Every parent starts out with an idea of what practices of our own parents that we want to emulate or avoid, and yelling and nagging usually top the latter list. Once children begin to reach for more and more independence—and sass–it can be hard not to slip into those bad habits.
Dr. Yasmeen Almahdy of Hand in Hand Parenting recommends reframing how we look at conflicts and punishment. If we teach ourselves to become curious when children disobey instead of becoming mad, it’ll keep us off that path to yelling, and refocus our attention onto discovering the root cause for that behavior. Best of all, when our children grow to be parents themselves, they’ll have that tool in their toolbox, ready to nurture generations to come.
—Focusing on punishment means we’re not focusing on how to improve the negative behavior.
—Children aren’t always capable of explaining how they feel or the reasons for their choices.
—Instead of becoming mad at misbehavior, teach yourself to become curious about it.
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