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Parenting without yelling or spanking

(STLMoms) – Do you find yourself yelling more and more at your kids in hopes of getting them to do something.  Dr. Kathleen Berchelmann has been talking with parents of well-behaved children and she’s got some secrets to share.

Here are some of them:
1. Spanking and yelling don’t work.

2. Be attuned to your children.

3. Inervene early: We`ve had to re-arrange seating in our minivan several times to keep the peace.

4. Redirect, a lot:  We have ‘The Berchelmann 10 Commandments.’  It starts with ‘Attitude is a choice,’ and includes other items such as ‘Pick up after yourself,’ and ‘Be grateful, not jealous.’  Family rules are especially powerful when a child breaks one.  Rather than lecturing a child on jealousy, I just smile and say, ‘Be grateful, not jealous.’  When they leave their shoes on the floor I just point to shoes and say, ‘What`s #3?’

5. Label behavior:  Be on the same page with other child care providers:  What positive reward systems are in place in your child`s classroom?  If they are working at school, try them at home, too.  Rules at school and home need to be as similar as possible.

6. When all else fails, resort to corrective discipline, or negative consequences.

1 Comment

  • Martha Heineman Pieper, Ph.D.

    There is good science behind this approach, namely, that children are born imitators, which means they learn by imitation, which means that they copy how we treat them. When parents can manage children’s immature behaviors with kindness and firmness rather than with punishments, consequences, etc., children learn that we can disagree with others’ wishes and still remain close and caring. This is an invaluable lesson for when they become adults! The parenting book, Smart Love: The Comprehensive Guide to Understanding, Regulating, and Enjoying Your Child redefines discipline as loving regulation, an effective way to manage children’s behavior without harshness. It also identifies what is age-appropriate behavior at every age and stage, so parents don’t get into unnecessary power struggles with children by expecting too much of them.

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