Most parents yell at their kids at one time or another out of sheer frustration. However, for some parents, yelling becomes a bad habit. Yelling at kids can cause them to tune you out. In the long-run, it can lead to even more behavior problems.
Here are tips from Very Well to help teach your kids to improve their behavior without yelling.
1. Establish Clear Rules
You’ll be less likely to resort to yelling if you’ve established clear household rules. Keep a written list of household rules prominently displayed.
A written list reminds kids what you expect from them. It also serves as a good reminder to you about which behaviors need to be addressed. Revise the list as needed over time.
2. Discuss Negative Consequences Ahead of Time
Explain the negative consequences for breaking the rules to your child ahead of time. Make it clear how you will enforce the rules. Use time-out, take away privileges, or use logical consequences to help your child learn from his mistakes.
3. Provide Positive Reinforcement
Motivate your child to follow the rules by using positive reinforcement. If there are negative consequences for breaking the rules, there should also be positive consequences for following the rules.
Praise your child for following the rules and it can help prevent behavior problems.
4. Examine the Reasons You Yell
If you find yourself yelling at your child, take a look at the reason why. If you are yelling because you’re angry, learn strategies to calm your emotions so you role model healthy anger management strategies for your child.
If you’re yelling because you feel your child isn’t listening, try new strategies to get your child’s attention. Make sure that you are giving effective instructions and don’t keep repeating yourself if your child doesn’t listen.
Finally, if you’re yelling at out of exasperation, develop a plan to address behaviors. Often, parents yell empty threats that they never plan to follow through with but just don’t know what else to do.
5. Offer Warnings When Appropriate
Instead of yelling, give your child a warning when he doesn’t listen.
Use an if…then warning to tell him what the consequence will be if he doesn’t listen. Say something like, “If you don’t pick up your toys right now, then you won’t be able to play with your blocks after dinner.”
6. Follow Through With a Consequence
Follow through with a consequence if your child doesn’t listen. Avoid nagging or repeating a warning over and over.
Instead, follow through with the consequence to show that you mean what you say.