If you have read the last post, you know we discussed about yelling and its consequences and how it affects children. So today I want to give you a few tips and tricks that work with my child and hope that it will help you too. As discussed earlier , yelling does not solve the problem but it only elevates your pitch of voice and increases anger and aggression in the children and in parents too. You must be thinking, if I am asking you to not yell ,then what should you be exactly doing to handle the situation or your child’s bad behavior? Let me explain that in pointers below :
- Understand and educate yourself that you have no control over the child, but you have control over the environment and the situations that you can try to avoid or atleast lessen the stress in it. You must be wondering that how can we not have control over our kids, yes you read it right. To expect a three year old to clean up the play area all by himself after repeatedly telling him to do so for more than a week or a month , is just the wrong expectation. Ofcourse ,discipline your child to clean up after himself but if he forgets to do so, its not because he wants to trigger you or because he’s defiant but its not developmentally appropriate for a child to be cleaning up as perfect as an adult. So , yelling won’t do any good. You’re better aware than anyone else what your child can handle, so keep expectations at or just above his ability. So, set up the environment for success by using appropriate storage systems that the child can handle or ask the child to be involved whenever its clean up time. Take baby steps and make it a part of your routine.
- Plan Ahead , you know me how a planning addict I am. Plan out every thing that you possibly can. Activities that you want them to do, meals that you want them to have, clothes you want them to wear the next day, etc etc. Involve them in this, take their opinions into consideration while setting limits and routines as well. Keep them well informed if any change is going to happen, like if you’re going to go a nani’s home for a stay/overnight, planning a trip, going grocery shopping, going to a vegetable market , going for a meeting/work leaving them at some caregiver’s home or in a day care, whatever it may be ,just be open to them and share everything with them. Talking to them about all these things make them aware of the change and prepares their minds for the change. I used this strategy even when my daughter was a baby. PLEASE don’t lie to your baby as it does not prepare them for any kind of sudden changes/situations. If you are going for work, say it, and answer their questions if they have, it helps them to process the information. Planning ahead and preparing yourself and your child will help in less yelling, crying, bad behaviour and tantrums at any not-so-good situation.
- Don’t take children’s misbehaviours personally, but instead look at it as learning opportunities and making connections with the child. Trust me, children never(except sometimes) misbehave to trigger their parents. So if your child does something that he should not have done, ask yourself ; What does he need to learn and how can I teach him that? These two questions will probably get you to your answers so that next time the same situation won’t occur.
- Make healthy and positive connections with your child first and discipline later. If you’re shouting and yelling at your kid everytime he does something against your wishes , then probably the chances are that he will tune out to your yelling and become stubborn. So, if you want to really want the child to listen to you, then walk over to them, get his attention, make eye-contact and speak firmly but in gentle words. This will help to maintain a positive connection within you as a parent and your child. And hence you will find yourself yelling less and teaching more.
- When you get angry, STOP and take a parent TIME-OUT. Turn away from your child physically ,and take a little break from the anger situation. Don’t take any actions or any decisions. Don’t take action until you’re calm and can see the situation mindfully. Let go off the urge to teach a lesson to the kid in that very exact moment, and instead take positive actions later from this calmer place.
I want you to have one take away from this read, that children would reflect the same emotions that you are dealing with. If you are angry, children will reflect anger and aggression in their behavior. So, make sure to make connection with your child and be kind and calm to yourself, to stop yelling at your kids when they misbehave.
I’d like to keep this conversation open, so give me your thoughts and experiences about the same in the comments below. And if you think this read could help somebody, please feel free to share.