When I read the Supernanny section on discipline and ‘Talking to Your Child’ I could almost picture Jo Frost in front of me speaking the words aloud- it’s exactly what she says and does on TV.
Shouting at your child only communicates one thing- that you’re really wound up.
-Get down to their level so you don’t intimidate them with your height
-Hold your child’s arms to make them look at you
-Adopt an authoritative tone
-Tell them clearly what they’ve done wrong
It’s true that when I do shout it’s normally because I’ve lost control and the boys know it- more often than not it makes their behaviour worse not better.
Let’s be naughty– said Harry to Ben the other morning when I’d lost my voice (no, I haven’t been yelling too much, just got a nasty cold.)
Good idea, she won’t be able to shout at us!– said Ben laughing
That’s the thing with shouting; I lose my authority because they can see I’ve lost control so as well as creating a stressful environment it’s also pretty ineffective.
Let’s try the Supernanny method:
Harry– I said kneeling down and holding his arms- Your breakfast is for you not the dog.
No, it’s not– said Harry pulling free and throwing his last square of toast on the floor.
Harry– I try again holding his arms- throwing your breakfast on the floor is not allowed.
Yes, it is– said Harry delighted with the attention he was getting.
Don’t worry, Mummy, I’ll deal with him– said my 5 year old- Harry, if you don’t eat your breakfast RIGHT NOW, I’m going to eat it.
Harry raced back to the table and gobbled up what was left.
Hmm maybe it’s not about shouting or how I speak to them, perhaps I simply don’t have the authority of an older brother….