7 Strategies to Help You Stop Yelling at Your Children
Growing up we lived near a family that I thought fought all the time. They were so loud and animated when they got going on a topic. Some times it bothered me and other times I thought they all just liked to yell at each other. Now I understand that some ethnic or cultures are loud and animated but they are not being mean in yelling at each other or their kids. Still, I don’t like yelling, it makes me uncomfortable especially when a parent is yelling at their children.
I never thought of myself as a yeller. I have been known to get excited about a point but I don’t name call, belittle or shame others. I was surprised to learn that my children thought otherwise. Because I am normally fairly soft spoken, any raise in volume or tempo gets their attention and not in a good way. You can feel the change in the tension when conversations start to escalate.
What about you? Are you guilty of yelling at your children? If you are, these easy strategies may provide you with the help you need to change your yelling habits.
For anyone who does yell at their children, you know it’s a hard habit to break. You may be so used to yelling that you don’t even realize you’re doing it. Remember your children will learn more by example than what is told or explained to them. So if you yell a lot, your children are more likely to follow suit. Once you’ve broken that cycle of yelling, you’ll find life as a family is much calmer.
Are your children loud? You may have started yelling out of necessity so you would be heard. However, in many cases, yelling is done to release frustrations. No matter the reason for it, many parents who yell are embarrassed and wish things could change.
#1 ~ Make sure to 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 the warning signs such as clenching your teeth or fists, a slight raise to your voice or possibly shaking.
#2 ~ Have the children let you know when you are yelling.
Allow them to 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. This is also a way for your children to check their behaviors too in case they are the case for the elevated tensions.
#3 ~ Develop coping mechanisms.
Walk out of the room, take a deep breath or count to ten. Find a coping mechanism that works for you and continue using it when you realize you’re about to yell. Some people snap a rubber band which is around their wrist. I have been know to start singing a favorite hymn.
#4 ~ Think about your child’s temper tantrums.
Why do they have a meltdown? They’re tired, hungry or frustrated. Are you experiencing the same things? When my children see a parent acting badly in public, they will say.. “Looks like mom (or dad) need a nap”
#5 ~ Pay attention to the times you’re more liable to yell.
Perhaps you yell when you’re more stressed or frazzled than usual. Once you can identify the times or pattern, you will start to notice the signs and learn to avoid those situations.
#6 ~ Find new ways to get your children’s attention.
Don’t yell if your children aren’t paying attention to you. Use a whistle, stand on a chair or try anything out of the ordinary. I have a friend that wears a whistle around her neck. She has different toots that her children understand and she doesn’t have to yell over the group to get their attention. If I can’t get a child’s attention, I will walk over and touch them gently or if too far away I will flash them with my flashlight that is on my key fob.
#7 ~ Be willing to seek professional help.
Some people have a harder time breaking the habit. If you find that you continue to have trouble with yelling, find someone who can hold you accountable or a professional who deals with anger management. They may be able to provide you with the help you need in discovering the reason or triggers that set you up to start yelling.
The reasons to stop yelling are plenty and powerful. I don’t ever want my child to be afraid of me by my raised voice or animated actions. Being yelled at does not build up self-esteem. It tears down relationships. Physically, both the one doing the yelling and the one being yelled at have internal stress that can be avoided.
Give these strategies a try and see if they help you to stop yelling at your children. Your change in this habit can change the dynamics of your home from stressful to peaceful.
Do you have any tips for those struggling with yelling at their children?