Here’s how I taught my 3-year-old to use her ‘good girl’ voice
Trying to make her speak softly while I was handling work or while sorting out sibling fights was tough. I said, ‘’You are my good girl na?’’ to which she replied by nodding her head and smiling.
Of late the one complaint I have been having at home was that my younger one was getting a little too loud for my taste, actually, for all of us in the family.
While she is definitely more vocal and expressive than her elder sister, it was recently that she had started raising her voice and speaking in a shrill tone if something did not go her way. Initially I thought it was just a phase, but soon it seemed as if it was becoming her way of speaking, any time she was unhappy or angry.
Trying to make her speak softly while I was handling work, or while trying to sort out sibling fights was getting a little too much. And one day, when my husband lost his cool and shouted at her, she stood up shaking with anger and tears rolling down her face, and shouted right back. Of course, after that, she came running to me, buried her face in my arms and cried and cried.
I held her tightly. It was then that I figured that maybe, we were not taking the right approach to help her get out of this angry voice phase.
Telling my good girl that she is a good girl was the first step in positive affirmation.
I always tell my daughters that I love them, and that I am proud to be their ma. I also tell them that they are my wonderful babies.
Instead of shouting or losing my temper, I thought it would be better to take the route of positive affirmation and try and see if it could work with my 3 year old. I sat down on the floor, held her hand, looked her in the eye and said, ‘’You are my good girl na?’’ to which she replied by nodding her head and smiling. I wiped her tears and said, ‘’Then let’s use our good girl and good mamma voice, is that fine?’’
My daughter hates loud voices or noises, and all this while, I was speaking to her very very softly and calmly. I told her this is a good voice, it does not scare you, does it?
Of course, it is difficult for children to suddenly change the way they behave, especially when they are angry, sad, scared or tired. So it took me some time to repeat the same over and over again. Some days she would shout, and I would look at her, smile and say, ‘’Can you please say that in your good girl voice? Mamma is listening.” And she would.
She is doing good, and her shouting and whining is almost gone.
These tips helped me, and can work for your little one too.
- Speak calmly and look into the eyes
- Do not try to discipline when your child is tired, hungry or already very agitated
- Give enough cooling down period
- Do not shout back
- Repeat the same thing over and over again, but nicely and without nagging
- Follow what you teach
- Love unconditionally and tell them you love them
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