At What Age, Decorum?

February 27th, 2011

At the moment I’m struggling to discern whether my daughter is:

a) a pretty typical (and entirely lovable) two-year-old; or

b) that child, who makes other people grit their teeth as her mother sits blissfully oblivious to her daughter’s unruly shenanigans.

I’m just not sure at what age I need to start insisting on a bit of decorum from my child when we’re out and about. Or at least fewer ants in her pants. She’s not a big fan of sitting still. Or paying attention. Or sitting still.

She’s prone to wandering off in the middle of the children’s moment at church, or starting a loud conversation with me about her dress, her underpants, or the color of the carpet. And yesterday at toddler story time, she was far less than attentive. In fact, she declined to sit on the carpet with the other two little girls who were there, preferring instead to play with a nearby train set. Which wasn’t a big deal, except that she kept bringing the pieces over the story area to share with her new friends. Who were then inspired to get up and find toys themselves.

But if I tried to restrain her, she’d start whining, then screaming, and I’m assuming that would be even more disruptive.

So what’s the verdict? At what age can one expect a toddler to start sitting still at events? And how does one accomplish this feat?

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