The most important thing is to remain calm. If your own behavior is monitored closely enough, you’ll know seconds before you’re about to blow your top. When you realize that this is the case, take a deep breath. (It really does work.) Stop everything you’re doing and take a deep breath. Count to 10 if you have to. (That works, too.)
Once you’ve gained your own composure, it’s time to deal with the children. The best way to communicate with anyone is calmly. (Hence the need for Step 1.) It doesn’t matter how difficult your children are or are becoming, if you remain calm and speak with an even tone, you’ll get your point across more effectively. And if they are used to you screaming, you might startle them simply by not overreacting. This will take some practice, and will take some getting used to for the children. With time they’ll understand that you choose to communicate calmly, and they will learn to communicate calmly as well.
Always try to get down to eye-level with the children. Try to put your hand on the child’s arm or back when speaking calmly. This helps them to understand that you’re not trying to be an authority, but that you genuinely care and want to teach them right from wrong.
Firm consistency is key to curbing a child’s behavioral problems. You’ll want to remain loving and calm, with a consistent method of resolving problems. When your child isn’t listening or misbehaves purposefully, you set a discipline, such as a time-out, and stick to it…every time. Again, try not to raise your voice, and carry out the set discipline each and every time a situation is encountered. The first few times will be a nightmare for you, but if you breathe deeply, you can get through it, and this will make it easier to control the situation when it arises again.
Your children are really adults in a smaller and less informed body. They look to you for guidance and support. They learn by making mistakes, the same way adults do. If you calmly explain the reasons behind your requests and demands, it will give your children more to think about. You may also take the approach of providing options for your children. Give options with clear consequences and stick to what you say. Then, if they decide to purposefully misbehave, you’ve given them the choice to make, with a clear understanding of the end result.
When your child misbehaves, it is not a direct reflection on you or your parenting. We all make mistakes and it is likely that you, as a parent, are doing the very best you can. And if you’ve read this far in the article, you’re really serious about making changes to your own behavior patterns for the betterment of your family. Keep check on your own methods of discipline and stay focused on the matter at hand. If you separate yourself from the situation, it is easier to make decisions and reach out to your child for his or her own good.
Good luck and give yourself a pat on the back for having the hardest job in the world! You’re doing great!