Have you ever found yourself at whit’s end, so frustrated with your kids that after telling them to do something for the FOURTH TIME you just lose it and start screaming?

Yup. Been there, done that. And then afterwards there’s such a feeling of guilt, because that isn’t the type of parent you aspire to be.

But it is so darn HARD to stop yelling at kids. So…very…hard.

Even though we know deep down that yelling really isn’t an effective option. For one thing, it’s just loud and angry and awful.

It also RARELY results in getting the kids to do what you want. In fact, it often escalates the entire situation and leads to tears, stubbornness and tantrums.

And the worst part about the whole yelling thing? Research shows that it’s potentially harmful to children.

The journal Child Development found that yelling at kids can actually make them MORE aggressive.

So how do you stop yelling at kids? The answer is the same as it is for any bad behavior, you have to break yourself of the habit.

 

“Every time you don’t act on the urge to yell, you rewire your brain so it’s no longer your default reaction.”  

Laura Markham, Ph.D. and author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How To Stop Yelling And Start Connecting

 

Breaking a bad habit and adopting a new one generally takes 21 days before it starts to stick.

Which is why we’re sharing 21 ways to stop yelling at kids.

These are all little things you can do to reduce the yelling in your house and lead you towards adopting new (less loud) parenting habits.

 

21 Ways To Stop Yelling At Kids

 

1. Ask Your Partner For Help

You’re not in this parenting thing alone. If you want to create a less angry environment and stop yelling at kids, you’re going to need your partner’s support.

Ask them to commit to yelling less too. Develop strategies together. Keep each other in check.  

Related: Different Parenting Styles? How To Get On The Same Page

Basically, get on the same page! You’ll get better results.

 

2. Quit Yelling Everyday Messages

If you want to reduce your overall household yelling, start by becoming aware of how often you raise your voice for everyday things.

“Dinner’s Ready!” “Time for school!” “Take out the trash!”

By yelling commands for everyday things you raise the volume level in your house and it ends up normalizing yelling.

Related: 9 Useful Tips To Help Children Follow Instructions

Try walking up to your kids and talking to them in a normal speaking voice instead. When you reduce everyday yelling, it leads to a drop in angry shouting as well.

 

3. Make A Mommy Mantra

Come up with a short phrase, when you’re not angry, that you can repeat in your head when your blood starts to boil in order to calm yourself down.

Related: Anger Management For Parents: Keeping It Together

It could be something like “rolling waves” because that phrase reminds you to go with the flow and be chill, or “I’m in control” to remind yourself that you’re ultimately in charge of your emotions.

 

4. Reconnect With Your Child

Instead of yelling for your child to do something, try reconnecting with them instead.

Get down on their level, put your hand on their shoulder, hug them, look them in the eye, whatever it takes to form a connection with them….then ask what you want them to do.

You’ll be surprised at how receptive they are when they feel close to you.

 

5. Yell Into A Pillow

Or a linen closet….or a mattress… (you get the idea).

Towels and furniture don’t have feelings, but kids do.

 

6. Drink Water

When you feel like you’re about to unload on your kids, try reaching for a glass of water instead.

This forces you to pause, take a breath, and put something in your mouth that prevents you from yelling.

stop yelling at kids
Getty Images

 

7. Put Your Finger Or Hand Over Your Mouth

The “shush” position can literally become a physical barrier to yelling.

Get in the habit of covering your mouth when your anger starts to rise and you can stop yelling at kids.

 

8. Exercise

When you feel like you’re about to boil over, drop and do ten push-ups or pound out twenty jumping jacks. This helps threefold:

  1. Gets out some of your physical energy (without yelling).
  2. Reduces the tension in the room (your kids might laugh).
  3. Burns a few calories to boot.

 

9. Write It Out

Rather than yelling your frustrations, write them down in a journal, diary, or notes app.

 

10. Pretend There Are Cameras

Imagine your house is full of hidden cameras, like you live on the set of Big Brother. Would you want to be recorded reacting in a screaming fashion? Probably not.

If you think you always have an audience your behavior will likely change. And the truth is, you DO always have an audience… your kids.

 

11. Leave The Scene

Sometimes when things get heated at home, a change of scene can change the mood.

Related: How To Be A Better Mom: 7 Ways To Be More Patient

Go to a park, beach, mall, or heck…just go outside.

 

12. Call A Friend

Just like on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, use one of your lifelines and phone a friend.  

Except you won’t be asking for the answer to a trivia question, you’ll be leaning on your support network to vent.

 

13. Meditate

Try establishing a regular meditation practice (it only take 5-10 minutes a day).

Related: Meditation For Parents: The Surprising Benefits!

Meditation increases your awareness and helps you tune into your emotions and breath, both of which go a long way to stop yelling at kids.

 

14. Dance

Do something silly, like the chicken dance, when you’re mad and ready to start screaming.

Silliness snaps people out of anger mode and can totally diffuse the tension in a room.

 

15. Take 3 Deep Breaths

This is a tried and true anger management technique for a reason… it works!

Anything that gets you to stop and think before you lash out in anger is a good thing.

 

16. Rise And Shine

Lots of yelling happens during the daily rush to get everyone ready and out the door in the morning. Take extra care to make your morning routine go smoothly.

Related: Tips To Rock Your Morning Routine And Get The Kids To School On Time

Prep everything you can the night before. Get up before the kids so you’re calm, dressed and ready before you try to deal with them.

Have a consistent wake-up time and morning routine and stick with it. Less chaos equals less chances for yelling.

 

17. Use Visualization

Close your eyes. Now imagine yourself yelling, jumping up and down, pitching an absolute fit…..

Open your eyes. Exhale and let it go, then react from a calmer place.

 

18. Do Something With Your Hands

If you’re getting mad, let out some of that energy by doing something with your hands.

Doodle, craft, bake, knit, whatever… just release some tension in a healthy way while you calm yourself back down.

 

19. Take A Bathroom Break

Go ahead, run into the bathroom, lock the door and give yourself a minute to compose yourself.

Related: End The Power Struggle! Top 6 Ways To Get Kids To Cooperate

Ignore the little hands reaching under the door, or the squabbling coming from the other room.  Count to ten, collect yourself, then exit once you feel calmer and ready to address the situation without yelling.

 

20. Ask Questions

Instead of resorting to yelling something like, “what the heck is wrong with you?!?” Try asking real questions, at a normal volume, to get to the root of a situation.

“Are you tired?”  “What are you trying to do?”  “Are you hurt?”

 

21. Say “I Love You”

You may need to repeat it a few times, but when you say “I love you” in front of your kids it has a way of melting your heart and bringing up a rush of mamma bear emotions which can cancel out your anger and stop a screaming fit.

Because we all love our kids. We really do.  We just need to remind ourselves of that fact sometimes in the heat of the moment to stop yelling at kids.

 

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