Child development expert shares best time to tell kids off – for big impact on behaviour

A child development expert has shared the most idea time to talk to your little one about their behaviour if you want your words to have the most impact on them – and it’s not immediate

Mum telling off daughter
You might be tempted to scold them instantly, but there’s a better way… (stock photo)

When a child misbehaves, it might be tempting to get cross and tell them off for what they’ve done right then and there.

However, a child development expert has claimed that this isn’t the best thing to do if you want your little one to really heed your words.

Kristin Brady, director at Cobble Hill Playschool, has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, and she recently explained to PureWow that there’s a better way to handle the situation.

Speaking to the outlet, Brady said that parents should wait until it was bath time to discuss naughty behaviour with kids, as this is a time when important conversations will have more impact.

Bathtime is the best time to have important conversations, says Brady (stock photo)


Getty Images)

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“A parent has two goals when their child is doing something that is not OK: First, stop the behaviour,” Brady shared. “Second, reach a shared understanding with their child about what was going on and why it wasn’t OK.”

This second step is where bath time comes in.

“Bath time can be a magic time for addressing tricky topics,” she continued.

“It’s typically when there is just one activity happening, no TV or iPads and lots of undivided attention.”

Brady adds that the focus for the conversation shouldn’t be to make your child feel ashamed or guilty – instead, you need to explain why their behaviour wasn’t ok.

If you’re struggling, try and “remember” the situation with their child, asking them to remember the incident from earlier in the day.

Next, encourage your little one to share their point of view, understand their wants and needs and set a clear boundary, making sure to have a sense of agency.

If you don’t happen to have a bath in your house, don’t worry as Brady says the same can be done in any similar, calming environment – such as during a drive.

She also stresses not to have a ‘serious talk’ every single time your child has a bath, as this could lead your child to become anxious at bathtime and dread it.

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