Hello everyone. Thrilled to be back today with one of Reflections Thursdays posts, in which we’re talking about happiness, wellness, peace of mind, and being your best self and parent. Today, we welcome Kate from Modern Alternative Mama, who has some great tips on how to stay patient with your kids. Read on for Kate’s sage advice and for more on Kate, see below. Love, Melissa
Every mama yells.
If she says she doesn’t, then she’s either seriously medicated, or, more likely, she’s lying. Everyone has bad days, everyone loses their cool sometimes.
Of course, some of us yell more than others. Some moms truly only yell on their worst days, or when someone’s in danger (and in that case, yell away). Other moms feel like all they do is yell! Those are the moms who really need some help – most don’t want to yell, but feel like their kids just don’t listen otherwise.
We’ve managed to have a whole lot less yelling in our home over the last couple years, and it’s definitely made things more peaceful – and, the kids even listen better, most of the time (really). It’s why I love gentle parenting. Check out these 8 ways to respond instead of yelling!
- Just Walk Away: If your kid is doing something that’s driving you nuts, but isn’t really causing a problem, just don’t make it a battle. Don’t say anything, just walk away. This might be when your kid is sitting on the couch and making obnoxious noises for no reason. Annoying? For sure. Harmful? Only to your nerves.
- Get Their Attention First: The biggest reason kids don’t listen until you yell is because they’re not really paying attention to you. They hear that you are talking, but they aren’t focusing at all on what you’re saying. Take a minute to stop, breathe, look them in the eyes, and say their name. When they are focused on you, then tell them what you need them to know.
- State Your Feelings: I’ve been known to say things like, “Mommy is getting very angry that you aren’t listening to me. I need you to pay attention right now.” It’s better to let them know how you are feeling than it is to just blow up at them.
- Get Softer: Sometimes, if they want to hear what you’re saying, but are being too wild to calm down and listen, you can combat that by not getting louder, but by getting softer. They’ll have to be quiet if they want to hear you. Of course, this doesn’t work if they don’t want to hear you.
- Separate the Kids: As a mom of 5, I know that when they’re all together, they feed off each other and get wilder and wilder, and it’s almost impossible for them to pay attention to what I’m saying. At this point, I pick up the baby, then settle each kid (they’re almost 3 – 8 years) with a different activity so they’ll all settle down. Or, if the issue is some aren’t doing what I asked, like cleaning up, then I set the little ones with the TV (don’t judge) and put the older ones in separate rooms to do the job. It works well…most of the time.
- Dance and Sing: I know it sounds silly. But sometimes when I am losing it, I just start singing a sarcastic, silly song and dancing around. It helps me blow off steam, and it usually makes the kids laugh, and then we can all calm down. The kids are usually more willing to listen, too, after we’ve connected with a little dance break.
- Go Outside: Take everyone and go outside – get a change of scene. Have the kids run around. Run with them if you want to. Sometimes kids don’t or can’t listen because they have pent-up physical energy. Getting a chance to express it is really helpful, and after, they can focus much better.
- Pull Them Aside: The time kids listen best is when they’re one-on-one with you. Rather than trying to get their attention (and ending up yelling) in the middle of a chaotic room, take them aside, somewhere quiet, and talk to them alone. This is especially important for kids who are really sensitive to noise or have sensory issues.
If ending yelling is important to you, you might also be interested in 9 examples of positive discipline – lots of other ways to respond to your kids without yelling or spanking!
Kate is mama to 5 beautiful children, ages 8 and under. She homeschools them, runs her business from home with her husband, and generally manages a zoo. She’s passionate about gentle parenting and natural health. You can find her at www.modernalternativemama.com, or on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram.