Parenting is a huge responsibility. At the end of the day, we all want to raise our children well, without making mistakes. However, it can be tough not to lose patience from times to times and yelling might seem like the best option to get yourself understood. Nothing more wrong. The reality is yelling is counterproductive and one of the worst method to teach something or deliver a message, it doesn’t matter how angry you are.
The thing is, it is not uncommon to become short-tempered in situations where everything seems to come together. Yelling might become a regular part of your days, but it shouldn’t be.
To discipline a child without yelling takes a lot of effort, especially during busy or particularly stressful times. But it pays out so well in the end, not only for your child’s sake but also for you. If you want to learn how to discipline a child without yelling, there are several positive parenting techniques and tips you can adopt. Let’s have a look at what they are.
What is Positive Parenting?
Positive parenting is referred to also as positive discipline and it entails enforcing rules of conduct for your child while maintaining calm and respectful. Positive reinforcement techniques are designed to teach and encourage the positive behavior you want your child to have, instead of using punishment for bad behavior.
There is a lot of confusion about positive parenting, but it should be clear to you that positive parenting does not mean that parents should ignore bad behavior. It is designed to go deeper than mere punishment and provide children the tools they need to recognize by themselves they are behaving poorly and change poor behavior into appropriate. Children will be able to handle situations in a good manner, if you only teach them how to.
Positive parenting is about establish some reasonable limits for children and guide them within the limits while teaching them how to deal appropriately in situations where it is common a child might behave poorly.
Why Does Positive Parenting Work?
Research shows positive parenting and positive reinforcements are highly effective techniques. Reinforcements help teach children anything. Positive reinforcement, the act of rewarding a child when he or she adopts or uses the desired behavior, increases the likelihood for the child to repeat the same behavior in similar circumstances. Instead of using shame as a method to making understand a child how to behave, positive reinforcement stresses the importance on the importance of making a child understand when how he is behaving poorly and when he is instead showing to behave correctly.
Positive Discipline can reach several goals and can be beneficial to children in many ways. For example, some recognized benefits of positive parenting are:
- The creation of a collaborative relationship between a parent and his child;
- The improvement of the independence and the child’s self-esteem;
- The creation of positive interactions between a child and the parents;
- A child is encouraged to make good choices and decision on his own;
- The minimization of power struggles;
- The improvement of trust and respect between the child and the parent.
Tips to Stop Yelling and Having Discipline Without Yelling
When you want to take the step into adopting positive parenting, the first thing you should do is being clear about the rules and the expectations. Point out all the rules for the child in a clear way, so that he or she knows exactly what is expected. Enforce consequences when the rules you outline are not followed. It is important to come up with easy and simple rules and reinforce them consistently to make it easier for the child to meet the expectations you have on his or her behavior.
You can use visual schedules to help kids remember quickly what are the rules to follow.
Try to limit your reactions
For example, you can take a 5 minutes break during which you collect your thoughts and you calm down before reacting after your child’s misbehavior. During the break think about what happened and why is your child behaving poorly. Is your reaction justifiable? Will your reaction solve the issue? Are you child overwhelmed by something? Is he or she trying to get your attention (and if so, why)?
By taking some time to analyze the situation you’ll be able to react in the best way possible. You can also decide to stay silent, since being angry might lead us to say something that we will regret at a later moment when it will be too late to take it back. Sometimes staying silent instead of agreeing to something your child is asking just for the sake of peace, or instead of threatening punishments, is a better choice for everyone. It also gives you more time to think about the best way to make your point, without negatively reinforcing your child’s behavior.
From time to time, 5 minutes to breathe will not be enough. Your child might be very insisting and staying calm might be more difficult than ever and analyze the situation rationally will not be possible in such conditions. Take more time to do something that calms you down, and distracts you for a while. Write your journal, call a friend, go for a workout, drive for a few minutes or organize your closet. Being occupied with something will allow you to gain another perspective and expel the negative energy.
Exercising good self-control will not only highly benefit you, but also your child. Parents are a child’s biggest role models and by behaving properly yourself you can impact your child and teach him or her appropriate anger management skills.
You should verbalize what you are doing. For example, staying out loud “I am very angry right now, so I will take 20 minutes to calm down before responding to you” is a great thing to do. It will make your child understand that you’re angry and will avoid a scene.
After a difficult situation and after everyone has calmed down, you should sit down and talk with your child. Keep in mind that it is not at all about shaming your child, but rather it is a time you should set aside to work together and understand what caused the behavior in the first place. There should be transparency and good communication. How did you handle the situation? Discuss what kind of solutions you can adopt for the future, so that similar behavior won’t occur again. Talk about what happened previous to the event. Did something happen at school that upset your child? Is she nervous about an upcoming event? Did you do something or say something that hurt her?
You should be very open and honest during the discussion to allow your child to comfortably admit the reasons for his or her behavior and understand why it is not correct and what he or she should do instead.
Positive parenting sounds very good on paper and it works well when enforced. However, don’t expect to be perfect at it from the beginning. There might be times when either you or your child will lose your cool. After all, we are all human beings. In any case, you need to handle these kinds of reactions in the best way possible as they can have a great impact on your child. After one of you has released the emotions that had become overwhelming and has exploded in an outburst, it is time to take some time separately and then start again.
Give the chance for your child to correct his behavior if he acted poorly. If you’re both in a bad mood, take the effort of calming down individually for a few minutes and greet each other after some time as if nothing had happened. You can make this exercise fun and silly. As long as you find a way to teach your child something out of the situation, finding ways to “go on” will help you both in the learning process and end your day more positively.
Some Positive Discipline Techniques That Work:
Use an ABC Chart
If you haven’t heard of the Iceberg Model, you should get an idea of what it is since it is a very fascinating theory. According to the Iceberg Model when a child behaves poorly, what we see is only the tip of the iceberg. Only 10% of the total volume of an iceberg is visible above the surface, therefore whenever something is not working as it should with our child, we should always understand the drivers that caused the behavior.
A fantastic parenting technique to do so is using the ABC chart, standing for Antecedent-Behavior- Consequence chart. You can use it to track the things that happened before and after a bad behavior from your child. Digging deeper into the causes that led to a negative situation can be life-changing.
Take time to write down the ABC for every specific bad behavior you wish to eradicate from your child. This is how it works:
- The Antecedent is the event or events that occurred before the happening of the bad behavior
- Behavior is the child’s reaction to the antecedent
- The Consequence is what actions were taken after the behavior to encourage or hinder the repetition of a similar situation.
The idea behind using the ABC Chart is to identify if there are consistencies in the same behavior and then to come up with a plan to change the antecedent or the consequences to stop the problems at the root.
This tool is useful to find out if the antecedent is not in your child’s control (for example if it happens when he sleeps less or when he’s sick).
Develop House Rules
Developing a set of house rules in which rules are clearly defined is very important when you want to adopt positive reinforcement techniques to discipline your children. It will be life-changing not only for your children but also for you since you’ll be able to set clear expectations. You can try to put together a list of rules that your child is expected to follow every day. Don’t do it too long, like five to ten items will be enough. Focus on the behavior your child struggles the most with and set rules that will realistically reinforce the positive behavior to counteract the “negative” one. For example, a list of rules for your kid can include the following points:
- I say “please” and “thank you”;
- I don’t raise my voice too much;
- I keep my hands and feet to myself;
- I clean the mess I made;
- I don’t interrupt when someone is speaking.
Put the list somewhere visible and accessible to your child and refer to it often or revisit together. If you notice your child is struggling with following the rules, consider adding a small reward when your child follows successfully several rules each day. You can turn the list into a reward chart and checking out the rules followed for the day. When your kid gets 6 marks or 5 marks, he can get some additional time on the iPad after school, for instance.
Use Positive and Not Negative Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement works very good in encouraging appropriate behavior in children. Charts, as we described them before, can be very good to set appropriate rewards and giving the sense to your child he or she is getting better. They can be very motivating for kids and you’ll see huge improvements in their behavior.
Consistency is key in parenting. You should follow what you say and act as you preach. By doing so, you’ll set an example for your kid, who will learn to be consistent in his actions as well. Your child will learn soon that the set rules are cannot be negotiated and will stick to them. Sometimes, you might feel to give in to facilitate the situation, but in reality, the more consistent you are, the more successful your child will be at following the rules and behaving positively.
Increasing the child’s perceived level of control works very well as a positive parenting technique. Empowering a child will make him or her feeling respected and more motivated to participate in the house’s efforts as well as teaching him from a young age to make decisions for himself. You can offer choices at mealtime, in the decision of the clothes to be worn, in the classroom or doing household chores. Empower your kid and offer him or her the possibility to chose between alternatives. There will be fewer power struggles and explosive outbursts!
Stick to A Routine
Children’s lives are based on a consistent routine. It is no secret that children tend to act out more often during the weekends or holidays, but not many realize that it comes from a lack of routine. Try to fix a routine for weekends and holidays as well. Use natural and logical consequences that offer an opportunity for children to learn from their behavior. Natural consequences occur inevitably after a situation happens or after a certain behavior. For example, when a child refuses to eat, he will learn to be hungry. Logical consequences arise to help children replace poor behavior with appropriate ones (for example, when failing a test, a child is required to study more). Both natural and logical consequences are efficient in positive parenting.
Schedule some Quality Time with Your Child at Regular Times
Spending quality time with your child is very important when you are looking to learn how to discipline your child without screaming. It is maybe a surprising tip but is one of the most effective. Having regular times during the week just for you and your child will not only strengthen your relationship but also avoid the occurrence of certain negative behaviors that arise when a child is looking to grab your attention. Keep in mind that quality time doesn’t need to be filled with huge things or incredible activities, it can be every single small action as long as it is deliberate and intentional. For example, turn off your computer and your phone to give your child the attention she is craving and that she deserves. Play a game together, read a book or go out for an ice-cream, it doesn’t have to be anything too complicated. There are so many ways you can easily squeeze some quality time with your child into your day! You and your child will highly benefit from it!
After so much information, this article has come to an end. This was a collection of some effective positive parenting techniques that you can start adopting in your daily life. You can and should discipline a child without yelling, not only he’ll be more successful and learn better, but the whole house situation will be a lot calmer for everyone.
Keep in mind that consistency is essential and be clear about rules and expectations from the beginning. But most of all, have fun with your child, this is the most important thing!