Nearly every parent I’ve ever met has said they’d like to shout less. When we canvassed parents at The Parent Practice about their top ten issues, cooperation was top of the list – but it’s obviously not easy to achieve.
When cajoling,negotiating, threatening and punishing your kids doesn’t work, how do you get your kids to do what you need without shouting?
In my book, Real Parenting for Real Kids, I share the seven essential skills that we teach in our parenting classes and number six is positive discipline. In skills one to five, we look at ways of setting our children up for success by encouraging healthy self-esteem and good behaviour.
But of course, nothing can completely eliminate the possibility that your children may occasionally get something wrong or behave in a way you don’t like, so we still need effective ways of responding to poor behaviour.
When I say ‘effective’ I mean tools that really work by teaching your child how to behave even when you’re not around, not those strategies we’re conditioned to use because that’s how we were raised or because everyone else says it’s the right thing to do.
So, how do we handle bad behaviour?
Firstly, take time to cool down. This may take just a few minutes or even a few hours, depending on what has happened and the strength of the emotions involved. This is NOT a punishment but a chance to cool off, and it’s a vital step to take before we turn to problem-solving. Cool down time doesn’t have to be spent in isolation – don’t withdraw if your child needs you – and it doesn’t need to be uncomfortable.
A photo posted by The Motherish (@themotherish) on Aug 6, 2016 at 12:11am PDT