Have you ever stopped and thought about what happens when you yell at your kids? All parents yell at some point in time, but there are better choices. As a parent, you might feel your child doesn’t listen until you yell. Once you’ve become a yeller, your child will ignore you the first time you ask them to do something. And they will ignore you the second time, until you find yourself yelling, “How many times do I have to tell you!”
With just a bit of time, and patience you can handle the situation differently. Dr Laura Markham suggests, if you’re wanting your child’s attention, it is more helpful to walk over, touch them gently on the arm, and say, “Wow! Great job. Look what you’re doing.” You are now showing an interest, and have connected – you have that bond with your child. It only takes a couple of minutes to notice whatever they are doing. Keeping your tone calm, you could then say, “I know it’s hard to stop what you’re doing. (you’ve shown empathy). I can see you’re really enjoying it. I really need you to listen to me right now – It’s time for you to come and take your bath”. If this is met with resistance, you can negotiate another 5 minutes, making a deal that they will take their bath at the end of 5 minutes, without argument.
Consistency is the key. Your child will know what your expectations are, and they will learn to become more self-disciplined in their response. On the other hand, should you keep on with the yelling, your child is likely to give up. That trusted bond will be broken, and there will be a loss of respect. What happens when you yell at your kids all the time? You are laying the groundwork for a problem teenager. Your child will become a yeller too! Is this what you want?
If you would like to learn more about bringing up your child, Laura Markham has written an excellent book called Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids.