To manage practically any behavior problem in the early years, try these 8 basic parenting statements. They are simple to use and effective.
It might be difficult to find the proper words when you’re upset, humiliated, or astounded by your child’s behavior. The words you use to reprimand your children, on the other hand, have a significant impact.
When your child disobeys the rules, you may want to employ the following discipline terms. These statements will teach your child a crucial life lesson while not jeopardizing your connection or his self-esteem.
Using Gentle Phrases Instead Of Spanking
When I first started parenting, I just had one tool in my parenting arsenal: spanking and time out. And it robbed me of my joy as a mother for years.
When people asked me what it’s like to be a mom to numerous children, I always listed all the challenges. “But I love my kids,” was tacked on at the end.
What I thought was just being honest about the difficulties of motherhood turned out to be deep-seated misery. I spent the majority of my day scolding or spanking one or both of my children. I eventually found the fortitude to stop spanking my third kid shortly after she was born, and I began looking for alternatives to spanking.
See also: Help Your Child Stop Swearing At Home
Gentle Phrases When Speaking To Kids
First, I’d want to clarify why memorized phrases are beneficial. You may be concerned about sounding like a robot. Some parents give them a try and remark that they come out as snarky or insincere. On paper, they may appear that way, but they can be expressed in a calm, courteous, yet forceful tone.
There are five compelling reasons to use memorized phrases instead of spanking.
Helps Parents Be Consistent
The majority of specialists feel that consistency is the most important factor for young children. They must understand what you expect of them and how to deliver on those promises.
The use of the same simple sentences again and over provides the stability that children require. They know exactly what they should do as soon as you speak that term. Granted, depending on your child’s nature, he or she may not always respond in the way you expect. However, there are simple terms for this as well!
Parent With Confidence
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of uneasiness that comes with being a new parent. This small existence has been entirely entrusted to you. What kind of person kids become is mostly due to your influence. The pressure to do things the “right way” can be overpowering, and individuals who are stressed don’t always make the greatest judgments.
These phrases are meant to help you gain a few more parenting victories. These victories boost your self-assurance, allowing you to manage more difficult situations in the future (because parenting only gets more complicated).
See also: Tools To Help You Parent Intentionally
Helps Set Boundaries
Boundaries are taught to children with simple statements. Even a two-year-old can learn boundaries, which is surprising. Setting boundaries as a parent conveys what you will and will not tolerate, and it may be done in a loving but strong manner.
The best part is that it doesn’t require any yelling, fear-inducing language, or spanking. After you’ve stated your boundaries and what you’ll do if they’re broken, you can let your kids decide how they’ll respond.
One of the most common and deadly parenting fallacies is that you can manage your child and that it is the responsibility of a parent to do so.
While they are still small, you might be able to do so to some extent. However, the older your child becomes, the less influence you have over them through physical domination. Unless you teach children 1) self-control and 2) how to respect other people’s boundaries, they will grow up and find methods to do what they want.
Having Phrases To Use In Your Toolbox Gets Rid of Decision Fatigue
I don’t know what it was like to be a parent back in the day, but I’m pretty sure choice fatigue wasn’t as prevalent as it is today. Every aspect of life – including parenting – had fewer options.
It used to be “my way or the highway” for the majority of parents. Children simply did as they were taught, typically out of fear.
I agree with previous generations that many parents in our culture have swung the pendulum too far in favour of child-centred parenting. Even though I disagree with their severe, fear-based approach, I love the seeming ease with which they raised their children.
To pretty much anything that children could throw at them, there were only a few responses. Consider the phrase, “Because I said so.” Do you want to be spanked? Please proceed to the room! You’ve been grounded.”
Simple, memorized words fill in the gaps, allowing parents a specific phrase to utilize in a variety of scenarios without resorting to spanking.
Instead of reinventing the wheel and coming up with new ways to deal with the same problems again and over, you already know how you’ll respond.
Takes Emotion Out Of The Parenting
I am enraged when one particular child yells at me. Like a freight train, the wrath appears out of nowhere.
If you don’t have a pre-determined (and practised) strategy for dealing with the situations you encounter most frequently, your approach will be dictated by your emotions.
This is not a good example of parenting.
This is why you need these phrases: they allow you to put your brain on autopilot, and they take precedence over all emotions. It’s almost like muscle memory once you’ve used them enough times. You carry out the strategy just as you planned.
You can then concentrate your efforts on de-stressing and communicating in a kind, peaceful manner.
See also: How To Create A Parenting Mantra
Simple Phrases I Use Every Day to Handle Behavior Problems
“That’s Not Good”
This phrase is most commonly used in the baby/toddler stage (learn more about the terrible twos in this post), but it can also be used in the preschool years, depending on the temperament of the child. It informs the child that what they are doing is not acceptable and that a natural consequence will follow.
“Uh-oh, this is so sad!” says the person who is throwing food. I presume you’re not hungry, therefore you’re good to go.
Tantrum? “Oh no, this is terrible!” You’ll most likely need some alone time to de-stress. Do you prefer to relax here or in your room right now?
Hitting? “Oh no, this is terrible!” It’s time to relax and unwind in your room.
“Let’s Go Somewhere Else”
Removing your child from the situation can help them snap them out of the fight or flight response and can help their brain calm down.
This is what we use for tantrums that last a long time (beyond short toddler outbursts). It works nicely for one of my children who has a tendency to yell and hit when he is furious.
We gain from separating ourselves from situations, even as adults, until we can cool down and talk about what happened.
In case you were wondering, as they continue to yell instead of making a decision, they are automatically choosing the break in his room.
I try to give my children the choice of calming down on the moment whenever possible. My children understand that if they do not calm down, they will have the time and space in their room to do so.
“How Would You Like To Get There, Walk or Carry?”
When you state sentence #1, the kids who can speak will almost certainly answer with a resounding “No!” This is where this phrase comes into play.
You’ve probably figured out that a lot of these phrases are options by now. The majority of them came from Love & Logic.
For newcomers to Love & Logic, you always present two options, both of which you would be completely satisfied if your child chose. When they choose C (rather than A or B), as every child does, you can utilize sentence #4 or simply repeat the original choices.
As parents, our role is to teach our children how to manage their freedom. They have complete freedom to say “no” and make a poor decision, but they must be aware of the inevitable implications of that “no” and poor decision.
The boundary in this scenario is that you must cool down in your room, where it is safe and you will not harm others. It’s entirely up to you how you go to that room.
You can also choose to calm down and cease your tantrum right now. If you don’t, you’ll end up in that chamber in some way. You get to make the decision.
See also: Living & Parenting Without Violence
“Let’s Use A Kind Voice”
It’s all about setting limits once more. You’re showing your child that you care about him and that you want to talk to him. However, you must have a chat with him if his voice is calm and his tone is normal (not whiny).
Your children will not understand this the first few times you use it. They’ll continue to yell and whine in the same way they did before, trying everything they can to break you down.
You repeat it as many times as necessary, but always with calm and love. Put your brain on autopilot if you need to. I’m so tempted to loose it after a while that I normally think about something else while the interaction is going on.
While we all lose our cool from time to time, it’s better to prevent it because it teaches children that they can “make” mommy or daddy lose their cool.
“When and Then”
When and Then statements are lifesaving.
It’s easy to remind children of what they’re losing out on by saying things like, “You can’t play outdoors until you tidy your room.”
Instead of telling your child what he can’t do, utilize Grandma’s discipline guideline and frame it in a positive light. “When you’ve finished cleaning your room, you can go outside and play,” say.
After that, let your child choose when he wants to clean his room. This works nicely for homework as well as housework. “As soon as your homework is over, you can use your electronics,” say.
While it conveys the same message as the negatively stated sentence, phrasing it in a positive light motivates children.
Talking To Small Children
While it’s frustrating to address misbehavior, the words you use can be key to helping your child make better choices. Of course, all kids make mistakes and test limits sometimes. But, using these discipline phrases consistently can be one of the best ways to address behavior problems.
See also: 5 Tips for Parenting a Difficult Child