When you shout or yell at your child you reduce the effectiveness of the message, basically they don't hear what you are saying. All they actually hear is you, the parent shouting!
Yes, we all have a hot button (even me!). Something happens, our fuse is short and we explode.
Children learn anger from our anger. We are their role models in life.
- It's important that we stop and think before we react. Count to 10. Maybe have a mantra ready such as "he's only two, he's only two". "I am calm". Breathe slowly in and out, stop and think. Then you are calm enough by this point to decide what needs to happen after the event. Is it small enough to ignore? Does it need quiet time or time out? Would a consequence be useful? Or nothing at all because it really was very minor.
- Make sure the children have regular meals and naps. A satiated and well rested child will play up far less than a hungry and overtired one.
- Take them down the park every day. Expelling energy is great at reducing misbehaviour in children. It also makes them tired enough for bed and sleep.
- Making sure we, as adults, have an outlet for our pent up stuff. A walk, a swim or a trip to the gym. Some child free time always helps.
- Making sure we have had a bit of me time, no matter how small. Ensuring you haven't missed your morning coffee or breakfast goes a long way to keeping you calm. Missing out on the basics in life leads to resentment big style. My sister has never missed out on her morning shower or breakfast. She has a 6 month old and a 17 month old and my mum lives half an hour away. Her partner, daddy of Freya and Tilly, works away a lot. So it can be done!
- Prioritise your life. Don't try and fit too much into your day or have too many child activities in the week. Children need time at home. It helps with routines and we know that routines create security. Routines reduce the stress hormone cortisol and increase those lovely feel-good endorphins. A win-win.
- Ask for help. Taking care of young children can be exhausting to say the least. And yelling is a definite sign of stress and fatigue, which means you need (and deserve) a break! Have your husband or a trusted babysitter step in for half a day so you can get some much needed time to rejuvenate.
- Making sure your house is child proof so items that cause stress are out of reach. Get down at your child's level, you'll see those items so much more easily!
- Making sure that you get a good nights sleep. Days are always easier to manage when we are rested as parents.
- Don't be ashamed to ask for help when you need it. We are human and it's OK to ask for and get help. Ask family, friends or a trusted neighbour. If that's not available look at outsourcing such as family daycare, childminding or occasional daycare. Occasional daycare is a little gem and some councils in Sydney run it, such as City of Sydney who offer 3 hours of low cost care at Redfern. http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/community/community-services/children/child-care/redfern-occasional-child-care and for elsewhere in Sydney check out occasional care on the Care for Kids website http://www.careforkids.com.au/occasional-care/sydney-city