Child Behaviour Expert Shares 5 Things They’d Never Do As A Parent

A child behaviour specialist suggests she wouldn't publicly discipline her child.A child behaviour specialist suggests she wouldn't publicly discipline her child.

A child behaviour expert has shared all the things she’d never do or say to her kids – and it makes for an interesting watch. 

In a TikTok video which has been viewed more than 400,000 times, Samantha Day said one of the first things she’d never do is publicly discipline her child.

“If something needs to be talked about and we are out in public, I would pull them to the side and have a private moment explaining what’s going on,” said the mum-of-two.

While we’ve all likely scolded our child publicly once or twice (after all, we’re only human), Claire O’Mahony, an educational psychologist, previously told News 24 that persistently disciplining a child in public can make them feel embarrassed and humiliated, which can influence their ability to interact socially in later years. 


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So what else might parents want to avoid? Day said she’s not a fan of talking about a child’s negative behaviour to another adult in front of the child.

The child behaviour expert said if something needs to be discussed – even if it’s with the child’s other parent – she would do it away from their child in a separate, private conversation.

Then, once that conversation has happened, you can come back and talk about “boundaries and a plan from there [with your child],” she added. 

Another tip the TikTok content creator offered is that she doesn’t tell her children “no” unless she really means it. “If the answer might turn to a yes, I say ‘maybe’ and tell them I’m going to need a little bit more time to think about it,” she said. 

According to Lovevery, saying “no” too often can mean little kids tune out and the word loses its meaning. Saying “no” fewer times can mean children actually listen more when you do deploy the word.

We’ve all had moments when a child has been exceptionally clumsy and split paint on your favourite rug or smashed your favourite coffee cup after knocking into a table. Seeing red, you might switch to your default setting and go to tell your child off, but this is something Day tends to avoid. 

In fact she’s a firm believer in not telling off children for doing something by accident – for example, breaking something or spilling a drink.

Despite it being pretty frustrating for all involved – especially you – the child behaviour specialist reminded parents that we all have accidents and “sometimes we just have to model that we’re going to take care of it, clean it up and then move on”.

This is important so we don’t create a fear association with doing something accidentally, added the expert.

Lastly, she warned against using the word “no” as a playful word so again we can reserve it “for something that is serious and a boundary”.

Parents were quick to comment that the last point in particular is a pretty hard habit to break, to which Day agreed and said it does get easier with practice.

Ultimately though, no parent is perfect so you’ll probably slip up every now and then – and that’s totally OK because we’re all human. Try not to feel guilty about it (easier said than done though, we know).

The child behaviour expert concluded: “I would never expect myself to be perfect as a parent because we aren’t and we’re all going to lose our patience sometimes.”

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