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When disciplining young children it often comes naturally to raise our voices when we are really annoyed.

Yes, we all yell occasionally. Over time though I find the yelling fails. You get upset, your message is drowned out by your decibels and the kids don’t react.

Over the years as a Dad with three young girls, I have actually learned to do the opposite and it works a treat for me! Here’s my approach:

  • Call the child over to you using their full name.
  • Get at kids level. Make eye contact and demand it be maintained.
  • Speak slowly, softly and deliberately.
  • Ensure your child is listening and engaged by asking for responses. Not rhetorical questions but genuine questions about their poor behaviour.
  • Maintain a consistency of the discipline moment. By that I mean, make sure they know by your manner that this is a ‘I’m getting in trouble’ moment.

In time I have found that the discipline is all but done before I even utter a word about the bad behaviour. The theatre of the occasion is enough for my girl’s to know they are in trouble. And it has a nice rub-off effect for the siblings watching also!

I really don’t like yelling. It think it should be saved for dire moments when your child is about to run off onto the road or step on broken glass or something! If saved for these moments then it is more likely to stop them in their tracks….when it’s really needed.

  • I learnt all those tips myself with time and patience, yelling doesnt help it often makes the situation worse

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  • Wow. I am impressed with myself for using half of these techniques already. Gonna have to see what happens when i apply them all

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  • yeah show patience and be a good role model

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  • I love this article thank you for keeping it simple. Kids need a short story. Stop, come to me, talk it over or wait a minute for the child to calm down then ask a couple of questions . Sitting mine on a chair at the table always worked for bad behaviour at home.

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  • It’s so easy to let our temper get away from us, especially when we’re dealing with kids who can’t necessarily be reasoned with. Not when we’re angry anyway. Take a deep breath and step back, if the kids are misbehaving, then deal with it when the first flash of anger has gone.

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  • My grand daughter knows when she is in trouble and refuses to make eye contact

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  • Thanks for the pointers, I hate it when I yell.

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  • I always try not to yell, it drains all my energy.

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  • I don’t have the energy to yell and it never seems to work as well as just talking strongly

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  • so true – I stop myself doing it but have to break the habit

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  • Good article , thanks for sharing

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  • Thanks for sharing this great article, I found yelling didn’t help.

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  • Sigh, must I admit I instinctively seem to yell, but maintaining a calm tone and posture does nothing for little miss either. Our boys are more tractable but she is extremely wilful and it is too easy to fall into the trap of, “If it’s loud enough she’ll listen”. :-(

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  • Yep I have a habit of yelling when I don’t really need to! :( But reading this I think I will start to make more of a effort not to!

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  • I will be the first to admit I yell far to much, and agree it needs to be preserved for the times you need the kids to stop dead in their tracks

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