how to get kids to do things without shouting at them....(21 Posts)
Twice today I have lost the plot and shouted full on at my kids, because they were taking absolutely no notice of what they were being asked to do, or blatantly refusing. I know it doesn't work, just upsets them and me, and doesn't get us anywhere.... but having tried staying calm and getting nowhere, and having them push me to the limits, I feel at a loss as to how to get them to do things - eg put on their own shoes when we need to leave to school, not touch something I've asked them not to, get into bed when asked to etc...... the list is endless. Anyone got any good suggestions for strategies to help get things done without conflict and nagging??
We have had some success with the 1-2-3 magic programme. It works when we remember to use it properly!
How old are your kids?
My DD is pretty compliant, but I have a sort of escalating way I ask her - to start with, just a straightforward 'put your shoes on please' with a reminder if it doesn't happen, followed by a 'shoes on NOW'. I never shout, but I do have a tone of voice that I employ when my nice requests are being ignored.
Part of it though, it to steer her away from distraction!
Failing that, I don't argue, I'll just say 'ok, you don't want to get dressed, then we'll go to school in pj's'. But I do mean it. Never had to follow through. Yet.
I have been shouting alot recently. My 2 seem to show me very little respect, do not do what I ask, and do not respond to basic discipline. Drives me mad. So watching with interest.
Stop what you're doing, stop them doing what they're doing, get down to their level, look them in the eye and calmly say "I would like you to put your shoes on/go to bed/not to touch etc etc" I find this is much more effective than me shouting
doesn't stop me forgetting and shouting though
I count down 5-4-3-2-1 . 1 results in naughty step or a punishment (like no tv that evening). But I rarely have to get to 1. That said, DS can be completely bloody minded so I'm watching this with interest for other suggestions
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk AKA HTT or HTTSKWL.
Many many threads on here, but honestly, this is the book.
It's very respectful of children and parents, with some tried and tested techniques. Which reminds me, I must revisit it
Apart from that, there's pre-emptive strategies, like, you know you always have to nag your child to get ready faster for school, so think about how to avoid that. For me, that means getting up earlier than I'd like to (ugh) so that I can wake him up saying, it's ok, you can lie in bed for a bit (and come round naturally). Or if you want, you can get up now and you'll have time to play a bit once you're ready (but he's only 5, not a teen).
I hate getting out of bed before I have to, but it's worth it to have a (relatively) stressless school morning. There's always the last minute poo to throw the routine out the window!
I suppose a lot of it is putting a positive spin on things; do this then something positive happens. rather than the constant neg of nag
I'm a shouty parent too, but I've found the 1 - 2 - 3 count works very well, after I get to 3 I confiscate a privilege/toy. I rarely get to 3 though.
the other thing is to mean what you say: no empty threats. Don't make threats you don't want to carry out, eg, "do that and we won't go to Grandma's"
Unless you really don't want to go to Grandma's use a different threat that doesn't affect your own situation, especially if going to Grandma's means you get a kind of a break.
ALWAYS follow through on any sanctions or they will know you don't mean it in future.
I get dressed and leave.... Then they panic and help each other to get ready.... Not sure it's a great strategy though but it works.
Also, for everything else, I count 1,2,3 and remove the favourite toy of the moment
We have code words. I have two boys into spy things, so we have made up a number of secret code words to get them to do what I want them to do. They call me 'Madame La Boss' (I am French speaking) and we have a secret code word for many things. If I say 'Attention' they have to stop running. If I say 'Formation' they come and hold my hand to cross the road. If I wave like the queen they have to sit down and eat properly with good manners because 'the queen is coming'. They love it, it's great fun. I think we must have about 10 code words. For putting their shoes on, coats on, brushing teeth, etc.
It depends how old your children are but with my almost 3 year old DD, the most success I have is with making something talk in a squeaky voice, like for example she will always do things like have a sit on the toilet before we go out if her toy mouse asks her...she positively is eager to do things then!!!!! If your little ones ate small give it a go I was amazed at how well it works!
^I never shout, but I do have a tone of voice that I employ when my nice requests are being ignored.^
I'm really trying hard not to be the shouty parent I had become. Firm but quiet talking is definitely better and also following through if I threaten sanctions.
another vote for How To Talk So Kids Will Listen
* Ladder of Impending Doom. Kids hate nothing more than going to bed early. So, for every ignored request or instance of cheeky behaviour they get 10 minutes off their bedtime. For every instance of good behaviour they get 10 minutes added back on.
* Have you tried an egg timer? "you've got one minute to put your shoes and coat on, if you can't beat the timer it's one step off the ladder of doom" Or, the timer on the microwave is just as good.
Kiwiinkits love the title of "Ladder of Impending Doom"! Quick kids app is popular in our house and maybe better for little ones - if they complete the task within the time they get stars towards a cup.
Personally I'm not keen on using bedtime as a punishment/sanction, because it further reinforces the idea that bed is a bad place to be. I also second the How To Talk Book, and for getting younger children (who can read the time a bit) to go to bed on a bad evening I recommend setting the clock an hour forward
I do try to keep to natural consequences rather than punishments where possible, eg being late getting ready for school means walking to school in pj bottoms or facing the wrath of the teacher (especially if the teacher has been pre-warned). It doesn't always work though. My boys (3 and 6) respond best to How To Talk, but it's not an overnight cure-all by any means.
1-2-3 Magic .. google it. Worked brilliantly for me till my oldest was about 11. My youngest aged 9 had ADHD and I still use it for him. I bought the audio cassette on it, but you can buy the book too - both from Amazon here: www.amazon.co.uk/1-2-3-Magic-Effective-Discipline-Children/dp/1889140163
Brilliant tips - thank you so much everyone, particularly like the code word idea - never heard that one before! My DDs are 6 and nearly 4. I will definitely look at those books. They've been a bit better this week - not sure what got into them last week. But I'm really keen to try not to shout, and give them lots of positive reinforcement of the good stuff... not always easy though!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.