I survived the fast. I knew going in it wouldn’t be easy, but I tell you it was a struggle not to fall back into my old habits. I found it was easier to not yell at the older kids vs. the youngest. They listen more than the baby. He chose to ignore me most times. This made me yell and you know what he did, laughed. Mommy’s funny.
I just wasn’t getting to him. Instead I’d count to three because it would make me stay calm and instead of yelling, I’d get in face and tell him no or steer him toward what I wanted him to do. Did it work? Sometimes, but I found that he’s learning to be independent so he’s trying to see what he can get away with and what he can’t.
One of my favorite newsletters I receive is from parenting expert, Brenda Nixon. She gives excellent alternative ways to discipline. I usually agree with her advice, those I don’t I just laugh, because each kid is different. You have to learn what works for your kid and what doesn’t.
Have I stopped yelling? NO
Do I see myself yelling all the time? NO
I do see myself talking to them instead of yelling. I also see them doing what I ask because I’m serious about the follow up vs. threatening to follow up. Take a lesson from the father, put a little base in your voice and mean it
We are here to support each other, so if you find something that works, share and I’ll do the same.
To close out our fast, I asked her to be a guest blogger today. She offered me some great advice for the 2yr old and I’ve been using it.
Scream, Shout and Yell, Oh My!
by Brenda Nixon
“Brenda, my kids never listens unless I yell at them.” I frequently hear this comment in my work as a conference speaker and writer on childrearing. Parents want help and encouragement in their enormous task, and effective discipline is always at the top of their list.
Many parents say they can’t get their kids to mind unless they scream. After I listen to a parent, I sometimes ask, “Why do you think you get no response until you yell?”
“Because that’s when they know I really mean it!”
“Oh, so you don’t mean it when you say something in a normal voice?” I tease.
“Yes! Of course.”
“Then why don’t your kids mind?”
“I guess it’s because I don’t follow-through and end up yelling to make my point.”
Precisely. Since kids are born learners, they’ve learned that you don’t mean what you say until – or unless – you RAISE your VOICE! These little students have absorbed your lesson well. Unfortunately, yelling at children confuses and intimidates them and teaches many wrong lessons including
• they’re not worthy of being spoken to in civil tones
• it’s acceptable to yell at you or others
• they ignore respectful and dignified requests when people speak in normal voice
• others don’t mean what they say until they yell, and
• an acceptable form of stress relief is screaming, ranting, and raving.
“I hate being a screamer. So how do I stop it? is the next question.
”As a mom, there’ve been times I’ve yelled to get action. But I discovered that I didn’t have to scream to be effective in my discipline.” Most parents occasionally emphasize with a raised voice but, if this is your daily habit then it’s an unhealthy form of communication.
Here’s my advice; I encourage parents to take one day at a time. Screaming isn’t a pattern quickly broken. Just as you practiced yelling and saw results, you’ll have to practice not yelling.
Remember, practice makes permanent. Along with trying to speak in a normal voice, practice
• touching your child on the arm or back to get his attention
• when you have eye contact, speak in a normal – firm – tone of voice
• if your child won’t mind, use another discipline method such as consequences.
Remember, it’s your job to be a role model. How do you want to model communication in the home and to others?
A helpful article in the New York Times on not screaming at children is found at http://healthandenergy.com/screaming_at_children.htm.
If this is helpful and want a short tip each week on discipline, join others and subscribe to Brenda’s Discipline Tip by emailing subscribe@BrendaNixon.com with your email address. My Discipline Tip service is free and you can unsubscribe anytime.
Did you know there are 8 ways to get kids to mind without shouting? We recorded my live discipline “Creative Discipline” presentation onto a 1-hour CD. Now you can discover those effective 8 ways, too! This 1-hour CD is available for order at my website http://www.brendanixon.com/writer.htm.
©copyright, 2009, Brenda Nixon.
Millions of parents are helped through Brenda Nixon’s insights and guidance at churches, schools, libraries, mom groups, childcare conferences and as a media guest expert. Her recent book The Birth to Five Book: Confident Childrearing Right from the Start is available at bookstores and online.