Are you a yeller?
I sure am. Well, let’s say I’m a ‘recovering yeller.’
It used to be a lot worse than it is now. I used to yell about everything. And that makes me so sad to even type that out but I think it’s important for you to know that.
Leaving the house? Yelling for sure.
Snacks spilled, breakfast spilled, supper spilled? Yelling.
Coloring on the walls? Yelling.
Tired and grumpy or not enough food? Yelling for sure.
It’s important that we all start having conversations around yelling at our kids. It’s easy to live in a bubble and only see the highlights of other moms on social media and think you must be the only mom on EARTH who yells so much at her kids.
Well, let me assure you, you’re not alone.
How bad is it when we yell at our children? How much yelling is too much yelling?
I’m so sorry to tell you this, because if you’re anything like me, it will make you curl up in shame and feel guilty.
Yelling is bad. Like, really bad. New research is saying that yelling can be just as harmful as hitting them. Not only that, but a child who is yelled at is more likely to keep acting out which inspires more yelling.
I made a lot of excuses for myself in regards to yelling:
- Raising kids is hard.
- They need to learn to listen to me!
- I can’t be expected to keep control ALL the time, I’m only human.
- I’m tired and grumpy, surely they’ll understand that on some level.
Yes, raising kids is hard. That’s not an excuse. If I give up and yell and basically throw an adult tantrum every time something is hard, what does that show my kids?
They need to learn to listen, but does yelling teach them? Would you yell at a fellow employee or friend who made a mistake?
I’m only human but do I really want to use that as an excuse to shout at my kids? I need to show them I am a kind and responsible human, one who will guide them through their formative years.
What does that teach my kids when I lash out and resort to yelling when I’m tired and grumpy? It teaches them I have no self-control and that they can do it too.
Alright. Enough with the negatives- here’s some easy ways you can STOP yelling at your kids and curb the mom rage:
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As the years go on, I’ve started to notice that sometimes the reason I’ve resorted to yelling can be traced back to saying no to something.
If you have to say no due to safety, by all means, say no.
But if you can say yes to your kids? DO IT!
It will save you all from going down the path of:
Your kid: but mom, whhhyyyyyyy, in the whiniest voice ever.
You: because I said so!
Insert inevitable breakdown/argument/yelling here.
You’ll be surprised at how much freedom the word yes brings you.
Don’t Take Things Personally
Lord, do I struggle with this one. I’m working on not taking things personally in all areas of my life and it’s hard.
Your kids are not out to get you. They’re not there to ruin your day, make your life difficult or make you angry.
Nothing they’re doing is to you, personally.
They’re living their lives, learning and being KIDS. It’s their job to figure things out, test boundaries and cause a ruckus!
I’m still learning this!!
If we’re reacting in annoyance/frustration/anger to most of what our kids are doing in a day- that’s on us, as parents. No one has control over your emotions and reactions.
And that can be incredibly frustrating and incredibly freeing to hear.
It’s our job to control ourselves so that we can do our jobs, as parents.
And that job is to be their guide.
What kind of guide is constantly losing control, responding in an abrupt way or sighing in frustration all day?
Not a very good one.
And that brings us to self-control. If you don’t have self-control, you’re likely to harm others (your kids) with the lack of it and also yourself.
It never, ever feels good to lose control. How many times have you finally lost it at your kids and then felt good about that later?
Maybe it feels good the first few seconds that you give in to the righteous anger and yell but that wears off pretty quickly.
No man (or woman) can control others unless he first controls himself.Napoleon Hill
Doesn’t that make a lot of sense? Why would anyone (especially your kids) take you seriously and listen if you just lose it at the drop of a hat? It takes away your power.
Stop making excuses for yourself if you have a hard time controlling your reactions and start trying to make a change. It will take diligence and it will take time but you can do it! Do it for yourself AND your children.
Do More Than What’s Expected Of You
This one is simple- the person that always gives a little bit extra is one that is going to go farther in life.
Think of this in terms of being at a job. Which employee is likely to go farther; the one who says no to things because they aren’t compensated for them or the one who always says sure!
I was starting to set lines in my head around my kids. For example, telling myself I had already gotten them dressed and served them breakfast- they could bloody well find that toy they were missing without my help!
This doesn’t help anyone. Your children don’t understand that reasoning. All they see is a parent who is unhelpful. Whenever you can, help them, hug them and do more than what’s ‘expected’ of you (according to yourself.)
See You Children As They Are
It’s a lot harder to yell when you stop, take a breath and look into their eyes. Better yet, get down to their level and really SEE them.
They are small, they are learning and they NEED you to help guide them through whatever it is they’re going through.
What Are Your Triggers?
Make things easy for yourself. Look for the triggers that usually end up with you yelling.
Is it a morning routine where you’re searching for a million random things that always ends up in a blow up? Get things ready the night before and be prepared!
Is it losing your cool while trying to cook supper, hold the youngest and break up a fight between the others? Don’t start cooking supper until the other two are engaged in something (yep, my kids watch TV while I cook. It works.) And have the baby in a high chair with a snack or strapped to you in a wrap while you cook.
Is it when you decide to clean your disaster zone of a house? Stop yourself, take a breath and turn on some seriously happy music.
It’s Not Up To Your Children To Keep You Happy
Keeping you calm and collected isn’t up to your kids. It’s up to you. It’s also not up to them to make you angry. You, and only you, are in control of your emotions and reactions. NO outside forces.
Reassure Yourself That There’s Time
Every single time I start to rush, yelling ensues. Reassure yourself you have time.
And if you think you don’t, ask yourself-
What’s the worst case scenario if we’re late?
Losing your cool and yelling is worse than that worst case scenario. Show your kids that it’s more important to keep calm and treat them with respect than it is to be on time.
(that’s not to say you should condone behaviour that is making you late constantly)
RELATED: Signs Of Bad Parenting (is it you?)
Habits become so deeply ingrained in us that they can control us. In fact, about 70% of our days are made up of habits.
But what if instead of being a slave to our habits, we made our habits a slave to us?
For myself, it had become a habit to resort to a raised voice or full out yelling at pretty much anything my kids did that I didn’t like.
So I decided to make it a habit to start responding quietly and without accusation.
I’m still working on this.
That’s what I mean when I say ‘be realistic.’ If a bad habit is deeply ingrained, it can be very hard to break it.
I read a book that likened habits in the brain to paths through the woods. Habits are cleared down paths, almost ruts, that once you’re on them- it’s hard to get off.
Creating a new habit requires blazing a new trail in the forest (your brain) and beating it and wearing it down until it becomes comfortable to take that path instead of the old one.
So, create new habits around how you respond to your children. But be patient and realistic with yourself- it will take time!
Pray- Whether You’re Religious Or Not
Whether you’re religious or not makes no difference to me. Praying is something that can help anyone. You don’t have to pray to God.
I pray to the Universe for divine guidance. I ask for help to be a better person, a better mom. I see myself becoming that person.
Sometimes, the worst days you have with your kids are actually a blessing. They harden your resolve to DO better, to BECOME better.
So, if you’ve had a horrible day and that’s why you’re reading this, remember that there was a reason. Tomorrow is a new day and it’s never too late to do better.
What’s the worst experience you’ve ever had with your kids that ended up teaching a valuable lesson? Let me know in the comments so we can connect ❤
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