No parent wants to yell at their kids, and most of us feel really bad when we do yell. You may wake up and think to yourself that you will not yell today, only to blow your fuse when the whining starts or around the 10th time you’ve asked them to do something that is still not done. Even we are not sure that it’s possible to stop yelling at your kids entirely, we are human after all, but we do think less yelling is possible.
Try some of these steps to stop yelling at your kids:
We talked to some moms and one thing we heard the most was that taking time for yourself is vital to lessening yelling. When you are stressed, exhausted, hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, you are more likely to lose your sh*t. If it is a matter of taking ten minutes after work to sit in your car before facing the family, take that ten minutes. Find time to go to lunch with your girlfriends, take a nap, get your nails done, or volunteer. You can’t fill their cups if yours are empty.
If you are exploding, about to explode, or toward the end of your explosion, it is never too late to walk away. With littles, put them in their crib and close the door for a minute while you catch your breath and composure. You can also call a friend or family member to come and sub in while you go for a walk, drive, or whatever you need to do to relax.
You will often find that a few minutes of physical activity will take all of the anger out of you and leave you wondering why you got so angry in the first place. Take that time to figure out some of your triggers, and also what to do to avoid those triggers in the future. After you have calmed down, don’t hesitate to apologize. Even yelling followed by an apology is a good way to model self-control, and self-calming.
Get a Mantra
One thing that is hard to remember when you are about to lose control, is that you are losing control over a kid, who really is not bugging you on purpose. It takes a lifetime to learn to control your behavior and they are still new at working on it. This is true for teenagers too! They have a flood of hormones making it difficult to regulate their behavior. Remind yourself that they are just kids. A good mantra might be, He’s just a kid, or I love this child, or I feel grateful for ___________, or in every moment, peace is a choice. When you are about to go off, use your mantra to help calm yourself. Teach your child a mantra and say it together.
This is a great time to use the whisper technique, whispering is a great way to grab attention because the listener has to listen very closely to hear every word. Try whispering your mantra, and using a very low voice to talk with your child. It is naturally calming for both of you.
Empathize with Your Child
If you practice empathizing with your child, you will naturally feel more on your child’s team and you can help your child learn to name emotions. If your child is throwing a tantrum, whining, or fighting with a sibling, take the time to help your child understand his feelings. If your child feels understood and can label his own feelings, he will be less likely to act out. You can also take steps to give your child what he feels he is missing. So, if he is acting out because he is not getting enough sleep or attention, you can remedy that.
Try these Steps to Yell at your Kids Less
As a human and a parent you are probably chronically tired, stressed, and on edge. Give yourself room to be human, and also take care of yourself so you can be kinder to your kids.