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6 Best Tips to Prevent Shouting at Your Kids

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Parenting is definitely overwhelming. Although it is generally happy and fulfilling, it can also be toxic and exhausting at times. When things are not going well such as when our kids fail to listen to us or when they behave in a nasty way, we can have the tendency to yell at them. Is it normal? Or is it even acceptable?

Most moms and dads regret it when they suddenly and unintentionally shout at their children. But no matter how much they want to stop themselves from doing such, they admit that yelling seems to be a natural response.

I understand this sentiment. There are just times when our kids could easily bring out the unexpected beasts in our supposedly soft and loving hearts. But as much as possible, we don’t want this to happen. We want to continually be our children’s protector, nurturer, and safe refuge.

Not shouting at our kids is essential in making them grow mentally healthy and emotionally secure. Studies even point to the ineffectiveness of shouting in disciplining our children. When we yell at them, we do not address the main cause of misbehavior since they won’t usually be receptive to explanations during moments of distress.

To help you prevent from shouting at your children, I have compiled six of the best ways that you can use to make sure that you enforce positive discipline:

1. Identify what triggers your shouting.

In order to address the problem which is yelling, then we also need to know the cause of your response. Look back at the times that you have yelled at your children. Was it because of certain misconduct? Then go the extra mile in order to prevent such misbehavior. If your children usually mess up during meal times, why don’t you start teaching them table manners according to their age? If you have a toddler, then you could set up paper floor mats that could catch the dirt as she feeds. Do whatever it takes to prevent your triggers from arising.

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2. Make your commands doable and easily understandable.

Your children surely have not fully matured yet, right? Then you must work on the instructions that you give them. If you want them to clean the living room, then be specific with your orders and give them one at a time. Ask them to pick up the scattered toys first, then only after that shall you order them to put the toys in the ottoman or do other things related to it. Do not bombard them with a lot of orders because they will surely fail you at some point in time and that could just cause your emotions to rise again.

3. Offer warning signs to generate teamwork.

Be able to communicate to your children that you might be at the brink of a disastrous response and that you don’t want to reach that point. It would be nice if you could directly tell them that you are already losing patience and that you may now be triggered to shout. Such warning signs, when communicated peacefully, can generate teamwork because children would most likely rather prevent you from losing your cool than do otherwise.

4. Set realistic standards.

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Your kid is not an adult; thus, you cannot expect her to be behaving like an ultra-disciplined adult who has been trained to follow all orders without room for mistakes. If you have a toddler, then don’t expect her to be eating mess-free. If you have an infant who keeps on crying at night, then don’t get mad at her for keeping you awake. After all, our expectations usually set the foundations for our behavioral responses.

5. Reflect on your day and your life.

Have you had a bad day? Has it been months since you last had your own time for yourself at the salon or a coffee shop? Have you been feeling anxious because of career disappointments? It is important to examine yourself most especially when you have been delivering not-so-acceptable behavior towards the people around you. Be able to know how to address your own frustrations so that you can also live peacefully with your children.

6. Practice. Practice. Practice.

innocenceYes, it can be hard. Even when you become intentional in changing yourself, your child, and the circumstances, you could still suddenly yell at your child when certain situations happen. If ever you fail, do not ever think that it is the end of your journey to positive discipline. It could take time and a great deal of effort. Keep on practicing. But whenever you fail, do not forget to make a personal apology to your child about what you have done. Let her know that you are capable of asking forgiveness and that you need her help to remove the yelling tendencies.


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child development, child safety, family conflict, Relationships

The Importance of Crystal-Clear Rules for your Child

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The world is a far more scary and complicated place than it was when you were a child.  As a result, it’s imperative that you set adequate yet fair boundaries with your child.  It’s a very important role in your parenting responsibilities. Children must make difficult decisions each day, and if they don’t have clear, firm boundaries set, they may not always make the wisest choice. Limits teach children proper restraint in social and individual activities and provide children with necessary structure and security to assist in healthy development. Setting limits also provide children with guidance before they have an opportunity to get into trouble, thus making them more successful with everyday life.

A child’s age and developmental level needs to be considered when setting limits. All children have a need for independence and individualization; however, they also need structure, security and parental involvement.

It goes without saying that the needs of a 2-year old vary greatly than those of a teenager. A toddler has a strong desire to explore and investigate, but parameters need to be set to ensure their safety while doing so. Teenagers need to be able to be an individual and be independent, but with strong parental guidance and influence, are more likely to make smart choices in difficult situations.

Limits should be discussed and set prior to the situation. Though situations arise that weren’t planned on, daily situations should have set limits and expectations. A teenager who breaks curfew may have the privilege of going out with friends revoked until they learn respect for the rules.  A child who misbehaves while playing with a friend may need to be separated from the fun until they can learn to properly behave.

Children respond in a positive manner in an environment in which they know what to expect and what is excepted of them. A child will be more respectful towards rules and more willing to abide by them if the rules are clear and consistent. 

Additionally, it’s crucial that once a limit is set that they caregiver stick to it.  A child is less likely to try and manipulate a caregiver into changing the limits when their experience has been that there’s no bending on the limits.   And remember, you are the one who sets the limits and lays down the law.  There’s no need to argue with your child.  Be firm and consistent and they are less likely to challenge the rules and will accept the consequences.


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The Detrimental Effects of Verbal Abuse and How to Stop the Cycle

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“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”

That’s just not true. Name-calling hurts — especially when the person doing it is a parent, a teacher, or a coach. Yelling and screaming might have been the way you were brought up and you might think it worked for you, so why wouldn’t it work for your kids? But did it? Remember how it made you feel. You probably felt belittled, devalued, and insignificant. You certainly don’t want your own children to feel that way.   It may cause emotional trauma that can result in long-term hurt. Among other things, verbal abuse can undermine your child’s self-esteem, damage his ability to trust and form relationships, and chip away at his academic and social skills. Name-calling, swearing, insulting, threatening bodily harm, blaming or using sarcasm are all forms of verbal abuse.

What are the signs that a child is suffering from verbal abuse?  They may have a very negative self-image.  They may commit acts that are self-destructive, such as cutting, hitting or scratching themselves, as well as other reckless and dangerous activities. They may exhibit physical aggression, be delinquent in school, or display interpersonal problems.  They may hit other children, frequently fight with classmates at school, or be cruel to animals.  They may also exhibit delays in their social, physical, academic or emotional development.

Recent research suggests that children who suffer from verbal abuse are highly likely to become victims of abuse later in life, become abusive themselves, or become depressed and self-destructive later in life

It’s normal for most parents at one time or another to feel frustrated and angry with their children.  They may lash out verbally in these instances and say things they later regret.  It’s when these instances become more and more frequent that there is cause for concern.  If this describes you, it’s imperative that you seek professional help to learn more positive, meaningful and constructive forms of discipline, and for help in learning methods to control your anger.  Remember to give yourself a time out if you feel an outburst coming on.  Try to refrain from saying mean, sarcastic or belittling things to your child.  Remember, your child learns what he lives.  Don’t be a bad example and teach him bad behavior early on.

Remember that your child is a precious gift and should be treated with love, kindness, respect and tenderness.  If you exhibit these to your child on a daily basis, they will learn what they live and grow to do the same as adults.


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Physical Punishment is Ineffective and Harmful

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Effective discipline does not involve physical punishment of children.

Recent studies have shown a direct link between physical punishment and several negative developmental outcomes for children including physical injury, increased aggression, antisocial behavior, difficulty adjusting as an adult and a higher tolerance towards violence. Research has also shown that physical punishment poses a risk to the safety and development of children.

It is crucial for parents to gain an awareness of other approaches to discipline because it is all too simple for physical punishment to turn into child abuse and result in severe physical injury, detrimental emotional damage and even death. Each year thousands of children continue to die as a result of physical abuse. Children have a right to be protected from physical abuse, and laws in every state demand severe punishment for those found guilty of physically harming a child.

Most parents do not want to use physical punishment as a form of discipline.  A child that lives in an abusive environment is likely to grow up and either be abusive themselves or have severe social, emotional, physical and cognitive delays in development.  Parents’ disciplinary methods serve as strong models to children that teach them how to deal with life’s day-to-day challenges. It is important for parents to model appropriate behavior and to establish expectations as well as limits. Children have a right to live in a safe, secure and nurturing environment, and their dignity must be respected. Parents must consistently use fair and logical consequences whenever children fail to follow rules. They must keep in mind that a child is not a miniature adult, but only a child and that discipline must be age appropriate and fit the child’s temperament and maturity.

Adults who recognize they have a problem with physically abusing their children should immediately seek professional help and ensure their children are taken to a safe environment to avoid harming them further.

 

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Harsh Discipline: Does it do More Harm than Good?

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Recent studies suggest that low-income parents tend to endorse much harsher discipline, partially because they hold stronger beliefs about the value of spanking and experience higher levels of stress.

However, parents who work in high-stress jobs or are stay-at-home parents who are feeling frustrated or isolated are also at risk.  It’s imperative that parents recognize their tendency to punish a child too severely and take the needed steps to make sure the punishment is appropriate for their child’s age, temperament and maturity level.

The study’s finding showed that parents from lower income levels or work high pressure jobs are more stressed, and they react more emotionally to their child’s behavior, and thus use harsher discipline. A parent in this situation may benefit from outside assistance and learning about alternative disciplinary strategies that are more appropriate and less harsh.

It’s also important for a parent to realize that children thrive on praise.  Parents in such a situation may always jump to discipline but fail to praise their child for their good deeds, behaviors and traits.  Children instinctively want to please their parents and make them proud.

By encouraging positive behavior, the parent will most likely discourage the behavior that has driven them in the past to punish too harshly. 

In order to encourage positive behavior deserving of praise, parents might want to consider giving their child a task they know they’re able to accomplish, and praise their efforts along the way.  Parents need to also consistently praise their children for the positive traits they possess.  Their child might be good at math in school, helpful to their little brother or sister, or is good at drawing pictures.  Praise these good traits and the child is likely to respond by acting appropriately and behaving positively in order to gain more praise.

In the end, it’s important to remember that a child is just that – a child.  A parent should make a concerted effort to make sure the discipline is appropriate and take care of themselves physically, mentally and emotionally so they can optimally provide for their child’s physical and emotional well-being.