New goal: I will not yell at my kids. 10 minutes later...I’m yelling.
Do you have a problem with yelling at your kids? Actually yelling is a symptom, not the problem. To figure out what the problem is, you need to figure out why you’re yelling at your children. Is it because they won’t obey you, or they’re too slow doing what you asked them to do, or they’re totally just ignoring you? The next thing you need to do is analyze when you yell. Is it when you’re late and trying to get out the door, or getting your children to do their chores or do their homework or stop fighting with their siblings, or go to bed? You’re probably shaking your head and saying “yes, and yes, and yes and yes!”
After you’ve analyzed why and when you yell, figure out some strategies that will help in these situations. Here are some ideas:
Whisper or sing your instructions-“hey, Mom’s not acting normal-I’d better listen up”
Give your children advanced warning when you have to get in the car or do homework, or go to bed-“five more minutes and …….”
Occasionally give positive reinforcement for children who obey quickly (like a piece of gum or staying up late 10 extra minutes)
Assign a “good dooby” for the day. This child gets to make the choices during the day, like who gets to sit by the window in the car, decide what to eat for lunch or whatever your kids fight about. Maybe they can be Mom’s helper throughout the day and choose what book to read and even get to stay up 5 minutes later at night. Each day rotate which child gets this privilege.
Use natural consequences. Calmly grab your child’s clothes (plus him)-no yelling. He gets dressed in the car. Your daughter doesn’t do her homework-she gets a bad grade or misses out on playing with her friend the next day after school.
Create a chart for working on a specific problem your children are having.
Bite your tongue and silently put your children in different rooms and give them an activity to do to keep them busy instead of fighting with their siblings (like coloring, doing a workbook, building with legos).
Compliment your children or child on quickly obeying.
Understand childhood characteristics http://www.dltk-kids.com/articles/behaviour.htm
Many years ago I read about Dr. Suzuki, the creator of the Suzuki Method. He was in a situation where someone had taken advantage of him. An associate asked him why he wasn’t angry. He replied that many years ago he had decided he would never get mad and angry again. He understood that he was in control of his emotions and he could chose to react to events in a positive way. For over 10 years he had never been angry. That really impressed me.
Choose to not yell. Choose to look at the situation, problem solve and react in a different way. Choose to be calm….uummmmm….good luck!
Next week we'll discuss "How to raise teenagers without yelling".