1.) Encourage children to speak instead of 'acting out'.
For example: Try to ask them to “Use your words!” This may help get their message across in an appropriate way. Explain that no one understands hitting, screaming or yelling but they understand words. If they are young, give them the words to copy such as “Billy, say to your sister ‘I don’t like it’ instead of using your hands”.
2.) Ask your children what they DO want rather than focus on what they don’t want.
For example, if they do the typical whining or screaming when you say it’s bedtime, instead of focusing on not wanting to go to bed, ask them what they do want like story time or turn their sleep time music on. By talking about what they do want, it can leave them feeling more empowered and in control and can leave you feeling more calm.
3.) Give CHOICES by giving kids 2 options with in the desired outcome that you are expecting.
For example: If it’s time to get dressed in the morning, the choices would be ‘do you want the yellow or purple shirt’ OR ‘do you want to choose the clothes or do you want me to?’ Try to avoid asking them if they want to get dressed or not. It would be too easy for them to just say ‘no’ leaving you with a potential power struggle.
Try having a discussion with kids beforehand to let them know new things are happening. This may help them to know what the expectations are. Kids usually love this new found power once they see that they are being heard.