5 Secrets for Happier, More Obedient Kids

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Do you feel frustrated when your kids won't listen or whine when you ask them to complete a task? In this podcast, we'll talk about 5 secrets for happier, more obedient kids - from a peaceful parenting perspective. #peacefulparenting #ChristianparentingOne of the most common concerns many moms have is that their children are constantly whining and not listening.

I’ve spoken to dozens of moms who feel frustrated and at the end of their rope. They desperately want to parent peacefully, but their kids really push their buttons!

I’ve been there! Over the years I’ve developed five strategies that I use with my own kids to help them thrive — and listen!

Secret 1 for happier kids

The first secret I want to share with you is, “catch them doing well.” 

Just like anyone, kids love to be appreciated. Sometimes I tend to take my kids for granted when they’re doing well. But I try to make it a priority to let them know that I see how hard they’re working. I notice when they help a sibling.

After my youngest was born, my oldest daughter really stepped up and helped. And at the same time, I feel like she felt a little jealous of the new baby who was getting all the attention.

I wanted to show her my appreciation, so I sat down and wrote her a letter of thanks. She cried when she read it! Those simple words really meant a lot to her and she still has the letter to this day.

It’s so important to remind our kids what we admire and appreciate about them!

Secret 2 for happier kids

The second secret is, “set clear expectations and give warnings.”

Kids of all ages really do well when they know what to expect. Mentally preparing your child what is going to happen and why is key to avoid protests!

With giving warnings, I think it’s important to think about being respectful of their time and what they are doing. Sometimes we tend to demand that our kids do something *right now*!  However, if we can give a 5-10 minute warning (and setting a timer!) can help your finish what they’re doing so that they aren’t expected to stop playing abruptly to do what we ask.

Secret 3 for happier kids

Secret number three is, “be consistent.” This is probably the most important tip! In peaceful parenting, we try to avoid empty threats or punitive consequences.

So many times we hear moms rapid-fire threatening their kids. “Stop it! I mean it! You’re going to time out! I’m not going to tell you again!” And on and on it goes. No wonder the kids don’t listen! So many threats and no follow-through.

Personally, I’m more in favor of connecting with the child rather than punishing or yelling. But I do set clear limits and related consequences when needed.

When I set a limit with one of my kids, they get one warning. I calmly and plainly say, “If you don’t stop arguing over that toy, I’m going to take it away for the rest of the day. This is your only warning. Please work it out together.” And if there’s more arguing? The toy goes away until the next day.

(What has happened is that my kids have become expert problem-solvers and turn-takers!)

Secret 4 for happier kids

Secret number four is, “use a rewards system.” Using rewards is somewhat controversial in the peaceful parenting community, but I find that it works well in our family.

This year I started homeschooling my son for the first time. At first, he was unmotivated and protested each day. I created a chart for him to earn stickers for each day he happily completed his school work. (He is much happier, and so am I!)

Secret 5 for happier kids

Secret number five is, “pour on the attention.” Kids crave attention! (And if you don’t give it to them? They act out to get it in any way they can!)

Whenever you can, spend one on one time with your child. Think about your child’s love language and invest your time and energy filling their little love banks. Be sure to make eye contact with them. Be interested in what they have to say. If you take the time to listen now, they’ll be more willing to talk to you when they’re older!

Bonus secret for happier kids

Here’s a bonus secret for you. Keep the end in mind. When your child is an adult and they reflect back on their childhood, how do you want them to remember you?

What type of relationship do you want with your children 10-20 years from now?

On the really hard days, remember your why!



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Join Marianna Chambers as she talks about practical ways to become a more peaceful parent. Having children is a wonderful blessing, but it can also be quite stressful. Every day we hear from moms just like you who are struggling to be the gentle parent they want to be. Moms desperately want to raise their children on a firm foundation of love, but those sweet kids sure know how to push our buttons. (And boy, do they push them!)

Marianna Chambers is a counselor, parenting coach, blogger, homeschool mom, and best-selling author. She’s passionate about supporting and encouraging moms. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or read her blog here. You can also join her private Facebook group for Christian moms on a peaceful parenting mission.


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