I’m totally not proud of this, but I’ve become that mama that yells. All the time. And, in true kid form, my children are ramping up the noise to keep up. It makes for a crazy-loud house, and everyone annoyed with everyone else.
How many of you are guilty of yelling at your kids? If you’re like me, you want to be better, and stay clam when you’re managing your home and kids, but you get tired, frustrated, and just lose it.
Once yelling becomes a habit, it’s tough, tough, tough to break. You may be so used to yelling that you don’t even realize you’re doing it. The thing is, kids learn by example. So if you yell a lot, your children will too. And, when you’re raising intense kids, it’s pretty much guaranteed they’ll up the yelling ante on you.
Break the cycle of yelling, and life as a family becomes much calmer.
Why Good Parents Yell
Are your children loud? You may have started yelling to be heard. You may just get increasingly frustrated throughout the day, and yell to release your stress.
Yelling at your kids doesn’t make you a bad parent… it means you’ve developed bad habits and need to work on them. Good parents aren’t perfect parents. Like me, you’re probably embarrassed that you yell at your kids, and want to change. You want to model calm and respect, but get caught up. Or you’re tired. Staying calm is always harder when you’re tired.
I tell my kids that behavior is always a choice, and good choices are infinitely more difficult than bad choices. It’s easy to lie. It’s easy to cheat. It’s easy to yell…
Easy doesn’t make it right.
It’s wrong to lie. It’s wrong to cheat. And it’s wrong to yell. (Unless there’s danger, but that’s not really the kind of yelling we’re talking about here, right?) So how do you, a good, but tired, mama make the changes she needs to in order to stop yelling at your kids? How do I?
Stop Yelling at Your Kids with These Strategies
Plan ahead. You know your children are going to frustrate you at some point, so plan ahead how you will handle it. Pay attention to your triggers.
Were you up all night with a fussy baby or toddler? Plan for afternoon sprinkler time, art play, or a movie with popcorn. Do something you know everyone will enjoy, that way you’re not met with whines and won’t give in and yell.
Ask for help. Empower your kids. Have them give you a signal if your voice begins getting louder. This could be a ‘catch phrase’ which someone not in-the-know won’t understand but you will recognize it as a clue to control yourself. Maybe a signal – like a scowl to say, “Mama, you’re being the mommy-monster,” without using words.
Learn to cope. Walk out of the room, take a deep breath, or count to ten. Find a coping mechanism that works for you and use it when you’re about to yell. When I’m home, I take a minute, walk away from the situation if I can, and start up the diffuser with some calming essential oils. If I’m away from home, I fidget with the cross on my necklace to calm down and remind myself how precious my kiddos are.
Think about your kids’ triggers. When do your children meltdown? When they’re tired? Hungry? Frustrated with something? Are you experiencing those same things?
Pay attention. Have you identified your triggers? Think about the times you’re more likely to yell. Do you yell when you’re stressed or tired? If you can’t avoid those situations, then use that plan you made. If I know that I have multiple deadlines looming or lots of things on the calendar, I know not to invite people over or accept more invitations. It will overwhelm me, and I won’t be a good parent.My kids are my first priority, and if adding another thing to the schedule – no matter how good it might be – will push me over the edge, it’s not worth it.
Change things up. Don’t yell the next time your kids aren’t paying attention to you. Shake things up a bit and see what happens. Whisper instead. Sing your directions to them. Ask them for help in a different accent or language. Do something surprising to lighten your mood, and improve their listening skills… and have fun together at the same time.
Talk to someone. Bad habits – like yelling – are hard to break. Talk to a spouse or trusted friend. Ask them to hold you accountable. If all else fails, seek professional help. There is no shame in asking for help. Your kids are worth it.
When you stop yelling at your kids, everything changes. Your home is calmer, your kids are happier, and your family is stronger. What are some of your tips for calming yourself down and making yourself stop yelling at your kids?
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