Parents oftentimes resort to corporal punishment or shouting back at their misbehaving children, especially in public. It could be because of the looks some people throw your way when your kids start to scream like their hearts are breaking into tiny pieces.
Anything can trigger that kind of behavior and sometimes dealing with those public displays of anger can be very difficult indeed. You don’t have to match their screaming fits with your own version of yelling and lose your poise! There are much better ways to deal with children who tend to misbehave.
1. Stay Calm
Granted it’s hard to maintain composure especially if your child is already frustrated and possibly throwing a tantrum. Instead of showing an agitated child that you are starting to lose your cool as well, show him that you understand what he’s going through.
The best way is to acknowledge his frustrations. Hugging him will also diffuse his anger and lead to less fuss.
2. Talk Gently
How incredibly scary for a child when he sees his mom scream at him! Did you know that yelling has negative effects on your precious one? Instead of being “intimated” enough to stop what’s he’s doing, he’ll follow your lead and scream back at you. This can also get nasty if your kid forgot to do what he’s been asked to do, and you immediately shout at him for forgetting a chore. You’ll drive him away with your anger.
Oftentimes, children have reasons for misbehaving and delving into the situation by asking gently instead of screaming at him will yield more positive results.
3. Avoid Physical Pain
Aside from the fact that corporal punishment is not recommended by child experts, smacking or spanking them hard is one way to make them resent you. That’s not something you want them to feel, right? If your children are getting out of hand, don’t threaten them with smacking. Explain to them the consequences of such behavior. If you have to discipline them, avoid the physical pain.
Take away their television time or don’t let them use the iPad or computer for a week.
4. Employ a Time-Out System
Are you thinking of sending your daughter to her room after what she did? That’s okay, but you have to explain why you have to do that. Let her know that it’s ONLY okay to come out if she has calmed down and promise not to scream anymore. If she continues to display negative behavior in public, come up with a plan that she can agree to.
For example, she should agree not to make a fuss when you decide to cut short a play date and drive home if she’s misbehaved.
5. Allow Them to Decide
There are times when children may need to feel they’re in control. For example, your child asked for ice cream but you know that his toys are all over the house. He’ll surely make a fuss if you ask him to put them back now.
Instead of yelling at him or telling him to “keep them out of sight before asking anything from you,” try the “structured choice” approach instead.
“It’s important that we put your toys back in your room before we go out. Daddy’s going to trip on them if we don’t. Do you want to start with the toys in the living room first, or pick the ones up from the kitchen?”
Finally, whether you choose to use all the tips above or simply employ just one to help you with your children, the important thing you should remember is to calm down, and use a gentle voice to explain things to them.