How to stop yelling at your kids

2 Nov

There’s various posts about “how to stop yelling at your kids“. And to be honest – that’s a great goal. More than that – it’s downright admirable.  My only concern is that promising yourself you’ll stop yelling is just going to end up being one more thing to feel guilty about at the end of the day if you fail to live up to your new goal. And do we really need a new source of mom guilt? I know I don’t. 


mom yelling at young son


Is “yell-free” even possible? Is it a reasonable goal? We’re human here. We’re going to get frustrated, we’re going to get mad, we’re likely going to yell, at least sometimes. And that bad day (week? month?) doesn’t make us bad parents. It makes us…human.


Perhaps the goal should be “yell less”.  To be able to handle difficult emotions, to be able to cope even when things go wrong and people make you angry, to know when to take a deep breath and step back and come back calm. The best way to teach them? Do it ourselves. 


So maybe when I used to promise myself I wasn’t going to yell anymore, and then inevitably fail each and every time, it had less to do with lack of willpower and more to do with lack of a plan. I needed concrete steps for when I started getting angry, for when I was on the verge of yelling.  Take a step back, ask myself if it’s really that important, put myself in my daughter’s position – how would I have wanted my mother to react?


Most importantly, when you do yell (and you will), forgive yourself. That’s another important lesson to teach kids. We make mistakes, we apologize, and then we move on.  


What makes you raise your voice?  What’s your number one tip for controlling it?


Emma Craig blogs at P is for Preschooler. Visit her on Facebook and Twitter too!  

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3 Responses to “How to stop yelling at your kids”

  1. L. E. Mastilock February 12, 2015 at 7:19 PM #

    I think it’s good to have a strategy such as “when I feel like yelling I’ll step away and count to 10 until I can calm down”. My toddler would not sit on a time out so, after getting angry and frustrated so many times, I decided to change tactics. We would take a time out together. We’d sit quietly next to each other for a few minutes. May not be conventional, but it worked well for us

    • Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad February 13, 2015 at 9:06 PM #

      That is a great idea. Helps them feel loved while being disciplined too. I love that you were together.

  2. Deborah October 25, 2014 at 12:18 AM #

    I enjoyed your insight about yelling less. I think that the goal of not yelling at our kids is possible, but just like any behavioral change, it is a process. So yes, we start with the goal to yell less, and be aware when we yell. Then progress to less and less yelling, and more and more coping strategies, until we are successful. Thanks for your post!

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