Why yelling and punishments don't work and how to make the child listen to us

parent child shouts punishments

If you have to resort to slapping in an attempt to stop the growing "tyrant" in your home, then this article is for you.

By now you've probably noticed that as parents we can't really make kids do anything. When we try, we run into two answers: our "little pleasers" obey us, inspired only by the desire to surpass their brothers or sisters and "behave better", while the "tyrants" oppose or are armed. But make no mistake, none of these reactions are signs of cooperation.

Rather than dooming our attempts to force submission through dominance to failure, we should turn our attention to winning cooperation и impact on the child. Since we cannot "make them", we will have to "make them want it".

We could stimulate our children's willingness to cooperate if we create the right conditions:

  • By building a relationship of mutual respect first between both parents (I heard the giggles) and then involving the children.
  • By empowering our children. We help them feel capable - we redirect the state of dependence to independence.
  • By bringing the family together so that the child feels part of a "team" and finds motivation to want to help the team as a whole, instead of adopting an "every man for himself" team mindset.

It takes time for these conditions to become permanent for the family. If one night you refrained from your usual screaming, it does not instantly bring respect into the relationship. But if you apply persistence and determination, it will happen. Don't give up too soon. The end result is amazing and rewarding, both for you and your children.

What should we do?

First, don't win. I'm sorry. I know that's not exactly what you wanted to hear. However, it is important to stop winning because you might be able to shove that piece of broccoli in your four-year-old's mouth, which you are so adamant that he should eat, but this only fuels the battle for supremacy in the family. When we win:

  • We set an example of dominance to our child and he follows us
  • We show disrespect to our children. We put them in the position of permanent losers.
  • We teach them that "might is good"
  • Each time we step on the kids a little bit more, and they have to find a way to get back up—either through payback or a quest for more power.

Second - don't lose. Show some self-respect. When it comes to setting an example, we need to demonstrate self-respect to our children. How would they respect us if we don't do it ourselves? We show people how to treat us and it is not good to allow ourselves to be wronged by another. When we lose:

  • We lose our self-respect
  • Our children's opinion of us deteriorates
  • We prove once again that "might is good"

For example: if, after refusing candy to your kids three times, you finally get fed up with their whining and retort: "Okay, but only one", you can bet that they will adopt this tactic as a permanent style of operation to make it theirs, and look to you as a rather nondescript authority figure. We cannot allow such a thing.

The solution:

The trick is to find a third middle ground: reconciliation. You don't have to play the game to the bitter end. If you leave the playing field, the child is left without an opponent. Rather than a win-lose outcome, our goal is to find a win-win solution or the best for both parties.

Here are some examples:

  • We have to brush our teeth because the plaque will cause cavities. Not because “I said so:.
  • We have to sit in our seats while in the restaurant so the waiters can move around without worrying about bumping into someone.
  • We have to leave the muddy boots outside the door to keep the floor clean.

These are the demands of the situation. They resonate with their own logic, not the personal preferences or personal logic of any single individual.

From the book Honey, I Failed the Kids by Alison Schaefer,
provided courtesy of publisher Colibri

Look more:

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