Scolding your child? Make it effective

Also watch Bad boy? Bad girl? Are you sure?

If you are a parent – you will know that it is impossible to go through a day without scolding your child multiple times. Some scoldings are big – some are small – but they are an inevitable part of a parent’s life.

There are times when you begin to feel that all you do all day is scold your child.

And as you scold and scold – you find that while you are scolding – the scolding is appearing to have absolutely no effect on your child.

Have you felt that? Then you may be delivering your scolding wrong.

It may incomplete – and that is why it may be ineffective

When we scold children – we are typically trying to prevent them from doing something. We are often quite proficient in this.

However in most cases we fail to explain why we are saying something should not be done – and what our children should do instead.

In other words – we are not explaining to our children – the reason why they must stop doing or not do what they are doing and we are not providing an alternative thing that they can do.


To be effective – every scolding must have three parts.

Part 1

A command to stop the bad behaviour.


Part 2

A reason why the behaviour must stop.


Part 3

And an alternative to the bad behaviour.


For example

If we want a child to stop hitting someone – we need to say “Stop hitting. When you hit you hurt your friend. Ask your friend nicely for the toy”.


When we ask children to stop doing something without telling them why and without telling them what they should do instead – they don’t learn anything.

Always tell children why they shouldn’t do something

And what they should do instead.

Only then is the scolding effective.

If your child questions you about your scolding – don’t think of it as defiance. Think of it as a reminder to complete your scolding and explain why

Read the article 5 ways to Communicate for Effective Loving Discipline

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