Monday, August 20, 2012

Warning Your Kids Multiple Times Escalates Everyone's Emotions

When your kids are misbehaving, do you ever find yourself giving them multiple warnings to stop? One mom told the story of how she was planning to go out to lunch with a couple other moms after picking their kids up from preschool. She was looking forward to enjoying pizza and visiting with her friends.

However, her son wasn’t behaving well – he was pushing the other kids, running ahead and not listening. She warned him that if he didn’t hold her hand while walking and start behaving that they would go home instead of out for pizza. She proceeded to give this warning a dozen times before she decided to take him home kicking and screaming.

As she carried him home, his behavior got worse as he started hitting her on the head. All she could think of was getting home so she kept walking despite being hit. Later on she realized she could have put him down and waited for him to calm down enough for him to walk himself. They were both upset by the time they got home.

When your kids ignore your first warning, you know they’ve decided not to comply and they know it. With each warning the stakes go up as to who is going to cave in. Emotions naturally rise.

A better approach is to tell your child once and then follow through. In this case it would have meant this mom telling her son that he needed to stop pushing the other kids or they would have to go home. After he did it again, she would have left with him. He still wouldn’t have gone happily, however, the situation would not have escalated as far as it did.


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