No parent is perfect. Every one of us has yelled at our children at least once before. Children constantly try our patience and sometimes, that leads to an outburst of anger. However, by doing this, we’re sending our kids a very negative message. Here’s how you can get your child to listen without engaging in negativity.
1. Throw out those timeouts
Timeouts might work for some kids, or work some of the time on other. There will be many times when your child refuses to sit in timeout, so finding ways to be inspiring instead is the real key.
2. Stop acting like the boss
As parents, we are our children’s biggest role models. They watch everything we say and do. Simply telling your child you’re the boss will only lead to them mirroring your behaviour. Do you want your child telling you that SHE is the boss? No, you most certainly do not.
3. Establish flexible boundaries
Instead of being the boss, be more like a coach. Your child needs to have experiences so he can learn from them, especially when it comes to consequences. You should be very clear about what will happen. Make the rules and consequences for not following those rules very well known and don’t forget to follow through. That’s the most important thing you can do, along with being consistent. If your child believes what you say, his behaviour will be a direct reflection of his trust in you.
4. Stand your ground
Don’t back down when your child resists doing as you say. You don’t need to be mean, but you must be firm. Even if the tears start flowing, giving in is the worst thing you can do. It sends the message that your child can act any way she pleases and you’ll cave in.
5. The punishment should fit the crime
In order for your consequences to be effectual, you should make them consistent with the bad behavior. If your child throws food on the floor after having been told this is not appropriate, you simply call an end to the meal. You don’t need to yell. All you need to do is follow through and your child will get the message loud and clear.
6. Reinforce the positive
By nature, children want to make us happy. When your child does something good, be sure to lay on the praise and let her know how proud you are. If you follow through on this as well as the other steps, you will soon start to see your child’s behaviour shift to more positive demonstrations instead.