Sunday, 28 October 2012

Parenting advice: Do as I say, not as I do

I have lost count of the number of times I have seen a parent (sometimes me) shouting at the top of their voices at their children; "WILL YOU STOP SHOUTING AND BE QUIET!"

I understand the compulsion as I've have been there.  But it's interesting how often you see it happen: a parent asking their child to do something that they are not doing themselves. 

I've now worked out the solution for us in the case of shouting.  When our two girls are screaming at each other, sometimes in anger, sometimes just because they want to be heard over each other, I pause (to take a breathe and ensure to be calm) and make sure I walk right into the fray, crouch down to their level, gesture for them to look at me and I, ever so quietly, tell them that there is no need to shout at each other or me, as we are not a million miles away.

It's surprising how effective speaking quietly is.  The sudden change in volume, coupled with their need to go quiet in order to hear my words, has a drastic impact on the decibel level in the room.

Besides; I shouldn't expect them to be quiet if I am allowed to shout.  In the same way you can't teach children to be honest if you regularly lie, or to be reliable if you are constantly late. 

Are there any things you do, but that you try and teach your children not to do?  My vice is chocolate.  I try and teach them to eat healthily but regularly find myself sneaking a biscuit on the sly so that they don't want one too.  How bad is that!?

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  1. Yep, I shout and I hide my chocolate consumption from them :( They're on to me with the chocolate though!

    1. I admit I have the odd packet of maltesers on the side in the kitchen, at the back, so they can't see it! Easy to sneak one every so often.

      Oh dear. This doesn't sound very healthy on so many levels! ;-)

  2. I've so been there with shouting at the kids to be quiet! I struggle with them interrupting me but find myself interrupting them! I find it's about constantly reminding myself - the same as being positive, or labelling the good behaviour rather than just saying 'good boy!'. Practice makes perfect...


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