1. Don't Yell,
Divert their Attention Instead
When you need to tell a child to stop crying, or to stop jumping on the bed for example, consider diverting their attention to another activity that will keep them occupied. Like "Wow! What do you think those birds over there are up to?", or "Hey, I have an idea, you can 'play pass the ball' instead with your brother/sister!"
This takes them off the activity that you don't want them to continue. You can then revisit the conversion later to tell them why you didn't want them to do it in the first place.
2. Acknowledge their Good Behavior (This gives the positive reinforcement to do the same again.)
Studies show that an average child gets 432 negative comments per day versus 32 positive comments. That's why when you make it a habit to acknowledge your child positively, it will help them feel more supported and loved. This in turn reduces their urge to engage in power struggles with you to feel like they can get their way.
3. Avoid Power Struggles
Let's take a look at this conversion:
Does it sound all too familiar? This is a typical power struggle Between the mom and child. In scenarios like these, it is important to remember that kids aren't inherently bad. They are just addressing a human need is a way that they understand. A better way is to acknowledge the problem that the child is having, and reply from the position of helping to solve the problem together.
4. Set Boundaries (Be consistent and reasonable with it)
Consistency reduces the need to yell. When you reinforce boundaries over time, your child will learn to avoid it altogether. Being reasonable means asking yourself if you would abide by the rule if it was put on you. Kids are just little humans after all!
5. Accept Age-Appropriate Behavior (Know when to discipline and when not to)
For example, you can't expect a 1 year old child to understand immediately when you tell them not to do something. Or a 4 year old to understand why they are throwing a tantrum. It is always good to think of where the root of behavior is coming from. Then address it from that aspect.
6. Give them Choices Whenever Possible
It is always tempting to tell them to do something and insist that they do it when they refuse. A better way is to give them a creative choice.
For example, "Do you want to wear your red pajamas or your blue ones?" or "Do you want to take your bath before I read you a story or after?". These are questions that lead to the same outcome eventually - the child still puts on her PJs, and takes a bath. But giving them this "illusion of choice" helps them to feel empowered and not threatened to do something because "mom said so”.
Do you have any problems that you are facing that you would like to talk to us about? Our team of experts would be happy to give advice, opinions, or simply just a listening ear. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below!
Parenting can be a real challenge at times. But using positive parenting techniques can really help to strengthen your relationship with your child and help with their cognitive and emotional development.
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