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Expert advice

28th Feb 2024

Eight ways to deal with your child’s misbehaviour without raising your voice

Anna Martin


Keeping your cool when your child misbehaves can be hard

When trying to correct your child it can feel like you’re talking a brick wall – which only builds on frustrations.

Though you may feel like you want to shout, research has proven that it’s just not an effective method of discipline.

There are plenty of other techniques to try out, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, (APP).

Here are just eight that can be implemented easily.

Lead by example

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Children learn from watching other people so if you want them to behave, lead by example.

If you start shouting when your child is throwing a tantrum they may believe that his is the correct way to respond.

Take a few deep breaths, steady yourself and then speak calmly.

Have clear rules

To create a sense of order and set limits, have rules for your child to follow.

Children don’t understand limits and need their parents to set boundaries for them, explaining in a way that is easy to understand.


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Though rules are important, make sure you have set out clear consequences if they are not followed – this will help to reinforce the rules.

However, make sure you stick to them!

Even if your child gets upset, they need to know they won’t get their own way. In saying this, you should never take away something they truly need, like a meal.

Listen to your child

Though it can be hard to hear your child out if they’re crying, sometimes the best thing you can do is listen and help them process their emotions.

Let them explain why they’re upset and aid them in reflecting on why they feel this way and what they can do to help regulate themselves.

Pay attention

Attention is one of the most important things a child will look for from their parents and sometimes this can help prevent bad behaviour before it even begins.

If you reinforce good behaviour and discourage bad, it can help your child to understand your perspective and in turn handle their own feelings.

Notice good behaviour

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Don’t just tackle bad behaviour, but make sure to praise and reinforce good. When you do this it allows your child to understand what is acceptable and what is not.

Provide choices

When appropriate, allow your child to make their own choices, which will give them a sense of control over a situation.

Keep them specific and make sure whatever option you provide, you’re okay with the outcome.

Redirect bad behaviour

According to the APP, sometimes children will misbehave out of pure boredom, so try to keep them entertained or distracted when you think they’ll do something undesirable.