Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tips on How to Manage Yelling at Your Child

Anti Yelling Tips

Try a little humor. Think of the funniest thing you can imagine and begin to laugh hysterically. You will be amazed how your urge to yell is dissipated.

Sing. Even though you really want to begin screaming, start singing, and choose a song that really annoys your child. Sing it as loud as you can emphasizing the words you know your kid hates.

Try the Claire Huxtable Method: Start counting while taking deep breaths and tapping your fingers on the counter or your feet on the floor. As the numbers get higher, you place more emphasis on them and get louder.

Get a little fresh air. If you have little ones, make sure they are visible from your porch or screen door and are safe before leaving a room. Step outside and take several deep breaths. This will give you an opportunity to clear your mind, take a well needed break and rethink the current situation and how you will respond.

If you can't beat them, join in. When my daugher was 4 yrs old she threw a tantrum in the local Target because I wouldn't buy her a toy. I proceeded to fling my arms around in the air, fall to the floor and join her in screaming and crying like a baby. She quickly got to her feet and BEGGED me to stop. Other moms around me began to applaud, but my husband was no where to be found.

Talk in a soft, quiet voice. As you feel yourself getting angrier, begin to talk through your teeth and slowly lower your voice. This will cause your child to come closer and really pay attention to what you are saying.

Invoke a 3 strike rule: The first strike is informing the child of what they have done wrong and what needs to be done for correction. The second strike is to confirm that they understand what you are requesting and the need for action. The third strike carries a consequence that you clearly state and MUST implement if what you have asked is not done. Example: If you don't clean your room, you will not go to the birthday party.

Get up close and personal. If you are ready to yell and your child is not listening, get really close to them, place your forehead on theirs with your hands on their shoulders, look them dead in the eye and without screaming, tell them what you have to say.

Take a little "me" time. When you have had just about all you can take and there is another adult in the house or the child is old enough to be left alone for a few minutes, grab the car keys, a snack and go sit in the car with the doors locked and the radio tuned to your favorite station. Enjoy the break and clear your head, works every time!

Create and Anti-Yelling Jar. Sit down with your child(ren) and come up with an amount that is reasonable for the parents and children to contribute every time someone yells. For example, if a parent yells, you may contribute a quarter and if a child yells he/she may contribute a dime. At the end of the month, count your contributions, keep a tally and deposit in a savings account. As the months go by and the money gets less, celebrate with a movie night or dinner at your favorite family restaurant.

Have a daily reminder-- Put a note on the bathroom mirror or refrigerator reminding you not to yell. It won't always be easy, but it will be a nice reminder to think before you speak or yell!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Falling in Love Everyday

I know it sounds crazy, but I've finally realized what that feeling is at the end of each day when I've fed my family, learned about their day, tucked them into bed, read a bedtime story and said our prayers; its Love! Not everyone can say they experience this and I understand that, but love is the only way I can describe the way my heart melts when my son holds onto me so tight after we pray and won't let go until I say I love you and give him a big kiss. Or when I say prayers with my daughter and she tells me what a great mom I am because I cook and help her with her homework or she shares with me that her body is changing and wants to know about puberty. I know, it sounds crazy, but to me this is love; having children that aren't afraid to say how they feel and are comfortable talking about anything with their dad and I. How blessed we are to be able to experience true love everyday!

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