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I really want to avoid the yelling but I have to ask my son to do something three or four times before he will actually do it on most days. I finally get so frustrated that he isn't doing what I ask that I yell at him to do it. Then he does whatever it is that I asked. I know I am encouraging him to yell and carry on, but how do I get him to listen the first time that I ask and avoid the yelling?


Michelle P. Maidenberg Replied: Yelling perpetuates yelling like you are expressing. And as you stated it doesn't lend to positive role modeling. You need to explore why it is that are asking multiple times and why he is not being responsive. Is it the way that you're expressing it? The times that you are expressing it? Does he take you seriously? Why not? Are there consequences for his actions? Do you follow through with what you say, etc. There are multiple book you can read that will help you with this. I highly recommend "Positive Discipline" by Jane Nelsen and STEP Systematic Training for Effective Parenting" (have a series for young children and for teens) by Don Dinkmeyer. You could also meet with a parenting expert and learn ways to effectively carry out a positive reward system and learn to encourage him so that he will acquire a positive self-image and healthy relationship with you -- even though you're disciplining him. Best of luck!
Posted On 2010-06-22 23:37:24
Kraig Kidd Replied: I'd ask first if you have put consequences, not punishment, in place to not listening and following through with what you have asked? Example of a relatable consequence would be if it is to pick up the toys in his room before going to bed and he hasn't done it by bed time - do not permit him to play with the toys left out the next day. If the same thing occurs, let him know it will be 1 week or whatever time you find appropriate for him to get the point. The difficulty for most parents is following through with the consequence. A punishment would be he doesn't get before bed snack if he doesn't pick up his room. This has not relative relationship to the behavior you are trying to correct. Let me know if it works if you haven't tried it. I've often found simply keeping our word and following through often works, and without additional tone/yelling. Good luck!
Posted On 2010-06-21 23:22:17
Dr. Vicki Panaccione Replied: I am so glad that you asked! Basically, rule of thumb is that if you find yourself getting frustrated and yelling, it's a signal that you needed to intervene sooner. If telling him three or four times is not acceptable with you, then only ask once or twice and then take action. Right now, he has learned that he really doesn't have to take you seriously until you tell. You are absolutely right, though---you are teaching him to yell and carry on. You are also making him in charge of your behavior and reactions! Here's the thing: First off, your expectations must be realistic. If you think any child is going to do what you ask the first go-around, then you are expecting too much. Kids need to be taught to respond to you, and even then they don't always comply. You avoid yelling by not yelling….by taking action instead. As emotions go up, intelligence goes down. Then we tend to fall into the conditioning of our parents, that "Little Voice" inside our heads. You need to understand that your yelling has nothing to do with his behavior. It has to do with your ability to maintain calmness and firmness as you teach him. Stay calm---take deep breaths or even walk away if you have to---the important thing is to remain calm. If not, then your behavior/yelling is at his mercy. Don't give up your authority. Stay calm. Then, you set the limits, for example: "You do this…or this happens" (negative)…. OR, "When you do this…then you earn this" (positive.) And, be ready to follow-through with what you say. If you follow-through consistently, he will learn to take you seriously the first or second time you tell him to do something. Or, he will reap the consequences. Maintain calm, state the situation, give choices…and follow-through with his chosen result.
Posted On 2010-06-08 20:37:46
debbie mandel Replied: Sometimes we get locked into a push/pull situation - a power play. You push and he pulls away. Negativity is contagious. However, when you stop pushing, he will stop pulling away. When you yell, you show weakness and irritability. True power is not about force. Try speaking in a calmly assertive voice using eye contact. Take him to the task and direct his actions. For example, if you want him to clean his room, then walk him to his room and calmly in a matter-of-fact tone of voice specify what needs to be done. If he can read, make a list which he can check off. If he doesn't do what he is told to do, then there are consequences like privileges denied. When he does do what he is told to do, show your approval and compliment him about the specifics - make sure the compliments are genuine and do not sound phony.
Posted On 2010-06-05 17:13:30
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