Parents are superheroes. They bring us into the world, hug us when we’re sad, make us chicken noodle soup when we’re sick, and kiss us goodnight.
But sometimes children have minds of their own and, much to their parents’ dismay, don’t listen to pleading or reasoning. A mom on TikTok recently went viral for saying that perhaps parents are going about it the wrong way.
The TikTok Video
Tia Slightham is a parenting coach, and on TikTok, she’s known as @parentingcoach. She recently went viral for explaining why kids don’t listen to you until you yell at them. The video has been viewed 5.5 million times, has garnered 420,000 likes, and nearly 8,000 comments.
She begins the video by asking, “Want to know why your kids don’t listen until you yell and lose your s**t?”
Avoiding The Blame Game
Slightham says she’s not pointing the finger at parents or accusing them of bad behavior, but she tells viewers that when it comes to their kids’ behavior, “you set that boundary!”
Cue parents exhibiting the shocked Pikachu face meme.
“Kids will do what works because they’re born needing to push boundaries until boundaries are found,” explains Slightham.
She adds, “If you ask nicely, you give reminders, you nag, and then you finally yell and lose your s**t, they learn that they don’t need to listen when you ask the first time.”
“They listen when the boundary is set and that boundary you set is when you yell or lose your s**t,” says Slightham.
So when parents repeatedly give their children chances to do what’s been asked of them but it’s not enforced, then that negatively reinforces bad behavior because they know they can get away with it. Only when parents finally lose their cool do kids know their parents aren’t messing around.
Rebuilding New Boundaries
Slightham explains that the key to parents getting their kids to listen the first time is not allowing the situation to escalate in the first place.
“Concrete, clear [and] consistent boundaries” need to be set from the get-go, she says. If you let your kids know what they need from you upfront the first time, then they’ll be more inclined to listen and behave because that initial boundary has been set.
Slightham Might Be On To Something
Needless to say, with a video this viral TikTok users definitely had a variety of opinions on Slightham’s parenting strategy. But there’s no denying that every parent has their own unique way of parenting their children.
Many TikTok users agreed with Slightham’s approach to parenting. User6622755472897 acknowledged she sometimes yells at her kids but it leaves her with mixed emotions. “I HATE that I yell at my kids! I don’t even yell at people I don’t even like, at work, or in public, but yet I can yell at my kids? My favorite people.”
Conflicting Parenting Strategies
Some parents however disagreed with Slightham and her parenting method, saying that yelling yields results. TikTok user ZAIDI JATT wrote, “simply yell at the first time. problem solved.”
User Who am I added, “yell at kids the first time with no warnings.”
It’s A Give And Take
But when it comes to parenting, some people see it as a two-way street and both the parents and children are responsible. Kristina said that if you’re going to threaten your children with punishment for bad behavior, make sure you actually follow through so kids know actions have consequences.
“Parenting has consequences,” Chris added. “It involves lots of work and attention. If you have to yell or hit then it’s the parent’s laziness from the beginning.”
I Mean, Kayla Has A Point
Poor Kayla felt personally attacked when in the video Slightham said she wasn’t pointing fingers or blaming parents… and then proceeded to point her finger at the audience.
It’s good to know Kayla was paying close attention to the video and was clearly taking notes.
What Should Parents Do Instead?
Parents.com recommends a few strategies for getting their kids to behave. First, parents should provide information to their kids about why their behavior might be inappropriate and turning it into a teachable moment. Threats also might not work, so they recommend allowing children to be part of the decision-making process. Finally, parents should acknowledge and validate their children’s feelings, and as Slightham said, make your boundaries and expectations clear.
“We also need to work on strategies to avoid yelling,” Slightham says. “Shift your parenting to shift your child’s behavior.”