Don’t Get Mad, Get Curious: Setting Limits That Kids Listen To

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.
Key Takeaways:
—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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Becky Patouhas, social media specialist, has been a babywearing educator since 2013. Her favorite part of her job is a tie between seeing all the cute baby pictures and helping parents get that “I can’t believe I can hold my baby AND eat!” moment. A first-generation American and mom of two small boys, she and her family live in Michigan, where she enjoys volunteering with her local babywearing group. Becky loves her Zypora meh dais (she has two!) because they’re so cushy on her shoulders. She always has a Lightly Padded ring sling in her purse because she loves the soft padding, and she thinks Isle of Skye is the best colorway out there!

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