It’s common of parents to get into a yelling frenzy when you want to discipline your kids – whether it’s at the supermarket or outside at a restaurant, when our children run off or start to mess up their dinner plate we’ll immediately raise our voice. However, instead of getting into a heated argument or losing your voice due to yelling, there may be a few ways that can help you to discipline them. The next time you find yourself having the urge to yell at your child, take a step back from the situation, calm yourself down and try one of these methods instead.
- Attend to your child
They may be just seeking that attention they’re not getting from you. Once you show them that you are present and you care, they might stop acting out.
- Calm them down
Hand them their favourite toy or read them a story from their favourite book. Once they are calm, ask them why they were misbehaving and let them know what is required of them and why.
- Use a firm voice
Even when you speak calmly, use the appropriate words like “I understand”, “You should let me know” and “You should not behave like”, make sure that they are aware of their mistakes.
- Show understanding
After you’ve calmed them down and said your piece, have a little conversation with them and show your understanding with phrases like, “You really wanted to go to the playground right?” and they will most likely talk to you in the same tone.
- Follow through with consequences
Many parents often forget to enforce the consequences mentioned or take away the privileges that they say they will. This in turn lets the child think that they are at liberty to have their way. Even if you speak calmly, carry them out so that they will learn from their mistake.
- Repeat the consequences
If they do not stop misbehaving even when you follow through with the consequences, keep doing it again until they learn how to do something the right way. Be strict with your rules and repeat without giving in.
- Set a good example
If you don’t want them to waste food, make sure that you yourself do not do it. If you don’t want them to play with their food, remove their plate before they even try to do so. Make sure that you set these boundaries and carry them out accordingly wherever appropriate.
- Praise them
When your child does behave, remember to praise them when they’ve completed a task – simple phrases like “You cleaned up your toys well today!” will go a long way in reminding them to do the right thing again next time.
- Explain why they are required to do something
If your child continues to misbehave, like leaving their toys in a mess time and again, get them to calm down and speak to them at eye level. Explain to them why they are required to clean up their toys in a manner that they can understand. For example, “You have to put away your toys neatly so that no one gets hurt from stepping on them and you will not lose anything, so you can play with them again next time.” This way, they are more likely to listen to what you are saying and carry out the appropriate actions.
- Phrasing it in positive way
Instead of telling them what they cannot do, tell them what they can do instead. The positive tone of the sentence and making it sound like they have a privilege instead of you taking one away will spur them in the right direction.