I read with great interest that one of the major car manufacturers is putting an intercom system in their vehicles so that parents can yell at their kids more effectively.
Yelling isn’t effective in changing children’s behavior and can be damaging to them if used for the long term. (See the August issue of Readers’ Digest for the article focusing on this topic.) Eventually they block you out and don’t respond. What to do instead?
Something I learned long ago and that worked so well for me in raising my kids was to decide what I would do, rather than tell them what to do (or yell at them, telling them what to do).
So, in the case of fighting in the back seat, I told them once and once only, that I would not drive the car with arguing, fighting kids. If they started fighting, I would pull over and stop the car. Because fighting is often an attention-getting device on the part of kids, this really worked. I simply refused to pay attention to fighting and bickering. I acted instead of telling them what to do.
The result of this was that when I pulled over and stopped the car, the kids’ fighting stopped too. “Please, Mommy, we won’t fight! Let’s go! We’ll be late!”
I only had to tell them my decision once. I decided what I would do and I did it. From that time on, I consistently followed through on my initial decision, which is very important. I knew that if I varied this strategy even once, fighting would likely start again.
If you’re interested in further tips on this subject and other parenting topics, feel free to investigate my coaching programs and my offer of a conversation with me at no charge to you. I’ll look forward to talking with you!
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