Use positive language– try not to being saying “no” or “don’t” all of the time. There is no doubt that if we say “Don’t drop that glass” or “No running inside” or “Don’t drag your coat in the dirt” your child has that image and thought imbedded in their mind and more times than not, they will drop the glass!Instead, try to word what you want them to do. Eg “Only walking inside please” or “Hold onto that glass, it is a special one” or “Hold the coat up so it doesn’t drag”. This requires much thought and practice but is well worth the effort.Try to eliminate words you use that may be ridiculing (“You’re being a big baby.”), name-calling (“You’re a really bad boy.”), and shaming (“I was so ashamed of you today”). This type of language achieves very little except leaving your child feeling worthless. Kids will often cut off communication with those who use these words with them and begin to develop a poor self-concept. Positive and kind words give your child more confidence, makes them feel happier, helps them behave better, encourages them to try hard and achieve success. They learn to imitate you and deliver the same respect and praise to others. Examples of positive words are: “I like to way you remembered to pack up your toys”, “Thank you for helping me clean up this mess”, “You tried so hard to share your things with your sister, it made me feel really happy”.
Connect with your child with eye contact. You may need to get down to their level or sit at the table with them. When you are chatting with your kids, this shows them also what they should do. Not only is it good manners, it helps you to listen to each other.Say your child’s name until you get their eye contact, especially before giving them a direction. It is important that they give you their attention, and you should model the same behaviour for them.
Use volume appropriately – When in the classroom teaching, I used to have a class next door to me whose teacher always yelled. The kids used to put in their earplugs and eventually stopped listening at all. The teacher was always trying to yell over the noise of the kids, what a nightmare!The same applies for at home, don’t ever compete with a yelling child. When they have calmed down, then talk. If you use the volume of your voice appropriately for the majority of the time, raising your voice in an urgent situation should not be ignored. They will sit up and take notice because it doesn’t happen all of the time. Yelling orders or directions from another room may also fall on deaf ears after a while, for example yelling “Turn off the TV now please Chad” or “Hurry up and get dressed” from the kitchen gives the impression that you’re busy and not too serious. Walking into the room, joining in for a minute or two and waiting for the commercial break will go down with far more cooperation. You are modeling respectful behavior to start with and you have come to them with your direction, so they know you mean it!