Jason and I recently listened to an online webinar that was titled, Get Your Kids to Listen without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling by Amy McCready. I came across it randomly on Facebook, told Jason and we were instantly intrigued. Everly is a strong willed child who I know will give us a run for our money when it comes to discipline. She gets LOUD and angry really quickly, which in turn makes me want to get loud and angry really quickly (the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree apparently). I don't want to be this way with her though, because I know she won't respond to it well, and it isn't fun to be a parent who yells.
We could just wing it with her discipline, but I'm realizing that learning from other parents who have gone before us is a way better option. I am an information junky (I get it from my dad, who gets it from my grandma) and I'm always looking for ways to improve my life and that of my family. I knew after listening to this webinar that I needed to share it with you guys, which I did on my Instagram stories and I got A LOT of feedback from other moms. Unfortunately the webinar was only available for 3 days after I watched it, so I knew I wanted to share it again here in case anyone missed it or wants to come back to the information.
Amy recommends implementing this strategy once your kids are 2.5 years old. Everly isn't quite there yet and I knew I would forget it by then if I didn't write it down. Having it on my blog is a great way we can all come back and reference it when the need arises (which is hopefully rarely). All of the information below is from Amy McCready of Positive Parenting Solutions with a few of my own thoughts as well. I obviously have yet to use this method, but it sounds like a very logical straight forward way of parenting that I can't wait to use! I am going to share the high level points that she shared in her webinar.
Kids have a hard wired need for ATTENTION and POWER
When kids act out it's usually because one of these needs isn't being met. Kids need attention obviously, and you can give them this by playing with them, listening to them, acknowledging their feelings, etc. Kids also want a feeling of power as well. This can be letting them pick out their own outfits, choosing what they get to eat or basically letting them make any decision throughout the day big or small. You can even change the wording of your question to make it seem like their idea and not your own. All of these things will help your kid feel like they are getting the attention they so desperately crave and the autonomy they desire.
Kids only continue behaviors that work for them
If you react to your kids behavior (yell, get mad, etc), they will continue to do it because it's giving them the attention that they are looking for. I have definitely seen this with Everly. If I react to her bad behavior, she just continues to do it because she is getting my attention. This is hard for me because I usually react in situations instead of calmly assessing the situation. Having a kid has forced me to take a deep breath and not react immediately. I have already started this with Everly. If she is throwing things or hitting the wall I just don't even look at her, and she stops almost immediately. It's amazing how they really just do these things to get a reaction out of us!
When your kid does act out, what do you do if not yell, nag or keep reminding them??
You implement the 5 R's of Consequences:
Always respond with a calm respectful tone (this can be hard in the moment, so step away and come back to it if need be)
Make sure the punishment is related to the misbehavior. Example, if they don't wear their bike helmet, you take their bike privileges away. If the punishment is unrelated the child will not understand and feel you are being unfair.
The length of the punishment should be reasonable, based on the misbehavior and their age.
Communicate with the child ahead of time what the punishment will be for the misbehavior. If a child knows what will happen if they disobey, they are less likely to get mad about the consequence later on.
Once you talk about what the punishment would be for a misbehavior, have your child repeat it back to you so that you know they were listening and have no excuse later on.
That is basically the gist of Amy's webinar. I hope I did her justice, because the information she shared was so valuable to me. I can't wait to use this with Everly and see how she responds to it. None of us want to be parents that have to nag and yell all the time. We want to be loving towards our children and hopefully be a source of positivity in their lives. If you have any parenting hacks that have made your life easier I would love to hear about them!