Have you ever been out in public, like at the mall, and you saw a 5 year-old having a meltdown? Parent nearby and then when parent got fed up, what was originally one temper tantrum turned into two-parent and child- both uncontrollably wailing. Child is like,”Mommy, mommy, mommy…” and parent is like “WHAT? I said no, and will not say it again.”
Sounds like a pretty typical discussion, right?Especially in a shopping mall so filled with goodie spots-Cinnabon, Toys R Us, GameStop, …Anyone will be tempted. But there must be a better way to parent your child absent the yelling-in public places or at home. When it comes to disciplining your child, you must be the role model, the example and in control of your emotions. Here are a few alternative approaches to yelling.
1> CAREFULLY DECIDE WHEN TO FIGHT
Many times your child is tired or just wants to test your resolve. Kids often want to see if we are still on the ball, so don’t think that they don’t recognize when you are tired or not paying attention. If you see your child in immediate danger, like swinging from your chandelier, then by all means, intervene.
If he or she simply refuses to wear the shirt that you chose, let that go. Sometimes a compromise will suffice. Or just give your child a small victory. It’s good for the self-esteem and informs your child that he, too, is capable of making sound independent choices. Pick your battles-only when it is worth it and there’s a clear message to be conveyed.oooor a lesson to be learned.
2> REVERSE YOUR ‘TIME-OUTs’
When children misbehave, parents now decide that it is wise to give ‘time-outs’ to them. This sends them away to a remote corner to stew and think about what they’ve done wrong. Often,what this accomplishes, is your child feels rejected, not remorseful. Your child may not even be aware why they are being punished.
Deliver a time ‘in’, and keep your child in the situation, but communicate clearly what he or she has done to break any rules. Then, offer an opportunity to right that wrong. Guide your child through the appropriate or acceptable actions, offering praise for the action itself, not the child. Your child must always believe that he or she is inherently good, capable AND loved by you.
3> DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
As mentioned earlier[#1], your child often understands when he or she is being naughty. They will test you to see how far they can go with you before you start to yell, and lose your composure. American Academy of Pediatrics published an article noting that when parents have outbursts with their child, they will increase the number of times their child tests them. Conversely, when parents remain calm, it drives down the number of times children act out just to test them.
Overall, it’s normal for kids to express feelings by acting out, and you shouldn’t “reward” them by also getting upset. If you frown upon everything they do and end up yelling at them, your child will eventually learn to tune you out and you’ll have a harder time reaching them, experts have noted. Help your child identify his or her emotions and validate them while offering corresponding words to contextualize those feelings to express them more positively.
4> COUNT TO TEN
Calm yourself down…1, 2, 3, …10. Then you may respond to your child from a better place. Hold your temper. Many parents have said,”Lord, please don’t let me kill this child!” Of course, it’s not meant literally, but it works for calming one’s self down to a level where you maintain or regain your composure.
You could end up overreacting and doing something harsh or saying things that you may later regret. Instead of throwing your own temper tantrum, stay rational, and mindful that you are confronting a child. You have the maturity and your child needs to see that. If you feel that you will overreact or lose it, step back, walk away and save this discussion for another time.
5> SHOW YOUR CHILD HOW IT’S DONE
Children learn what they see. Parents wish the best for their child and wants them to do their best and be on their best behavior at all times[reasonably at their best]. We want children to love to learn, and enjoy reading. We must read, and show them that we, too, enjoy reading. We want children to engage with technology on a modest level. Know when it is appropriate. No heads in their devices at the dinner table. Same rules apply to parents.
Parenting requires adults to be role models for appropriate behaviors, positive attitudes, broad cultural lenses, compassion, kindness, self-discipline and respect for others and self. Parents show how it is done and children learn how it’s done. Parents are called to walk the talk, because as soon as your child sees otherwise… what’s the excuse? Parenting! No one will ever say it is easy, but it can be so very rewarding! Just, keep a cool head. Don’t yell! Children will certainly do enough of that for us all, before they reach adulthood. Help them survive the ride! Kids! You gotta love ’em!