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How can we get kids to listen without yelling?

I guess we are all guilty of the fact that we have yelled or shouted at our children at some point in our lives or it may even be a routine for some of us. We resort to yelling or nagging when our simple techniques fail.
This seems to be the only possible solution and with a sure shot success rate. However, a "Command and Control" attitude may work in the moment but will never be the long term solution of the child's behavior as yelling doesn't really help them focus on what you want them to do.
More often than not children misbehave if they do not get age-appropriate attention in positive ways.


Measures to avoid yelling;

  • Set limits or boundaries (Example: You can play till 7 pm).
If a limit really upsets them we can try to negotiate a bit but not too much (in the example above: Play time can be extended to 7:15 but not beyond)
  • Try talking to your child about his/her feelings regarding a particular issue and validating them if possible (Example: "I understand that you want to play more with your friends.")
  • Ask questions to invite co-operation. (Example: Do you need 2 minutes or 5 minutes more?...give options in a clever way and make them feel that they are making choices and not being dictated by someone)
  • Always remember..."Yelling grows children's defenses while clever language grows their co-operation".
  • Make eye contact with them before making a request: Children are much more likely to follow through with a request when it is done face to face, even better at their eye level. This is a very safe and connected way to make a request. What's more, when you speak kindly you are modeling a wonderful way for your child to interact with classmates, siblings, teachers and friends.

I would like to end the article with this wonderful quote and hopefully a food for thought for all:
"Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children DO BETTER, first we have to make them FEEL WORSE?"Jane Nelson