Q: I am at my wits’ end. At the beginning of the school year I decided I would not “nag” or yell at my children.

It seems that that worked for a couple of weeks. I worked hard on trying to get my kids on a schedule, but it seems all my hard work has been.

 

A: You are not alone. Many parents start off the year with the goal of having a calmer home. Like most goals, we work on them hard for a couple of weeks and then slowly fall back into our old patterns. Take some time to go back over your initial goals, rules, consequences and expectations and implement them again. Just because you slacked off a bit does not mean that you should throw in the towel. Here are a couple of things to help you stay grounded in the process:

Clearly state your expectations to your children and explain the consequences (both good and bad) of the expectations.

  • Remain consistent. It is the KEY to success.
  • Talk less: Once your children know the expectations and rules, there is no need to argue over them. Just be certain to follow through.
  • Focus on the positive, reminding your children often about the things they are doing that make you proud.
  • Don’t fight. If your children are used to engaging you in an argument, they will continue to try to do this. Your job is to state what you want done and what the consequences are. If you argue back, the argument will continue.

In summary, the key factors for success are to explain, remain consistent and follow through.