How to calm your child by being silent

No other weapon like silence, to quieten your children who bombard you with hundreds of questions and demands.

A friend forwarded me the link to a parenting blog recently. The blogger, mother of a seven-year-old, takes up the challenge of yelling less. She’s inspired by the blog famous among parenting blogs, Orange Rhino.

For those who are not familiar, The Orange Rhino is the name of a challenge where the aforementioned blogger decided to go 365 days without yelling at her kids. All four of them. Yes. Four. And she succeeded.

As for me, I prefer the Maun Vrat, the age-old spiritual practice of silence. Of course, I have my own version of it. Mine comes into application when I realise answering the child will be at my own risk, turning me into a cross between Cruela De Ville and Godzilla. Silence is really the best answer at these times. In fact, coupled with The Glare, it’s an effective tool for submission.

Treat your kids with silence when they are unreasonable; they do understand it and divert themselves to something else. Pic: Shree D N

Maun vrat works especially well for me in the following situations. Try these at your own risk. It may work for you, or who knows you may prefer the ‘No Yell’ route.

1.    Maun Vrat works when the child is telling me about a particular incident that happened elsewhere, usually with dramatic embellishments. I just nod my head and play the latest favourite song in my mind or plan the weekend menu. All I need to remember is to maintain eye contact with child. Works wonderfully.

2.    This also works when I’m on the phone with someone I haven’t spoken to in a while and junior decides it’s the best time to ask whether his Spiderman toy will stay put with glue on the newly painted wall. Or ask for the 500th time if he can have his second bar of monstrously huge chocolate.

Well, technically speaking I am not on Maun Vrat here but when it comes to the junior, I am. All I need is to add a dash of glare, clench my fists and purse my lips for good measure (to stop from yelling of course!) It is (usually) enough to silence the child even in his most persistent days.

3.    Maun Vrat also works wonders on long car rides that invariably come accompanied by that dreaded question, ‘Are we there yet?’ These days I’ve realised that silence is the best answer. If the car journey is boring the brat, your unwillingness to rise to the bait will bore him further, leading him to seek refuge in books, DoodlePro, something gadgety or simply the scenery outside the window. Okay, I made up the outside the window part. You probably have to ditch Maun Vrat and play games like ‘I Spy’ to achieve that.

4.    The other situation where Maun Vrat works well for me is during unreasonable demands that usually start with ‘I want’ and ‘Will you buy me?” Follow the clenched fist and pursed lip rule again, accompanied by the glare if required. This should work in most cases. Oh, did I mention that you need to develop a Rhino-like thick hide if you are in a public place for all those unsympathetic glares you yourself would be getting from everyone? Work on that. The rest gets easier.

Comments:

  1. vswaminathan says:

    This is a .’MUST” read, for the quite useful, nay valuable psychological, clues provided- for knowing how to ‘behave’ with a kid !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Addressing pet dog attacks: A balance between regulation and compassion

Government intervention is necessary to prevent indiscriminate breeding and trade of pet dogs, and more shelters are needed for abandoned pets.

Recently, two pet Rottweiler dogs attacked a five-year-old child and her mother in a  Corporation park in Nungambakkam, Chennai. Based on a complaint following the incident, police arrested the owners of the dog for negligence and endangering the lives of others (IPC Section 289 and 336). As General Manager-Administration of the Blue Cross of India, I have seen several Rottweilers over the years. While there are laws to address such situations, there needs to be adequate awareness among pet owners that dogs like Rottweilers should be taken for a walk only on a leash. A major portion of the responsibility…

Similar Story

Bardhaman town’s tourism potential: Why it must be developed

West Bengal's Bardhaman town has immense tourism potential. Its development must prioritise sustainable tourism and civic development.

Bardhaman town, renowned for its Bengali sweets like mihidana and sitabhog, is also famous for its rich tapestry of folk culture and heritage sites. The town has immense potential for tourism. But the question arises, how much of it has been explored?   This article aims to shed light on Bardhaman's historical sites, the initiatives to promote tourism while addressing the civic issues hindering its progress, and highlight the need to balance tourism with sustainable development.  Heritage sites of Bardhaman Sher Afghan’s tomb  Located beside Pir Beharam, close to Rajbati, lies the  tomb of Sher Afghan, the resting place of the last…