Every mama has been there. No matter how patient or how chill we might think we are, sooner or later, every mom breaks down and yells at her child. No one can blame us, as kids really have this way of pushing our limits every time.
However, aside from the fact that yelling can be considered a generally bad habit, it is also one discipline strategy that can worsen behavior problems. Plus, yelling at our kids can lose their effectivity over time. Chances are, any child who gets yelled at regularly will more or less learn the art of tuning you out (in the same way we did to our parents when we were kids, admit it!). So every parent needs to know, is it possible to discipline our kids without yelling at them?
If you’re tired of screaming your lungs out and would like to increase your discipline success rate, then here are a few tips you should consider:
Set clear rules.
Clear, written, and established house rules that have a set consequence for each infraction could help you discipline your kids and lessen your yelling bouts. Discuss and agree on this with your child and display it prominently in your home. Whenever a rule is broken, follow through with the appropriate and agreed upon consequence.
Implement agreed-upon, logical consequences.
Your child should understand what happens if he breaks the rules so that he will learn that every choice and action has a corresponding result and consequence. At the same time, ensure that every consequence is reasonable and should relate to the broken rule. For example, you can set the rule of no TV or gadgets until homework is finished. And if broken, the consequence can be the suspension of gadget and TV privileges for a day.
Use positive reinforcement as well.
In the same way that you penalize bad behavior, you should also reward good ones. Motivate your child to follow the set rules through positive reinforcement.
Also, note that positive reinforcement need not be toys or any material rewards. It can be as simple as praise for your child for following the rules. You can say, “good job on finishing your homework early today,” or “thank you for helping me with the chores today.”
Evaluate your reasons.
If you find yourself yelling at your child more often then perhaps it’s time to just stop and take a look at yourself and your reasons for doing so. If you think that your yelling stems from anger, then perhaps you can consider learning healthy anger management strategies. If you think that the reasons stem from stress, then you can consider stress relief strategies. It can be as simple as taking a few minutes to calm yourself before disciplining your child or giving yourself and your child a few minutes of alone time (but please ensure first that your child is safe and secure).
At the same time, if you find yourself yelling at your child because he seems like he’s not listening the first time, then perhaps you can consider trying out new strategies to effectively communicate with your child. Every child is different and the same goes for parenting strategies. So what might work for some parents might not work for you and your child. So it’s sometimes better to try out different tips before settling into what seems to be the most effective for both and your child.
Use warnings instead.
If you find yourself yelling because your child doesn’t seem to listen to you, then you can use warnings instead. You can try using if… then warnings, which will tell him the direct consequence if he doesn’t listen or do what he’s told. An example of this is saying something along the lines of: “If you don’t pack up your toys right now, then you can’t play again after dinner.”
Yelling can lead to a power struggle between you and your child, especially if he’s at that age wherein he’s testing his independence and your limits. So the more you yell, the more defiant he might become. A clear warning of the immediate consequences can enforce to your child that you’re in charge.
Don’t nag, follow through instead.
Do not nag nor repeat your warnings over and over. Make good with the consequence instead to show your child that you’re serious about what you say. Always keep in mind that consistency is key in disciplining your child.