The Chicago Tribune featured tips from several 5-star nannies, tips our parenting experts, John and Kendra Smiley, applaud and expand on.

“Keep calm – even when you have every reason not to be.”
Too often parents deliver consequences because of their negative emotions rather than based on the behavior of the child. It might be necessary to give yourself a time out before you make the mistake of losing control.

“Speak softly and carry a big bag of tricks.”
When your child isn’t paying attention to your words it usually isn’t a question of volume although most parents react by talking louder, even screaming. Many times a child will respond more readily to the lowering of your voice, curious to hear what you’re saying. Speaking in a normal tone as the norm will mean a loud voice when necessary (i.e. for the safety of your child) will get results.

“Stick to a schedule.”
Children thrive on routine. They know what to expect and they know they can count on the structure and consistency. Predictable meal times, bed/nap times keep kids from getting cranky.

“Keep an eye on the big picture.”
We say it this way, “Ask yourself this question. ‘What is my goal?’” Saying “yes” to every demand of your child hurts that child and fails to teach several important life lessons – delayed gratification and patience to name two.

“Don’t get emotional when your kid acts up.”
When it’s time to deliver a consequence it is as simple as making good on a contract. Take out the emotion when it comes to discipline. You don’t discipline a child because YOU are angry or frustrated or annoyed. You discipline a child because he has done something dangerous, defiant, or destructive. You discipline a child because you love him.


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