Did you practice being a mindful parent? Did you yell less and how was your equation with your child? Today let’s find out how you can get your child to listen to you without yelling … yes, you heard that right without yelling!
In my last post, I had discussed how anger affects children and how mindful parenting helps to treat everyday challenges as opportunities. Till now I have spoken about the triggers, situations and the behaviours which irk us time and again and we burst into a rage of anger. But these alone do not raise anger, there is yet another point that causes anger. These are known as hot spots.
Hot spots are those crafty points during the day which tend to happen when we are already hassled and it is easy to lose our cool. This could happen when you are running low on energy or feeling stressed and tired and you have to clean up the house just because someone is visiting you. This situation is enough to blow your lid.
Hot spots are very, very similar to triggers, a child’s behaviour and environment at that time.
Here are some common hot spots. Do you also get them, put a tick against the ones you experience and find out your hot spots:
- When your child is sleepy and cranky
- The morning time, in fact, the rush to get your child out of the house on time
- When you are talking on the phone, that is the only time your child decides to talk to you
- The time when you want to leave for the house but your child still wants to swing and slide
- Last minute school assignments especially on a Sunday night when the weekend was not utilised for the same
- When you are tired, low on energy and trying to toss up dinner for the family
- The bedtime routine of brushing, stories and finally the child dozing off
- The time when your child returns back from school
- The time when you get back from office literally drained
- Family visits or guests coming over
Out of 10 how many did you tick… well these are just a few situations when you are most at risk of forming triggers.
Yes, the answer to the checklist is that sometimes we are so stubborn that because of our daily routine we unknowingly create these triggers for ourselves. While on some other occasions it is just a plain signal sent to us that we should take care of ourselves. So do you have a remedy for this or do you realise your hot spots?
Recently, I made a tracker for myself, to Identify my Hot Spots. You should also try the same, and highlight the points during the day in which you are stressed the most and you think that you are at a risk of developing anger and finally blow off your lid by yelling.
The tracker has helped me loads to track down my hot spots. My hotspots are usually early morning and late evenings. Morning because I want my daughter to get out of the house on time and not miss her bus. Mornings are a little hectic where I get up early, prepare her lunch box, then wake her up and without any mercy drag her out of her cosy little bed. Evenings again I get the hot spots, as that is the time when my daughter wants attention, I want to cook some dinner and do other things. These times of the day are the times when my daughter does not listen to me. I have stopped regarding the morning time as a hotspot now. I understand that it is not easy to come into an attention position and start listening when we are fast asleep. However, the evening time still needs to be worked on. Lately, to stop losing my patience if my daughter does not listen after say the 10th time, then I end up doing the chore myself. After all, all I need is sanity.
Today, I also mark 1 month of yell free living. There have been moments in this one month which were good, bad and some which also made me want to pull my hair apart. But yes, I managed it without yelling at my daughter … So a big pat on my back for this.
Here’s how I survived 1 month without yelling – By getting my daughter to listen without Yelling. You can also do it and here’s how you can do it:
- Work on the way you make requests: When we ask our children to do some work we usually order them or demand that they do it right away. Imagine your child is running around the house. You feel he may fall and you just scream “don’t run”. This request though made with concern falls on deaf ears since the child takes it in a negative manner that he is being asked not to play and does not listen. These are often termed as negative requests. The same request can be made by saying, ” Don’t run around in the house, you may fall and hurt yourself.” When reframed, the child also gives a thought on the same.
- When making requests be firm: Agreed, that making positive requests work but what also works is that you are present there at the moment and not simply shouting across the room. On repeated requests from you, your child has still not stopped bouncing the ball near the television. You feel that your child is ignoring you, no that is not so, they are so focused that they don’t hear you. So if you want them to hear get their attention first. Maybe next time when your child does not listen, then switch off the television and talk to them without being interrupted.
- Do you offer or demand: Most of us demand our children to do some work or chores. Well, when we demand it is obvious that they rebel. So next time around when you want your daughter to wear that bright yellow frock and she does not then offer her 2 more options to pick from. Children, when offered choices and are allowed to take decisions on their own, are far more adjusting than those who are not offered choices.
- Don’t have high expectations: When you say something to your child, don’t expect them to do that particular job immediately. Give them flexibility, breathing room and a deadline to complete the task as well. Children like to explore and learn rather than being scared of the consequences they shall have to face.
- Set an example for them: Be an example to your child and show them what active listening is all about. If you want children to listen then you have to reciprocate and appreciate their behaviour. Next time when they are talking to you and you are busy on your phone, quietly put your phone aside and listen to what they are saying. Make them realise that what they are saying is important and give them attention. When they feel important, they make you feel important by listening to you.
- Children see children do: Like I always say, children see children do, so remember to follow through your own rules and pointers which you have set for them. This way they know that they need to listen to or the consequences will not be too pleasing. When we don’t follow what we say, children usually take us for granted, so if they are not given the consequences then they will not stop misbehaving. Set boundaries for them which are best for them and in no ways constricts them. Each time make sure to follow through the boundaries just like the consequences.
For the next few days, try and work on the above-mentioned points. I am sure you will soon or maybe after repetitive trying, get a child who would listen to you without yelling.