  2. Oh this is great!! It is so funny how something you would never have dreamed of doing as a teenager or probably even in your 20’s is probably slightly enjoyable now – especially to embarrass your kids a little! I am putting htis in the vault for when my kids are a little older.

  3. The sprinkler is a great motivator as well. Next time I see you, we’ll do that high five where we end up shaking each other’s ankles. I hope it’s in front of all of our children.

  4. I’ve embarrassed my kids so much with the songs I wrote for them making/missing the school bus that I am CERTAIN there is a tell-all book in their future. I believe it’ll be called “I Wish A School Bus Ran Over My Mom”

    • I can see this. It will be a best seller in the great tradition of Lorna Luft’s tell all about her mom.

  5. This is pure genius!! Totally trying this next time.

  6. Ha! That is probably the most embarrassing thing we can do to our kids. What works works!


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