How to Quit Yelling at Your Kids
Yelling at your kid is a natural reaction, especially under stress. Learning how to stop yelling at your child is an important step to bring you closer to your kid and nurture a more peaceful home.
Before I start you on this journey into gentle parenting, let me be clear about something: this is a skill and a habit.
You will experience failure. You will get tired and overwhelmed and anxious, and you will slip.
It’s all part of life. And it is a good thing. We need to let our kids see that our emotions are real and valid, and we all struggle to keep them from dictating our reactions. Most importantly, we need to model how to be wrong and be responsible for our actions.
So how do you quit yelling? Read all the way to the end because the last tip is going to turn your parenting around.
Beware of your own emotions
I know it kind of sounds weird. We always know what our emotions are. However, stress often kinds of mutes them, then it seems like we go from fine to raging in a split second.
Always note when you are starting to get frustrated as ignored frustration turns into yelling.
Distance is your friend
Distance yourself from your reaction. Count to 10, take a few deep breaths, whatever.
I mean that you have to be aware that your child’s reactions are their responsibility and yours are your own. Speaking quietly is a sign of calm. Screaming is a sign of frustration.
Your job isn’t to keep your kid from experiencing anger or sadness, it’s to teach them to recognize and deal with it.
Always anticipate problems
Plan to keep your kids from being hungry, tired, and/or thirsty. And this goes for you, too. This can be as simple as keeping granola bars and water in your bag or car.
Tell kids what to expect. If you are going to the grocery store, make sure they know whether they will be getting a treat.
Explain how you expect them to behave, in positive terms. Say things like “Stay close to me” or “Keep your voice quiet” instead of “Don’t run around this store” or “Don’t yell”. It’s more explicit and direct, easier for kids to understand.
Also, be aware of any upcoming stressful situations for yourself. For example, I hate comparing prices with my five kids in tow. So I either go to the store knowing exactly what brand I will buy or I don’t compare prices. No use in setting yourself up for failure.
Set limits before you start to get too frustrated
Now, this last tip is the most useful!
Kids often don’t understand our directions, they get distracted, and they are curious about how their actions affect others. So we all know there will be times we have to repeat ourselves several times.
This starts to feel like a power struggle. But as the parent, it’s your job to refuse to engage. Your child keeps getting out of bed? Don’t yell. Go sit with them the first time. Your child throws a toy? Take it away the first time.
No need to punish. Just explain, “You can’t be up. Let’s go.” or “Throwing toys may hurt someone. I am going to put this away so I can keep everyone safe.”
Do you have any tips to quit yelling? Drop them in the comments below!