- The first tip for getting your kids to behave: don't get angry. Constantly screaming 'Do what I say!' or 'Because I said so!' won't get your kids to behave. Why? Because they'll become so used to your angry reaction, they'll just tune you out. So what's the solution? Count backwards from 20 the next time you're about to blow up. This takes concentration, so your emotions won't escalate. Then, talk to your kids about their behavior once you're calm. And speaking in a soft but firm voice will get their attention more than yelling.
- Back each other up. When one parent says 'Suzie don't do that,' and the other says 'Oh just let her', not only does this create a rift in your marriage, because one parent's authority is constantly undermined, but it teaches kids that they can get whatever they want if they go to the parent that always gives in. All this confusion over what is and isn't acceptable behavior means kids won't learn the difference between right and wrong. So come up with a list of 'house rules' for your kids. Then, sit down as a family and decide what the punishment should be if the rules get broken, and have your kids sign off on the list. This teaches kids their actions have consequences, and both parents will be on the same page.
- A behavioral 'code of conduct' also applies to our final parenting tip: teach your kids some manners. You may think it's cute when your 2-year-old burps or picks his nose, but laughing at his rude conduct subconsciously encourages your kid to use this kind of behavior to get attention. So, just like the set of 'house rules' you came up with, have your kids sign off on a 'behavior code of conduct.' However, the only way your children will learn is if you stick to the code, too! If you're cursing and rude, guess who'll grow up and exhibit the same behavior?
These come from the book "Nanny 911: Expert Advice for All Your Parenting Emergencies" by Deborah Carroll and Stella Reid.