Kids test boundaries, in fact, they can send you to the brink of insanity at times, but I'm sure we can all agree that yelling gets us nowhere.
In fact, according to The American Academy of Paediatrics, shouting at children to shame them for their behaviour, elevates stress hormones and can lead to changes in the brain's architecture. As well as that, harsh verbal abuse can lead to mental health problems throughout the teenage years and later life.
So how do you keep yourself from losing your sh*t? It's quite simple really, here are five proven and effective tactics to try instead of yelling in anger to help maintain a calm and controlled environment.
Say what you mean and mean what you say. If your kids are misbehaving, follow through with consequences set in advance. For example, if your child neglects to pick up their toys explain to them if they don't clean up, they will be boxed up and put away for two days. They will soon learn, which in turn helps you keep calm and stop yelling at them to clean up out of anger and frustration.
Take time out.
If you feel you're like your going to blow, take a step back, walk away, breath and count to ten. It would be best if you didn't deal with stressful situations until you are calm. Once you are feeling restored, you can then deal with the drawings on the wall or the room that they have upended, yet again.
Many of us are unaware of how often we shout or yell over silly things, including me. Shouting things like 'turn down the music', 'your friend is at the door' and 'dinner is ready' normalises volume level in your home. Instead of shouting random requests, walk up to your child and talk to them in a regular speaking voice.
Adjust your expectations.
As busy parents, we can sometimes forget kids are just kids and overload them with too many tasks at once. Lower your expectations and give them more time to complete daily tasks like making their bed, bringing their dirty washing down or cleaning their dishes.
Over time you will notice how your home operates more effectively if things are kept simple.
Watch for triggers.
If weekday mornings are hellish in your home, re-adjust how you do things. Make a list of your routine and tell your children your expectations in a bid to get things running smoother. If shoes regularly go missing, get a bucket for them to live, leave uniforms and bags in the same place every day and consider making school lunches the night before.
Reward positive behaviour.
Rewards can encourage good behaviour, helping you both in the long run. Rewarding good behaviour reinforces and encourages children to repeat the same action. It also helps to develop positive habits and generally creates a positive atmosphere for everyone. Next time your child models kind behaviour, offer words of encouragement and if they have been extra good, consider a trip to the park to let off some steam or maybe even an ice-cream.