When you have to raise your voice to communicate with your child, to get your message through, you are proving to them that you have run out of resources, that you can only get out of the current situation by dominating your child. When we raise our voices it can quickly become about who can scream the loudest or the longest, or worse- the most hurtful words. If it comes to a screaming contest, be sure that in most cases, your child will outdo you.
Yelling is never a solution to a problem. It might shut your child up immediately, but that would only be out of fright. So ask yourself if you want to be parenting your child through love or through fear.
Any type of punitive measure, like yelling, spanking, time-out... rises out of the parent's incapability of dealing with the situation in a loving manner, and is most often a result of false expectations or a reaction to a parent's judgement of the situation. In Non-Violent Communication, you see how to communicate in a way that does not involve judgement.
My trigger is when my daughter's volume goes up, i.e. when she's angry, and I am trying to do something that requires a certain amount of concentration. What's yours?
Here's a list of things to do to make your house a yell-free zone:
- Determine your triggers and anticipate the behavior that sets them off.
- Use alternative loving behavior to ease out: holding, cuddling, kisses, soft tallking.
- Look at your child. Look him in the eyes, you might be less compelled to yell.
- Try to avoid stress and be wll rested (agreed, this might be the hardest part and often out of your control)
- If you feel any attempts might be futile, leave the room and vocalise if necessary.
To scrap yelling from your behavioral patterns might be trialing. It takes a lot of introspection. Sometimes, you might be bullied into yelling. Yelling is a socially accepted parenting tool, and other might make you feel you have to yell at your child when he is doing something that they deem misbehavior or naughty. Don't fold to the peer pressure. It is your child, don't let anyone bully you into parenting in a way that is counterintuitive.
An additional note I would like to add to this, is that the no-yelling rule also applies between partners. We sometimes forget that we owe our partners the same respect we try to approach our children with. More over, the way you and your partner treat eachother is the relationship model your child will carry with him for the rest of his life.
This post is part of the 2010 API Principles of Parenting blog carnival, a series of monthly parenting blog carnivals, hosted by API Speaks. Learn more about attachment parenting by visiting the API website.
22 Alternatives to Punishment
Photo courtesy of CGAphotos on Flickr