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Or how positive parental behavior can secretly manipulate your little monsters into being good.

We’ve all had those slump moments when we lose hope in our parenting skills and start adopting our kids’ bad manners believing our negativeness will teach them to respect us.

I know. I’ve been there, and after a year of meaningless yelling and time-outs, I came to realise turning to the bad side just loses the game for us.

Yes, it is a game and is one children know how to play very well. It is a game of nerves, which aims to teach parents a little something kids know better – the power of good manners.

Our attitude affects our children’s lives

Having a raging child at home is not always parents’ fault, but when things continue for longer than a month, it is usually a sign the child needs some extra attention.

And no, I’m not talking about grounding the kids, but taking a rather different approach.

Children’s offensive behaviour can be a product of a parent’s inadequate response. There is only so much a parent can take from his child, before loosing it.

But when it happens, screaming and using negative or bad words just unlocks a stronger wave of resistance in children. Our personal mental endurance draws the line between sanity and outrageous screaming (yep, we’ve all yelled at least once). And testing our nerves is just what children try to do.

If mummy breaks so easily, what is the point of me being good and well mannered?

All children act by following this exact idea and it is not their monstrous character that makes them do it – it is their natural approach to exploration.

It is their constant curiosity that pushes us to the limits and this is exactly why sometimes they laugh or smile when they see us yelling – they achieved their goal.

But when keeping it calm just can’t beat the bites, hair-pulls and punches, it is time to take a different approach.

Play their mind game

There is an easy way to keep your little ones happy and well behaved and even if you are not home, their good behavior will be driven by their pure morality.

Even at a young age, children knows what it feels like to feel good and feel bad, only you can unlock it by taking the role of a mentor instead of a parent.

Think Anne Frank or Audrey Hepburn, for instance. Their simple, yet truly inspirational quotes can help you figure out to get to your child’s mind despite being far different than your usual family therapy adviser.

Be wise without boring your kids with useless terms and hard-to-understand rules.

Teach them to follow their heart and try being the best they can. Show them how taking pride in doing well can be a blissful feeling.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
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  • Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  • I agree a calm approach is the best way but sometimes it is hard. I just have to remind myself!

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  • Wow.. Love that last paragraph.. I keep telling myself to stop yelling!

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  • It’s so very true!

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  • you said that kids test our nerves which is a really common statement that i hear from people. think of it differently……do they really test our nerves or have we conformed as we grew older. kids always laugh the loudest and the most genuine….while we have many faces that we have to put on to please others

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  • I thinks its also important to praise them when they are doing something good.

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  • I’m all for time outs: every family and child will react differently!

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  • Great article.
    The photo really impressed me too. The girl is wearing sunglasses to protect her eyes, not just the Mum.

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  • If only we could get it right and have peace all the time

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  • my sister is a bad mum gone good and I am very proud of her

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  • This was great but I was expecting ways to aid in positive parenting but their wasn’t any ? :(

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  • i have my child make huge messes when i have my back turned (i.e on the toilet, shower) but i think that is what kids do. so i try to get them to help like passing me washing to hang out or getting them to pick up toys with me. i also give myself a minute to think about the situation before i react. i could be sooo exhausted and have my child pull his toybox over after i have just cleaned up the loungeroom so i don’t clean up until they are in bed. a lot of planning helps and reminding myself that he is just exploring and learning.


    • You are right! they are exploring and learning; good point!

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  • Thank you for your views, they may not be the views of all but still worth reading.

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  • Great tips to work on great little minds!!

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  • Thanks for sharing this article; am somewhat confused about ‘pure morality’? Children are not born with morality and values; it is taught by parents. Children’s brains have not fully developed and therefore their reasoning can be irrational and parents do need to have strict guidelines and boundaries. Parents need to be parents and not mentors or friends.

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