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Goats and soda: NPR



  Illustration of discipline strategies.

  Illustration of disciplinary strategies.

Is it possible to bring up children without screaming, ranting or even talking to angry children?

Last month we wrote about Supermome in the Arctic, which accomplished this difficult task with ease. They use a powerful array of tools, including storytelling, playful dramas and many questions.

But Inuit parents are not the only ones with creative alternatives to scolding and time-outs. Goat and soda readers sent over 300 tricks to make children listen without raising their voices – sometimes without saying a word.

This story is part of a series of NPR's science service named The Other Side of Anger . There is no question that we are in angry times. It's in our politics, in our schools and in our homes. Anger can be a destructive emotion, but also a positive force.

Join NPR in our exploration of anger and what we can learn from this strong emotion. Read and listen to the stories in the series here.

Here are the highlights that have been edited for clarity and length.

Step 1: Go Grandma Fashion

The first step towards no-yell education is to get your kids under control of their own rage, Inuit mothers told us. As I have experienced, this is not always easy. But Veda Glover has a meaningful Jedi trick that helps: "I deliberately put my mind into the role of a grandmother," says Glover, a bilingual Navajo teacher in Kirtland, New Mexico.

"When I started teaching, I could feel my blood pressure increase if the students did not listen to me and follow instructions," she says. "Then I came up with a question to ask myself in these situations," What would my own grandmother do? "

T T his strategy" helps me to stay calm and helps my students understand that it is not necessary to scream or get angry, "says Glover. [19659004] Step 2: Learn to look

Instead of screaming or saying no, try putting a heck on it, says teacher Vita Osborn.

"Almost telepathic My parents have provided informational pages in a few brief glances, "she says." A serious look from my dad or mom was enough to let them know that I disliked them in some way. "

In traditional Inuit culture, some parents frown to give" no "to a small child, but they can" look "with their eyes wide open, their eyes narrowed, or even blink, like teacher Kristi McEwen's mom

"My mother is Yupik from southwestern Alaska," says McEwen in her response to our callout. "When she Wanted Me to Stop One behavior, all she had to do was slowly but steadily blink and that was a strict "no".

(McEwen says her mother also had an interesting opportunity to argue between the cousins: "She would leave us standing and raise our arms over our heads as she ordered," Do not laugh "Of course we were in giggles before we knew it.")

FWIW: I find that a stern look or nasal fold in the grocery store is extremely effective when my three-year-old daughter picks up sweets at the cash desk. I think she has not figured out how to try to negotiate with eyes and nose.

Step 3: Bringing the Children to Work

If a child misbehaves or makes a mistake, several readers suggested being productive from angr y .

"Imagine the child kills a vase owned by your grandmother," says Terry Meredith. "Instead of getting angry, I say," Can you get the broom so we can sweep the pieces together? "

Then Meredith and her child work together to fix the bug. "I ask," Do you think we can glue the vase together again? "She says. "Then the child is involved in the cleanup and repair."

This approach teaches children the real consequences of their behavior, says business owner Tracy Herman, who also takes her children to work instead of screaming.

"When they got older, if they spilled or shattered something, I'd throw away the tool and say, 'Clean it up,'" she says. "Let go of control and take natural consequences, because that's how we learn to make life choices."

June Shockley brought up three sons with a similar strategy and said she has a "happy healthy home".

"I have never grounded a child in my life, " she says. "I would give an alternate job."

For example, if her son is mad at what's in the kitchen for dinner, Shockley would include the kid in the meal preparation by making her go shopping and help her cook.

"That way our sons walked a mile in my shoes," says Shockley.

The method has also tamed the anger of the siblings.

"If a son beat his brother, I would say," We need more kindness in the world. Let's go to the shelter, clean the cages, and give the puppy hugs and kisses, "explains Shockley.

Step 4: Bust Out Woofie

For small children, it may sometimes be a little stunned, to get them to behave, says Kathryn Burnham.

"For example, if we're late and my 3-year-old daughter needs to put on her shoes, then I have the shouting or putting on the shoes even worse, "says Kathryn Burnham, but when" Woofie "shows up, the shoes go on uncomplicated.

" I turn my hand into a dog by thumbing my middle finger to my thumb after a thumb, "he says Burnham: She calls this hand dog "Woofie."

"Then I say something like" Can Woofie try putting on her shoes? " And I make stupid moaning, wheezing and barking dog sounds, while Woofie helps her put on her shoes.

"The livelier I Woofie is, the more she chuckles and relaxes," says Burnham. The tense situation has become a funny moment of attachment.

For Penny Kronz & # 39; s son, a stuffed animal often does the trick.

"If he does not want to participate in any activity, I'll just tell him it's time his favorite stuffed animal to go to bed go or eat to come, "says Kronz. Then I do the stuff with the stuffed animal, and he will generally join in quickly.

At the end of the day sometimes mother and mother Father has to let go and take over the pajamas, says Adele Karoly.

"If my son does not want to wear his pajamas, I'll start with the pajamas to talk to me" she says. "You will say something like:" Elliot wants to dress us? And I'll answer, "I do not think he does, let me ask him."

And if Elliot "No?" Says

"I'll tell pajamas and keep talking to them," says Karoly. "Eventually he gets pulled in and accepts the pajamas, and they will be so excited and hug him."


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