Whilst having children is a blessing, they can be an absolute nightmare sometimes! I’m sure many parents reading this can relate to the annoyance of having to deal with screaming kids who always insist on trying to flush valuable items down the toilet or drawing on the newly painted walls.
It can be hard to know how to discipline them without always resorting to yelling. All shouting does is lead to a battle about who can get their voice the loudest, and valid points can never be put across or understood when arguing like this. Kids just tend to respond extremely badly to this method of discipline, and usually end up screaming your ears off or storming about the house.
Well, there are plenty of other methods that you can use to try and get your children to behave. This article will give you 10 tips on how you can discipline your kids without yelling.
1 Time Out
Perhaps one of the most commonly used and most effective methods of disciplining a misbehaving child is to give them a time out.
This is where you send your child to a corner of the room or maybe a ‘naughty step’, where they have to stay in silence for a certain amount of time that you specify. If they behave, they can then get back to playing.
You could do it so that the amount of time they spend on there is relevant to how much they are misbehaving, or you could increase the time the more they exhibit bad behaviour.
2 Star Chart
This is another great method of making your children behave without yelling.
Create some sort of star chart, where your kids get a sticker for doing certain things well. They could get a sticker for general good behaviour, for doing their chores or for doing something nice. Once they see that this good behaviour gets them a sticker, they are more likely to do that nice thing again.
What you could also do is have a certain reward that the kids will get when achieving a certain number of stars. It’s a good idea to tell them what this reward is, as then it gives them something to work towards and so they are more likely to behave well to try and get those stars.
You can even incorporate the star chart system to your child’s everyday routine. If you’re having trouble getting your kid to brush their teeth or get dressed, then what you can do is link up the star chart to their routine. So, they get a star when they brush their teeth, when they get dressed, when they eat their dinner etc. Then it can be at the end of the week, or even the end of the day, that they get their reward.
3 Remove Game Privileges
Another way to get your kids to behave without yelling at them is to have a punishment whereby if they misbehave then they have a certain toy, or other thing that they like, temporarily taken away from them.
This could also be telling them that they can’t have dessert or can’t watch tv until they behave. If your child sees that such behaviour stops them from being able to do something, they enjoy then they are much less likely to behave in that way again.
4 Reward system
This is similar to the star chart method but focuses more on the reward side. A way to reinforce good behaviour in your child is to reward them when they do behave well.
So, if they are quiet through a whole car journey, or get on with their homework without having to be asked multiple times, then give them a reward so they know this sort of behaviour is good. They are then more likely to behave like that again as they will want to try and receive another reward.
You can also establish this with your child and let them know that if they do certain things then they’ll get a certain reward. So, if you’re about to go to a family occasion and want them to be sensible, tell them that if they’re good the whole time then they can get their favourite meal for dinner, or their favourite ice lolly from the shop!
5 Give them a warning
A great way to avoid yelling when your child misbehaves is to implement warnings.
With this, when your child starts misbehaving, you tell them that if they carry on then you’ll, for example, take away their iPad. Giving them a warning allows them to correct their behaviour by themselves, and so stops the situation from getting any worse.
Sometimes a warning can actually resonate more with children because they’re not just being immediately yelled at and they actually have the chance to make up for their bad behaviour.
6 Set them small goals
If you are finding that your child is being rather rebellious and non-responsive towards you, or you can’t get them to do certain things such as brush their teeth or put their shoes on, then you should try setting them small goals.
So, you can say ‘if you go and brush your teeth now you can watch some tv’, or ‘do 10 minutes of homework and then you can have dessert’. You can try to apply this too if you sense they are about to start acting out and behaving badly.
Small goals are much easier for children to stick to, as they don’t take long to complete and are manageable tasks for them.
If you give them a long list of things you want them to do, then they are more likely to act out or not do them properly (if at all).
7 Speak Calmly
With whatever method of discipline, you decide to use, it’s always important that you go about things in a calm manner.
If you’re giving your child a warning or need to tell them off for something, then speak slowly and calmly. If they start screaming or shouting then just take a step back, or even turn your back, and don’t speak until they stop. When they see this doesn’t get a reaction from you, they will soon stop behaving in this way.
Keeping things nice and calm is the best way to get across to your child that the way they have behaved isn’t right. It’s likely to get them to be more responsive and more willing to apologise and behave well.
8 Establish Consequences beforehand
A good thing to do is have set consequences established with your kids before they even start to misbehave.
They need to know beforehand what consequences are in store for them for certain behaviours, to stop them from behaving that way in the first place.
Also, if they know that something such as a time out is on the cards for them, then they’ll be much less likely to misbehave because they won’t like the idea of that consequence. It also helps them to see that you are serious and will follow through on punishment. If you just warn of an unspecified consequence, they might think you’re just scaring them and that you don’t actually have any punishments in mind.
9 Positive Reinforcement
When disciplining your child, it is always good to try and use positive reinforcement wherever you can.
This is all about rewarding and praising good behaviour, rather than scolding bad behaviour. Kids are much more likely to be responsive to praise and rewards than they are to being shouted at or having their favourite toy taken off them.
10 Always Follow Through
One of the most important things to do, no matter how you choose to discipline your child, is to make sure you always follow through.
So, if you promised they could get a reward after receiving 10 stars, make sure you deliver on this. And if you gave them a warning that if they kicked their sibling one more time then they’d get a time out, then make sure you enforce this if it does happen.
Following through on punishments and rewards is vital as your child will take notice of it. If you don’t follow through, then they will keep behaving badly and ignore your warnings or be unresponsive to the star chart plan because they won’t think you’ll actually go through with any of it. Kids are clever little things really!