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5 Tips To Get Your Child To Listen Without Yelling

I'm going to give you 5 tips to get your child to listen without yelling. Now, all of these tips I'm going to share with you are based on the principle of self-government. Because that's what I'm known for is teaching parents and children how to govern themselves. 

So, looking through the lens of self-government or self-mastery, meaning you are in control of yourself, here are 5 tips for how you can help your child listen to you without having to yell. And if you stay with me all the way to the end, I'm going to give you bonus tips too. 

Tips Number 1

Resolve to be calm. Just promise yourself that you will because yelling is actually not necessary and it's not effective. Especially over the long term. So, I am a mother of 4, most of them are grown and gone. 

Except for one who's still with me at home. And I also was the mother of foster children. I brought in youth into my home between the ages of 12 and 18 for many years. They were treatment youth. And I could not yell at them, hit them, get aggressive. 

I needed to do treatment for them which means I needed to touch their heart. So, the whole idea of self-government is helping a person have a change of heart. This means that the heart of the parent has to be in the right place. So, you've got to understand calmness. 

What does it really mean to be calm? Do you know what it really means to be calm so that you can actually accomplish your goal to resolve to be calm and not yell? You've got to learn that and you've got to make a calm plan for yourself. I'm going to talk about that a little bit later on as we go through these tips in more detail. 

Tips Number 2

Know what to say. You know, sometimes in the minute, when they're not listening to you, it's really tempting to just get creative and think, "Okay, I've got to find a way to get through to them." If you are attempting to get creative then you might be crossing over that line of power struggling which is definitely something you don't want to do. 

It feels manipulative to the child and they will push harder against you before they actually choose to honor your position and your role and listen to you. So, you've got to know what to say, that's super important. 

So, what do you say when they aren't listening to you or to get them to listen to you? I use a pre-planned script that appeals to my logical part of the brain and their logical part of the brain. Because if I'm getting creative in the minute and just trying to think of something to shock them into listening to me, what I'm going to be doing is I'm going to be getting emotional. I'm going to be going to that part of the brain that runs my emotions and that's why it will feel manipulative. 

So, Instead, I go logical and I teach them ahead of time what that script is going to sound like for them. In my script, I use 7 steps. In these 7 steps, I describe what is happening, what needs to be happening, why it needs to happen and then we practice what they need to be doing to make a change potentially. 

Because oftentimes, when parents are saying "They won't listen to me", it's usually because somebody is either not following instructions or they're not accepting some correction or making a change that they need to be making. If your child isn't following instructions, then my next tips should help. 

Tips Number 3

Teach your child basic skills. When I was doing treatment foster care and as I raised all of my own children from baby up to adulthood, I taught them basic adult skills. 4 basic skills took care of almost every teaching need or correcting need I had for my children. And my children knew these 4 basic skills. 

In fact, they're adult skills that every adult should know. Now, as I say these skills, I want you to think. "Hmm, do I know some adults who don't even know these skills?" Because they are somewhat lacking in society nowadays. 

The 4 basic skills are following instructions, accepting "no" answers and criticism, accepting consequences, and disagree appropriately. If a person learns the skill sets for those 4 basic skills, that takes care of 99% of their behavior problems. And if you teach them the skill of how to follow instructions, so, then you say to your child, "I'm going to give you an instruction. 

Do you remember how to follow instructions?" And if you've taught them the skill, then in their mind they will immediately think of the 5 steps to following an instruction which is looking at the person, keeps a calm face, voice, and body. 

Say, okay, or ask to disagree appropriately, do the task immediately, and then check back. And when you think that really quickly, then when you say, "I need you to do your after-dinner chore." Or they might disagree appropriately which is another one of those 4 basic skills that have its own skillset. 

So, because I've prepared the child ahead of time, they know when it's time to listen. They know what skills they need to use when I'm communicating with them. So, if they aren't listening, I use my 7-step process to correct them which I think only covered a few of the steps. 

Tips Number 4

Don't leave your children in the dark. Don't have all these great skills and just pull them out at the moment when they're not doing things correctly. But teach them the skills ahead of time. We call this pre-teaching in teaching self-government language. 

Pre-teachers children exactly what they need to know to follow instructions, accept "no" answers, accept consequences, and disagree appropriately. Also, teach them every single word that you will say when you are doing the script for how to correct them. Or if they go out of control, how you will help them come back to a calm place? 

These are all scripts that we teach and if you teach your children exactly what they will say, they will have less anxiety and they will only have to listen to you like halfway because you've already taught them before it was ever a time that you would need to use those skills. So, they're ready, they know what you're doing, they will listen, they're prepared. So, get your children prepared and they'll be more successful. 

Tips Number 5

Recognize the moment to use the skill and get calm. So, this is when you actually put all of that preparation into action. So, when do you use the skill? How do you know when you need to get the child back on track? Let's say you gave them instruction, they didn't use their skill to follow instructions and instead, they just sat there doing whatever they wanted to anyway. There you go, recognize the moment. 

But before you go into your 7-step process for how to correct negative behavior in a calm way, you're going to want to check yourself for calmness. So, remember how I said we'd talk a little bit more about calmness. 

Now's the time. What is calmness? Calmness is the rarest quality of human life. It is the poise of great nature in harmony with itself and its ideals. It is absolute confidence. Its conscious power is ready to be focused in an instant to meet any crisis. Do you have calmness? It's something that you can develop. So, if you answered the question, "No, I am definitely not ready to be focused in an instant to be any crisis. I definitely get emotional." 

When a person is calm, the person chooses to stay in that logical part of their brain. They stay thinking and they tell themselves, "Don't react. Don't react." So, that brings us to our bonus tips. A bonus tip is don't take things personally. 

Now, I know that is infinitely easier to say than it is to do. Especially if you have a habit of getting emotionally attached to what people are saying or doing around you. And our society is not helping. In fact, wherever I look in the media nowadays, it seems like emotion is what justifies every bad choice that a person is making. 

But do you know those emotions rarely, if ever, lead us toward truth? Emotions lead us toward bondage. So, it's super important that we can recognize within ourselves "I'm taking this personally. I'm allowing what is happening with that person to affect me." And the way that you know that is if you are all of a sudden starting to think of retaliation. 

Or you are feeling, "I am not calm. I am getting stressed. I am getting worried or I am feeling disconnected from that person. I feel like I want to control that person." That's how you know you're taking something personally. Don't take things personally. If you feel that feeling come, the best thing you can do is give yourself a "no" answer. 

There are 4 steps to accepting and a "no" answer that I teach. And one of those steps is to drop the subject. So, if that comes, you tell yourself, "No, I'm not going to take this personally." And as part of that, you let it go. You drop the subject. You know, in Disney's movie, Frozen, she says let it go as she rages and disconnects and lets all of her emotions run wild. 

But the real power in letting it go is saying, "I'm not going to let this emotion control me anymore." If you are that type of parent, your children will listen to you. Because you will have conscious power. Calmness is a power that is so rare. It's the rarest quality of human life. 

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