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mom and child meditatingThe most common challenge for moms is getting children to listen without yelling. Every one of my clients with children older than 12 months has admitted to yelling.

In the next 12 days, I will be writing a post every day to help you put an end to this bad parenting habit, find a more effective way to communicate, and perhaps even see that your children are beginning to listen to you!

With your busy schedule and multiple tasks to accomplish, your day can become one demanding request after another. You start to hate your own voice as you hear yourself repeating, “Go brush your teeth.” or “Get your clothes on.” or “Put your shoes away.” or “Eat your dinner.”  You start to feel like a broken record and you begin to hear your voice get more and more frustrated until you are no longer capable of keeping calm.

The reason you are yelling is usually because your young children are not listening to you.

Well, this will probably not come to any surprise to you, but most parents talk too much to their children – negotiating, reasoning, explaining, and going into meaningless detail.

Why do you talk so much?

The reason you talk so much is that you may be trying to help yourself stay calm. In an effort not to blow up, you believe that if you just explain things in a different way or give your child more information, their behavior will improve and you will not have to yell.

Our first task at hand is to talk less and act more.

Day One:

You may not talk to make your request.  You may use gestures to suggest and encourage your child to do what she needs to do.

What does that look like?

Choose not to yell or shout or shame your child when she won’t listen to your request.  Instead, …

  • keep quiet or use only a word or phrase as a tip for your child and say it once – “shoes” or “clean-up time” or “teeth”
  • if your child needs to pick up toys, you can hand her the toys that need to be picked up and point to the basket where they go
  • if she will not pick up the toys, bring the basket to her or gently, buy firmly physically guide her to the basket
  • If your child needs to wipe her mouth during dinner, hand her a napkin and point to her mouth
  • if she throws the napkin on the floor, choose not to react with anger or frustration – take confident action and wipe her mouth gently
  • if your child has spilled cheerios and milk all over the floor, hand her the rag or the broom and point to the floor
  • if she’s never cleaned up her own mess before, teach her how and get a rag and show her how it is done

You can do this, mama. Good luck with Day One’s Assignment!  Please leave a comment about your thoughts on this first task and let us know how it went for you.