Yelling is rooted in the heart. If you find yourself yelling often and are ready to stop yelling at your kids… you must know why it’s happening. If you haven’t read Why Moms Yell, read here first.
Stop Yelling at Your Kids: Could it be This Easy?
What I’m about to say may be the most profound thing I ever tell you, so lean in.
Simple is different than easy.
The four action steps listed below are, in a literal sense, all you need to do. But each one requires you to commit, follow through, and reject excuses.
#1. Identify and Write Down What Makes You Yell
Hang a chalkboard or a dry erase board on your kitchen wall, or keep a notebook and pen handy. When you find yourself yelling or getting worked up or angry, stop what you’re doing and write down precisely what is going on around you.
Were you running late when you yelled? In a rush? Anxious about time?
Was your child’s behavior mean, disrespectful or disobedient when you yelled?
Did your child not listen to your instructions when you yelled?
Were toys scattered everywhere when you yelled?
Was the laundry pile still on the couch from a week ago when you yelled?
Write down everything you feel inside and exactly what the environment looks and feels like outside of yourself at the time. Do this in the moment! Don’t come back to it or say you’ll do it once you have control of the situation. Write these things down in the eye of the tornado, in the midst of the disaster, in the moments immediately following your yell and/or anger.
Then step away from it. You’ll revisit these notes later when your mind is clear, and you can be honest and objective. In the moment, it’s important to be raw.
#2. Acquire the Tools to Change What You Discovered
What do your notes reveal?
Were you running late when you yelled? Why did you not give yourself more time? Are you over-committed and trying to fit too much into your day? Are your children not doing their part in the family team? Is your day poorly structured, causing life to be constantly chaotic, disorganized, and rushed?
Truth is, whether we like it or not, we were created to thrive amidst order.
A mom’s responsibilities are numerous. Put them all in a bucket, reach in and pull one out at random, and our most important people suffer. Take them all out, line them up to do in order of importance, and frustration begins to melt away.
Seek out structure, scheduling, and organizing tools such as the Faithful Family Planner and place only realistic expectations on yourself and your time.
Was your child’s behavior downright bad when you yelled? If so, Woohoo!! That’s good news. Turns out it’s not an anger issue; it’s a parenting issue.
Great kids aren’t born; they’re raised.
If you are yelling now due to your child’s behavior, you will not wake up one day and find their bad behavior disappeared. Change must occur on purpose through actionable steps. Steps that you must take.
You’ll need to spend intentional time training better behavior both into your child and yourself and disciplining accordingly to get positive results to stop yelling at your kids.
Fortunately, you couldn’t be in a more perfect place than you are right here, right now,
phone in hand,
reading these words.
Start here with the trusted and reliable parenting tools you need to turn things around.
Did you get angry because you don’t have any time for yourself? Do your children not help around the house enough? Do your children not take good naps or practice mandatory quiet time so you can use that time on what will bring you peace?
Kids who nap well provide their moms the downtime they need every afternoon. Kids who go to sleep and stay asleep well provide their moms a good night’s sleep every night.
All children need sleep, and all children can sleep. The human body requires restorative sleep to function properly. If sleep is a problem at your house, read here and here.
If your notes revealed a lack of downtime, you’ll need a structure + parenting tools combo meal. Again, best parenting practices can transform most of this, which you can find here.
#3. Use the Tools to Stop Yelling at Your Kids
Hal Elrod said it best, “The moment you accept responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you gain the power to change anything in your life.”
No one or no thing can manifest the results you want except you.
You must take the steps.
Action is the bridge to the impossible.
#4. Do Whatever it Takes to Protect Your Investment
Though I try to stay off social media, recently I made the mistake of hopping on my personal Facebook page and scrolling a bit. A new mom and young friend of mine asked the question, “Who can recommend a book for parenting a toddler?”
Reading the comments was cringe-worthy.
Among them were,
“Put her in a zoo?”
“Unplug her and then plug her back in.”
Then, of course, came the barrage of parenting book suggestions, written mainly by a secular (or evolutionary) worldview.
Raising children is one of the greatest gifts God bestows upon a woman. The Bible confirms this. Yet, this precious and sacred task has become a mockery.
The enemy will do everything he can to hinder, block, prevent, distract, and sour your efforts to be a good mom. And he’s a crafty enemy. Subtly is his specialty.
There is no greater, more brilliant, or more accurate parenting wisdom than scripture.
Protect yourself and your children from the mocking voices that seek to distract you from the goal and make certain the advice you absorb is rooted in God’s word.
An Action Plan to Stop Yelling at Your Kids
Create an action plan that consists of physical, actionable steps to take.
1. Prepare when, then statements.
When my child _____, then I will _____.
When I feel _______, then I will ______.
A. When my child doesn’t listen, then I will stop what I am doing, walk over to my child, kneel down, grasp her hands and say in a level tone, “You must go pick up your toys right now. If you choose to be disrespectful or not do it, I will do it, then I will put your toys away in a box, and you will not be allowed to play with them. You will also not be allowed to watch TV, have a treat, or ride your bike.” Then walk away without another word. Do not make eye contact or engage your child no matter how she responds.
B. When I feel angry, then I will remove myself from the situation. I will determine what I am truly angry about and take steps to resolve it. If the anger is stemming from child behavior, I will intentionally seek ways to change that behavior. If the anger is not stemming from child behavior, I will write down who or what I am angry at or about and talk to my coach, spouse, friend, or pastor about it.
2. Create a chart to track your own behavior.
3. Set yourself up for success by being armed with a good night’s sleep and a positive attitude.
4. Tell your child, “I am so glad I get to spend the day with you. I will not be yelling today. Let’s go get some breakfast.”
5. Parent with calm authority using consistency and follow through to train and discipline your child well.
6. Use your behavior chart throughout the day.
7. Self-reflect at the end of the day,
by asking these questions again: What was happening around me? What was going on? What is at the core of my anger? Did I take corrective actions?
8. Make necessary adjustments for the next day.
9. Avoid taking these wrong steps to stop yelling at your kids.
Self-care does nothing to replace bad habits with good ones. It can be healthy, but it is not the key to stop yelling at your kids.
Taking a few minutes to calm down provides you and your child a few minutes of calm. That’s it. While stepping away in the heat of anger is a great idea, it will not help you stop yelling at your kids long term.
10. Start at one place, make the necessary adjustments and move on.
You may find that your chalkboard/note pad exercise revealed that ALL THE THINGS make you yell and all need work. That’s common.
Start with parenting! My inbox is never short on emails from moms yearning to do better but have no idea where to start. Improving parenting skills will always be the best first step.
In the End, It’s Up to You
Identify the things making you yell, acquire the tools to change those things, use the tools to change the things, and fiercely protect your investment.
You have two options.
1. Scroll away, click the left arrow, head back to Google or Pinterest, and go on about your day. Nothing changes.
2. Give yourself (and your children) a chance at a happier, more peaceful, better life, and give this a try.