We all want to be a happier parent and to enjoy happier children.

1. Ease up

Easing up on yourself and others makes a huge difference in taking the pressure off. When we slow down and let some of the less important things go, we put the focus on the relationship rather than on behaviours. The stronger the relationship we have with the child, the more they cooperate with us, and it makes for easier parenting

2. Catch the child being good

When we catch our child being good, randomly noticing and commenting when we see them being calm, playing together or a small effort at helping out we reinforce these positive behaviours. Whatever we put our focus on increases, so the more we tell them the improvement they have made however slight, the better they feel in themselves and the greater effort they continue to make

3. Role Modelling

Parents are role models, so remember that you set the tone, and ask yourself ‘what tone do I set?’ If I lose it, shout ‘BE QUIET!!’ I am role modelling than when you get frustrated to be sure to shout good and loud.

The calmer you are, the calmer the children are

Learn to recognise when you are going from 0 to 10, and pull yourself back by doing one of these

  • Take a step back
  • Count to 10
  • Step out of the room
  • Hit your PAUSE button
  • Take three deep abdominal breaths
  • Say ‘Deal with it later’

4. Separate the child from their poor behaviour

As parents we behave poorly sometimes and children do also. They need us when that happens to sit quietly with them and help them regulate their feelings, to identify what else they could have done (instead of hitting a sibling), but most of all to get under the behaviour to describe how they feel. ‘I feel you love my baby sister more, you always give out to me’ and to change how they feel means it will automatically change their behaviour.

5. Managing Anger

Try identifying the difference between the trigger and the cause. It may be feeling less favoured than a younger sibling and the hurt this causes them in feeling less loved. Therefore, take your focus off the poor behaviour and put your focus on building a better relationship with your child to change his perception, it what till really make a difference.

‘Do you want to take a minute to calm down; you seem really upset?’

If they are angry, set a boundary ;’I cannot talk with you until you calm down, but when you calm down, I can talk to you and we can sort this out; I love you, but this behaviour is unacceptable’.