5 ways to discipline your child without screaming

January 17, 2017
  • How do you become a Scream Free parent?
    1 / 6 How do you become a Scream Free parent?

    Hal Runkel from Scream Free Institute offers these tips:

    It’s about controlling how I behave in a way that helps my kid control how he behaves. When I lose it with my son, I’m just as childish as he is – and he won’t respect me. It’s not easy, and I have to work at it every day. Here’s one truth: This is not anxiety-free parenting; it’s learning to manage anxiety, because that’s one of the hallmarks of being a grown-up. It’s about being able to make sound decisions in the midst of a tough situation. We respect people who are able to keep their calm amid chaos.

    Related: 4 ways to develop your preschooler’s social skills 

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  • But is this approach useful in Asian cultures, where parents are worried about “losing face” if they let their children misbehave?
    2 / 6 But is this approach useful in Asian cultures, where parents are worried about “losing face” if they let their children misbehave?

    This is a big problem that, I think, all cultures face. American parents struggle with it a lot, too. We want our kids to succeed in school and sports because that makes us look good.

    But by controlling our children – even if we find that it’s easier – we’re setting them, and ourselves, up for a tougher time later on. Studies show that children who stay submissive struggle more as adults because they don’t learn how to think for themselves; they don’t learn how to make their own decisions. Kids want to be taught how to work though consequences.

    Related: 3 ways to raise a kind child 

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  • So when can kids understand the concept of consequences?
    3 / 6 So when can kids understand the concept of consequences?

    They can start as early as six months. It’s called self-regulation and it’s a vital process to being human. All kids learn it. Two-year-olds will cry and cry in order to get what they want. That’s because they’re learning to manipulate your emotions.

    Related: How to raise a child who is honest yet tactful 

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  • How do you deal with bad grades?
    4 / 6 How do you deal with bad grades?

    If our child gets a lower grade than the one we have agreed to in advance, then for the next three weeks, she has to pick one day per week where she’ll have no screen time (meaning, she’s not allowed to use anything with a screen – TV, computer, mobile phone or video game). And we won’t talk about the grade until those three weeks are up.

    Now, if her grade goes up, then great. But if it still hasn’t, then for the next three weeks, she has to pick two days where she’ll have no screen time. This goes on until her grade goes up. I don’t want to punish my kids; I want to structure their life in a way that helps them succeed.

    The goal’s not for them to get good grades; it’s for them to want to get good grades – and to figure out how to do that themselves, rather than me telling them how to do it. We want our children to love learning and become passionate about it themselves, not to do it just to appease Dad.

    Related: 7 harmful habits that your should break 

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  • What about spanking? How do you feel about that?
    5 / 6 What about spanking? How do you feel about that?

    I don’t tell parents not to spank their kids based on moral grounds. I just say it’s just not as effective as you think it is. I want parents to enact consequences with their kids that the parents actually feel good about. I want them to stand a little taller and say: “I did the right thing.” I want them to give consequences that are effective, but don’t make them look like bad guys to their kids.

    Related: 9 ways to praise your kid 

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  • When is it okay to scream?
    6 / 6 When is it okay to scream?

    When they’re in imminent danger, like “Watch out for that car!” or “Don’t run out in the street!” If they’re always used to hearing you scream, then when you really need to do it, they’ll tune it out. I want to reserve that loud voice for very special occasions.

    Related: 4 ways to teach your child to be independent 

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

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