Patience, sabr…. breathe!!
Have you ever been that mum that has just erupted into oblivion at your kids for some tedious little thing knowing that you could have approached the situation in a more calmer manner? Me too!
We’ve all done it, probably on a daily basis like me! I’m that screaming mum you hear as you’re going past….
Reminds me of the meme – I shout so loud sometimes, I’m sure the neighbours even brush their teeth & go to bed – This HAD to have been written about me! I really go for it when I’m on a roll 😛
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I began writing this post about positive parenting & how to use discipline in the right way…. but this evening, I will be honest with you, had a full on melt down! All my “prissy” ideas went down the pan, I literally roared at my children from what felt like the moment we got home until bedtime (which was over an hour later than usual) I’m not a perfect mother & I’ll be the first to admit when I am wrong. Today I was wrong! – There, I said it. Battles in the home become all too familiar with me & my children, especially my 6 year old daughter. I understand she is going through some tough times, new home, school, surroundings… but I feel she never lets up, she never listens & my words always seem to fall on deaf ears. I need to find a solution, not only for the kids well-being, but mine too. It’s not fair that I shout all the time & It’s also not fair that they continue to misbehave.
I am the worst at handling situations after they happen, I have to sort it out then & there…. That’s my downfall. I am trying to find a way to handle the storm, by being calm 😳 easier said than done.
Having said that, I am working on changing my parenting style (if you can call it a style) I recently attended a FREE webinar in which the host Amy McCready talked about Positive Parenting & the 5 R’s of consequences. I had no idea what this was! We were first asked to list the most troublesome behaviors of our children, the things we find hardest when dealing with them. Looking back now, my list is awful…. is that really what my children do on a daily basis? It looked like a list from a Super Nanny episode –
- Being Rude
- Back Talk
- Refusing to do chores
Cue – hanging head in shame!! Once I saw these written down in front of me I realised more than ever that I have a behavioral issue with both of my children. They have a 10 year age gap, they should get along, but they don’t! I’m not saying all kids with a similar age gap get along blissfully, but I think I need to overcome this issue in a way that is both beneficial & helpful to them & me. I can easily say, like most mum’s, I am at the end of my tether with the bickering & defiance, this is where positive discipline comes into play!
Disciplining the right way
Firstly when trying to discipline a child, we need to remember to make any discipline relevant to the actual behavior. I’m sure we were all punished as kids, having something taken away, something we loved, but we felt it was really unfair because it had absolutely NOTHING to do with the action you took.
This is what makes life unfair as a kid. I asked myself plenty of times, why my mum would take my console away because I was late home? Where’s the relevance? – No fair!!
So we need to make the discipline effective & related to the action that has been taken – For instance you have a teenager that is getting home late? Then your discipline is that they don’t get to go the next time! What’s the point of confiscating something that has nothing to do with the issue at hand? Are they going to remember this next time? Sure, but will it stop them from repeating the “crime”? Probably not, but I can bet the next time they have an event or invited out with their friends & you say no because they returned home late the last time, they will definitely remember what they’ve done wrong & not do it again!
Here is where the 5 R’s of consequences come into play.
The 5 R’s Of Consequences –
In the webinar, the host told us that kids don’t have to like the consequences, but we must give these consequences in a respectful way, try to respond with a calm respectful voice. Its OK to walk away & wait until you calm down – something I found very hard to do, until today… I walked away! (I actually did more than walk away) I took a shower & prayed, I needed a calm moment to recuperate, to stop the anger inside me. It’s ok to be angry, but not ok to use that anger on your children because of the effects it can have. I see how bossy my daughter is with her older brother. She is only mimicking what she sees every day, me shouting orders to him & him full on “teen strop” arguing back. This HAS to stop!
Like I have mentioned above, the punishment must be related to the misbehavior.
When we dish out a punishment we must also make sure it’s reasonable. You cant expect a 4 year old to handle not playing with his favorite toy for a week & you can’t expect a 13 year old to stay without their prized possession like the iPad for 2 months just because they didn’t do the dishes when it was their turn. So it needs to be reasonable in duration.
Revealed in advance
This is so the child can make a choice & feel he/she has some power over the situation.
Your child should repeat back what has been said, kinda like a confirmation…. no use asking “are you listening to me?” Get them to say what you’ve said so you know they’ve heard you & this gives a sort of verbal acknowledgement.
Get them to listen without shouting
Once implementing the 5 R’s there are no second chances, no going back. You’ve already, calmly given them the rule & what the reasonable consequence will be. As long as It is directly related to the misbehavior & your kids are aware of it in advance, they have repeated it back to you so they know what you expect of them, all should be fine & dandy… we hope!
You’ve given them the choice, so they have the power to choose for themselves. If they make a poor decision to misbehave again, its important to continue with respect & not say “I told you so.” Just calmly move forward with the consequence you previously agreed on.
I have begun to try these steps with my daughter & while today I flew off the handle… I did manage to walk away too. It’s pretty hard when she screams the whole building down because I simply say in response to her asking if she can watch a little Netflix, that she can, if she does a little reading before bedtime.
I was graced with a full on temper tantrum, screaming fits, the kind where you’re sure the police would be called because it sounds like you’re strangling the kids!! So at first I shouted, told her if she continues to scream over a screen, she will not get any screen (Netflix) today. Then I stepped back, realised I was only going to make the situation worse by yelling more, I told my son to go sit in he’s room so he does not have to hear her screaming unnecessarily & I walked & cooled off, took a shower & prayed my Maghrib Salah (One of my 5 daily prayers) & never spoke any more… when I returned to the living room later, I found she had made herself a sandwich & was sitting quietly colouring in. She then came to hug me & said sorry, this is when I sat her down & explained that she disappointed me & I’m hoping she can overcome this episode & continue the great behaviour she has been showing this last week.
We still had the usual bedtime battle after this, but I think using the 5 R’s in these situations can help in the future, there is no quick fix to behavioural problems, or parenting woes, time will tell. But remember you can always walk away & cool off…….so here’s to positive parenting solutions! ……
& finding our sanity again! 😀
Why not give the webinar a try for yourself?
Hey! Have you ever tried something similar when dealing with children’s behaviour? Did it work for you? Have you learned something from this? Is there anything you could add to this list? Let me know in the comments below & don’t forget to share!!