I’m going to raise my hand right now and admit that I am a yeller.
I’m not proud. It’s wrong.
I need to find out how to stop yelling when I am angry.
I’m guessing most parents don’t want to be yelling at their kids but are in some type of cycle where it is difficult to stop.
I am a part of this cycle.
I like to think of myself as being quite relaxed most of the time but I know that there are days when my tolerance levels are low.
Who can relate?
You’ve had a bad nights sleep, you haven’t eaten yet, someone said something to you that upset you.
Maybe the children have been unusually pushing the limits.
You are definitely not alone. All parents struggle with yelling sometimes. There are no perfect parents in this world.
As much as we want to be perfect it’s not possible because we are human. We make mistakes.
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YELLING AT KIDS, WHY DO WE DO IT?
In order to work out how to stop yelling, we first need to address the reasons why we yell in the first place.
We also need to look at the effects of what yelling at a toddler or a child does.
Most of the time we yell when we want control, when we feel we are not being heard by the other person.
I know personally speaking I tend to yell when I have to say the same thing over and over again to the children without being heard.
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WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF YELLING AT KIDS?
Research has shown that yelling at toddlers is almost pointless. Yelling may grab their attention for a few short seconds but it doesn’t last.
Let’s be real, most babies and toddlers have a selfish nature to begin with (this is normal).
A baby doesn’t care if you have not eaten or slept for 48 hours, they only want to be fed and sleep on their terms.
A toddler is very much in their own world.
Although they do have more of a grasp on social skills than a baby they are still not great at it.
Toddlers have their own special space that they live in.
They definitely have an awareness of you, but whatever they are doing is always going to be more important than what you want them to do.
It’s only over time as they get a little older that they begin to have more of a sense for others around them. This is why yelling at a toddler is pointless.
Yelling at your toddler can actually make the matter worse.
Chances are that if you are yelling at your toddler they probably don’t even understand what they have done wrong in the first place.
That’s why there is no place for yelling at a toddler. You need to talk and reason with them, calmly.
Your toddler needs you to be calm and patient.
At times when I have shouted at my children and I have later calmed down, I wonder if they even understood what the problem was.
Was my point even clear or was I just blowing off steam at the time?
The more you shout at your child the more negatively the brain develops. The brain tends to process negative information much more quickly than positive.
That is why we have people (including adults) walking around feeling down and unsatisfied.
Have you noticed how easy it is to hold onto a negative word for the whole day?
When someone pays us a compliment or says something positive it’s not very long before we begin to pick apart what the person said and even turn it into a negative.
At least as an adult, we can have the rational to talk it through and come to some resolve.
When you shout at a toddler how do you expect them to process the information? They won’t put it down to “mom had a bad day”. They will just feel bad about themselves.
This is why yelling at a toddler can bring feelings of sadness for them.
If we truly want our children to thrive then we have to create that environment for them.
Can I also be so bold as to say that shouting at your child with insults is actually a form of abuse?
I know that last comment hurts and its supposed too.
It’s not to make you feel eternally bad but for you (as well as me) to wake up and see the potential damage that we could be doing to our precious children.
MORE EFFECTIVE WAYS TO GET YOUR CHILDREN TO LISTEN
1. COME DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL AND GET EYE CONTACT
This a great way to get your child’s attention and make sure they are, taking note of what you are saying.
2. COUNTDOWN WARNING
Always give a before warning when you need something done. Something along the lines of “in 5 minutes I need you to start packing up the toys”
3. SPEAK CALMLY BUT FIRM
If after the countdown warning you still don’t get a response, use a firmer calm voice.
4. DON’T BACK DOWN
One of the most important rules of parenthood is “never back down”.
If you ask your child to do something and they don’t or won’t do it, never back down and do it yourself.
Even if it takes 30 minutes to get a 5-minute task done don’t back down.
It might seem like too much hassle now but the next time your child will do it faster because they know you won’t back down.
5. LISTEN TO YOUR CHILD
There might be a valid reason that they don’t want to do what you have asked.
Give them the opportunity to explain themselves before you decide to react.
6. DON’T GO ON AND ON
We’ve all been there. We’ve heard someone go on and on about something so much that in the end, we switch off completely.
We find a way to completely shut the annoying voice out. Don’t let that shut out voice be yours.
COMMON MYTHS ABOUT PARENTS WHO SHOUT
- They don’t love their children
- They have no respect towards their children
- They have no self-control
- They are bad parents
- They will permanently psychologically damage their children
- They can never change.
I consider myself to be a good mom but I do occasionally find myself yelling at my kids.
It’s not always because my children can be naughty, sometimes its because I’m not patient. Sometimes the fault is with me
Children need time to explore and learn things, we need to give them the time to learn and make mistakes.
METHODS ON HOW TO STOP YELLING AT KIDS
1. STAY CALM
Calm down and leave the situation if you feel you are getting too angry.
Take the time to evaluate why you feel so angry. Usually, there is an underlying reason.
A lot of the time when I think about why I am so angry it’s not because I think my children are being disobedient but rather I am stressed out about something else.
2. RUBBER BAND METHOD
I love this method because it makes you take a good look at your day.
The idea is that you place 5 rubber bands on your wrist. Each time you yell at your kids or get angry you move your rubber band to the other wrist.
For every negative thing you say to your child you have to give a positive affirmation in order to move the rubber band back to the previous arm.
At the end of the day, you can evaluate where your rubber bands are and aim for a better day the next day.
It certainly keeps you in check!
3. DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
Never take anything that your child does personally.
I doubt very much that your child is calculated enough to be deliberately trying to destroy you.
They are just being a child and you are taking things too personally. It’s not personal, it’s child’s play.
4. TRY A DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW
Look at things from your child’s point of view. It’s good to remember what it’s like to be a child sometimes.
Forget about your money worries, work issues and all the other stressful things that go on in life and enjoy now.
Look at life through the eyes of your child.
5. GET HELP
If you know you are going through a rough patch get some help with the children. Find a way to get a little bit of “me time” to help deal with any pressure you may have.
The last thing you want is to have mommy guilt because you are so stressed out.
I always say to people that motherhood is a journey that you can never complete. Every day there is something new to learn.
Sometimes we have to learn that new thing from our children.
There are no perfect families out there.
That family that you keep comparing yours too have their own problems going on that you know nothing about.
Enjoy your time now because you won’t have it forever.
One of my favorite phrases is “the days are long but the years are short”. There has never been a truer word.
If you messed up today, try again tomorrow.
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