How to Discipline Children without Getting Angry
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Learn how to discipline children without getting angry in this series of parenting advice videos.


Question: How can I discipline my children without getting angry? Julie Greenlee: This is the million dollar question. When our kids do things that would just make as one us want to scream, and shout and really just want to rip their heads off at sometimes, it's important to remember a couple of techniques. The first of those is it's very difficult to sound angry and mean when you always have a smile and you have a little lilt in your voice. So when we were dealing with kids and they really have pushed the envelope and made us angry. We want to sing it to them and we do that through what Love and Logic calls the Uh-Oh song. So if our kids choose to go into the living room, pour tomato soup all over our sofa, what we want to have practiced over and over and over again is the Uh-Oh song, and it goes Uh-oh, little bedroom time, coming up this is so sad, see you when you are sleep. And our kids go, wow, my mom and dad can handle everything, because we do not sound angry at all. The second we get angry the kid goes aha! I finally found what makes mom and dad weak and the kid has won. So we want to sing to them and we want always have a smile on our face, and lilt in our voice so that we never sound angry. This takes a ton of practice. Another cornerstone of Love and Logic and what should be used when dealing with all difficult kids as we always need to lead with empathy. With empathy we make the choice that; that child has made; the bad guy instead of us, when we come in and we do the lecture, oh, we are done at that point. The parent is the bad guy. The parent is the enemy, the person that puts all this discomfort in my life, and punishes me, but when we lead with empathy, we are good guy. We'll, oh! How sad, and the child goes, oh! Yeah that is sad that I chose to pour tomato soup on you couch. Now my life is really sad, that's something that we always, always teach our parents, is that when a child makes a bad choice, they make their life sad. Our life doesn't need to be sad as well. So we want to make sure that we are always leading with empathy. My empathic statement is, what a bummer. Other parents choose oh! How sad, or they just simply groan oh! That’s never good. There is many empathic statements that we can use. And I would encourage you to write it on your mirror, to write it on your hand, to put on the dash in your car, because what the idea is, is that when we are angry when in the past we would have yelled, screamed, and shouted, we want the empathy to roll right off our tongue. We want to practice it with our roommates, with our spouses, with our coworkers. And we want to be annoying with our empathy, so that when our kid makes a bad choice, that’s the first thing that we would say them.