Advice for parents on how remain calm, even in the most trying situations.
How can parents start to change old patterns of yelling at their kids? You have to start with revisiting your childhood and trying to become mindful about your own parenting skills. So often we discipline subconsciously, by that I mean we just repeat the discipline our parents used without really thinking about it. Our reactions are very often memories of our past, not a really mindful look at the current situation. Being aware of your propensity to yell is really important. I'm a huge yeller by nature, my mother yelled at me as a kid and if I don't keep my actions in check then my default setting is to yell at my kids. When you feel a yell coming on, try to take a pause and ask yourself "why am I doing this? what is it going to achieve? is there a better way I could respond?". I think though, that's it's important to not be too hard on yourself. It's not realistic to set a goal of never yelling, you won't achieve it and you'll give up. Instead, think to yourself "I'm going to reduce my yelling by 50% each day", which is a fantastic start!
My kid refuses to clean his room. What do you suggest? First of all, I think we need to understand that no kid likes cleaning their room. Most adults don't either. So you have to start from a position that it's a necessary task, but it's not fun. A lot of empathy towards your kid there is important. Have conversations saying "I know you don't want to do it, I hate it too - but do you know why it's important?". Showing them clips of dustmites and bacteria can help them to understand hygiene. Think of ways to give the child control over the cleaning and tidying - e.g "OK, so your room needs to be done, do you want to do it on Saturday or Sunday? Morning or afternoon?". Too often kids have no control, they're just told to "do your room now". Next think about making it fun. Put on some loud music, do a silly dance, since a song you make up, have a race for who can tidy an area quickest. Join in with them if you can. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you have to remember that you are your childrens' role model. If you want them to keep their room tidy and clean, you have to keep your rooms tidy and clean. If you're messy, you're going to raise messy kids. That's not their fault - they're just copying you!