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.