How to Get Kids to Listen Without Yelling

By

get_kids_to_listen_without_yelling_smallOver the years I have worked with many parents with a child or teen who is out of control on some level. The first call is usually like this: “My child doesn’t listen, my child has tantrums, my child is disrespectful, my child hits me, is skipping school, has poor grades or is using drugs and alcohol or even worse.”

I ask them how they deal with these ‘misbehaviors’… and what they tell me is: “Well, I scream and yell, sometimes I say things that I regret and to be quite honest … sometimes I lose it.”

I’ll admit, staying calm when you child is out of control may feel counter intuitive because there are lots of emotional hot buttons that drive adults nuts and these buttons are calling at us, coaxing us, to scream, yell, cry and stamp our own feet.

You may be struggling with your child all day long and often times these battles go way into the evenings. Or maybe your child is fine most of the time and then BOOM…like a time bomb…they explode on the spot. It is exhausting and overwhelming to live like this day after day and year after year. Having feelings of guilt, helplessness and hopelessness, not to mention worry about your child’s future may be keeping you up at night.

Parents ask me…”Why, why, why, can’t they just behave?”

get_kids_to_listen_without_yelling

 

Here’s why… They are little humans. They have good days and bad days just like us. When was the last time that you became frustrated at work or for being on hold for hours with a tech person or with your spouse/partner? You know, you might say something you didn’t mean or you might even slam the phone down.

But…

As adults, for the most part we have learned to modulate our emotions and keep them in check when dealing with other adults. We have learned not to kick the police officer and scream at the nice tech person that we’ve been on the phone with for two hours while our computer continues to crash. And sometimes…we even procrastinate, put things off, get distracted and skip washing our faces or brushing our teeth before we go to bed, stay up too late and break the rules. Sometimes- yes, it’s true- we have temper tantrums without thinking or noticing who may be watching us.

However, at home with our kids – all our rules about our own good behavior may go out the window when pushed just the right way by the little people we love more than life itself.

Our children’s difficulty regulating themselves could be directly related to our own ability to regulate ourselves when dealing with them. If we want calm, cool, collected kids…we have to be a calm, cool, collected parents. You might be thinking that that is easier said than done. I’ll tell you this: It is easy once you make the decision to be mindful, once you get in touch with your own parenting energy and once you make a decision that it is your job to “show” your kids how you want them to behave by being that example right in front of them.

You may be able to dive right in to being a calm parent – or you might need support. Every parent I have worked with over the years has been able to master this and some with a just a few simple shifts. That’s how I know you can do this.

The next time…your child talks back, whines, begs, hits, kicks, spits, bites, tantrums, swears, ignores you or walks away choose to respond differently. Choose to respond from a place of love, inner – calm and guidance.

Here are a few ideas:

✓ Make a decision to respond differently.

✓ Remind yourself daily that they are just little humans.

✓ Refrain from lectures, sarcasm, questioning, nagging (they aren’t listening anyway!).

✓ Pretend they are you neighbor’s kids (Ha! How would you speak with them?).

✓ Write on a number of Post Its- “I am a calm Mom who gets results” and stick them in several places in your home and even on your steering wheel.

✓ Correct your kids by guiding them to good behavior (think of these corrections as etiquette and manners lessons).

✓ Repeat yourself like a Robot (don’t let them see you get rattled).

I would love to hear about your experience. What works and what doesn’t when it comes to parenting in your family? 

 

Comments

comments

Susan always knew she was meant to help people. She became a psychotherapist and had a successful practice. After 23-years Susan left her successful psychotherapy practice to launch a business in uncharted territory. In 2007, Susan created and grew her parent coach business. By living her true purpose, Susan began coaching parents to successfully manage children and adolescents with challenging and resistant behaviors. Susan has sold over 10,000 books and products and continues to write books and develop up to date books and parenting videos. Head over to www.parentingpowers.com to get your free report on step by step system to get respectful, well behaved kids.

About Susan P. Epstein

Susan always knew she was meant to help people. She became a psychotherapist and had a successful practice. After 23-years Susan left her successful psychotherapy practice to launch a business in uncharted territory. In 2007, Susan created and grew her parent coach business. By living her true purpose, Susan began coaching parents to successfully manage children and adolescents with challenging and resistant behaviors. Susan has sold over 10,000 books and products and continues to write books and develop up to date books and parenting videos. Head over to www.parentingpowers.com to get your free report on step by step system to get respectful, well behaved kids.

One Comment

  1. Daniela Sulek

    March 15, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Hi Susan, you are right. Being a mom of 3, I can tell that screaming and yelling does not work, it’s counterproductive. Most of the time what we perceive as misbehavior of our kids is just a mirroring of our own insecurities and fears. Once we know the true reason for our feelings, we can change our communication and responding from a place of love comes naturally. Thank you for the reminder!

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply