Published: 00:00, 17 September 2016
The only way I can get my seven-year-old son to do what I ask is by shouting. How can I make him listen, and stop shouting?
Professor Matt Sanders, founder of the the Triple P Positive Parenting Program, says: "Shouting is a common response to problem behaviour. It's what's known as the 'escalation trap'. When there are frequent power struggles with children, situations can easily escalate from criticising to threatening and yelling.
"Some common types of punishment don't work and can even backfire by leading to more misbehaviour. For example, even though it's inevitable that parents will sometimes feel annoyed, when that's expressed by shouting, the result can be feelings of resentment and insecurity all round.
'If your child doesn't comply, don't escalate by raising your voice, and avoid caving in'
"Also, if a parent doesn't acknowledge their child when they're behaving well - in other words, if good behaviour's taken for granted - it may be replaced with misbehaviour, which is accidentally rewarded with more parental attention.
"When you want your child to do something, such as put their toys away, make sure you give them a warning of when they'll be asked to pack away, then get close, and use a clear, calm instruction to put away their toys. Remember to praise their cooperation.
"If your child doesn't comply, don't escalate by raising your voice, and avoid caving in. Repeat your instruction once only and if disobedience continues, back up with a clear, decisive consequence.
"Parents should avoid using threats if they want their children to cooperate. Consequences are important, but they only work if parents are consistent. "
For more parenting advice, visit the Triple P website
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