Have you ever noticed how your kids seem to be quiet little angels until you are sitting in a quiet place like church, a library, the doctor's office or a choral performance?
Never fails to happen to me, and I must confess to allowing my son to play his Game Boy in church with headphones on when I know it is going to be a long service (I figure since the Lord is a parent himself, he understands and forgives me). I also know I'm not the only one, as I got the idea from a fellow congregant.
I have also commented on more than one occasion as to how I could not live without my iPhone. In addition to being my phone, internet, and email traveling IV system (and sometimes hated leash), it is also a HUGE mommy's helper. I can download the latest Disney movie or, better yet, free videos, TV show promos, books on tape, etc. and have it on the ready when I need to keep my 7- and 10-year-olds entertained. Trust me when I say it has lowered my stress level tenfold.
Well, knowing that not everyone can afford the luxuries I've splurged on and, of course, I still need to teach my kids to control themselves without those crutches, I recommend utilizing a little playful parenting by "practicing" these situations with your kids.
Pick a situation you know you are going to be faced with in the short term and act out the situation ahead of time with your kids. Pretend you are in the waiting room of the doctor's office and use your "quiet voice" while sitting (relatively) still. Perhaps you can ask them to pack a backpack of items they think would be useful to them in the upcoming situation (I know my 7-year-old would be happy with markers and a coloring book). Empower them to take control of the situation and then watch them fly.
With any luck, it will make the trip easier for you while at the same time helping you to build up their self-esteem and independence.