5 ways to stop YELLING at your Kids

Yelling mom: Parenting resources by ZenParent

So, you yell at your kids! “Big deal”, you are thinking… But here is the thing, yelling makes kids rebellious and they want to “not do” stuff just because you said so! Yelling is almost considered par for the course in parenting by some of us – we even having our own reasons to do so! But, it has long lasting emotional repercussions on children and we might do well to dial it down and do better at this tough gig called parenting! So here are 5 things we can do to get better at “Not yelling at our kids”.

1. Give yourself a time out:  Most of us yell instinctively- not because we think it is a fantastic way to discipline our kids, but because we are simply angry. At that moment, when you find that urge to raise your voice, remind yourself to take a 30 second break. During this forced time-out, think about what you can do to productively make the situation better? Why did your child behave the way he did and what consequence should be an appropriate reaction?

2. Monitor your triggers:  You need to introspect and see if there are any particular buttons that when pushed really make you lose it! Once you identify these, then you can proactively deal with it. You can also identify times that are really bad for your temper. For example, if the morning rush is what makes you yell the most, organize yourself better the previous night, like laying out all your clothes and boxes and school bags so that  you avoid tensions in the morning. If your child struggles to wake up, give yourself an extra 15 minutes to lovingly get him out of bed. My daughter is not a morning person. So instead of constantly yelling for her to wake up, I hug her, gently tug her out of bed and walk her to the bathroom and then carry on with my chores! It is a little difficult to sleep on the potty!

3. Lower your expectations: Sometimes we have unreal expectations. Speaking for myself, I forget that my kid is only 12 and expect her to behave like an adult. I forget that she simply does not have the maturity to understand certain things and the “almost” teen in her acts crazy sometimes and me joining in her craziness is helping nobody. So I curb my righteous indignation and try to recall how horrible I was in middle school too- plummeting grades, teenage confusion, hormonal swings, girl friend clique problems, disliking physics, chemistry- there is a lot going on in their lives!

4. Follow through:  We give our child an ultimatum – “Put away your video games in 5 minutes!!” – And then we get on facebook and forget the world for 30 minutes. Suddenly we realize our child is quiet again. You go to her room and find her still playing the game. You YELL. Next time, set a timer and FOLLOW THROUGH. Don’t forget and then get angry at your child. I need to remind myself many times that my brain is more developed than hers, and I need to be the responsible one!

5. Just be honest:  We yell at kids when they talk back or they act irresponsible. Instead of starting a tirade on how they don’t know how to behave and need to be more responsible, just tell them honestly how their remarks and attitude hurt your feelings. You can also tell them that you are very angry and upset and that you both need to be silent for some time. Then, when you are calmer, tell them how you feel disrespected when they behave that way and how you are worried about their future. This might get you better results because they will understand where you are coming from.

MAKE A PLAN

You might be aware of all of the things above, but when the “stuff” hits the fan, your yelling instincts come out screaming like a banshee. So, you need a conscious PLAN.  Internalize a plan in your head,  to be used the next time you begin to raise your voice. it could be anything that you think might work for you.. Deep breaths, count to 10, chant a mantra, walk away, get a glass of water , tell your kid to go to her room etc. But you have to remember this and implement it. It will not be a cakewalk and will be difficult the first few times. But it will progressively get better. The biggest learning we can give our kids is to show them that we have flaws as well and yet we work to get better at it all the time. It is a process. Good luck to us !

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