We’re on hour 5 of the day. The girls have sought out every opportunity to fight with each other. In the moments that they’re not engaged in battle, they’re ganging up on me and whining that they want to watch a show.
I decide to make them lunch because there’s a slight possibility that while they’re eating, I may get a few seconds of peace. As I stir the soup in the pot, my oldest daughter starts screaming.
I enter the living room to see my youngest daughter biting her big sister’s pant leg… she’s angry because her older sister was tattling on her — for colouring the TV with a marker.
I come unglued.
“Both of you go to your rooms. RIGHT NOW!”
I cringed. I told myself I was not going to yell today… yet here we are, at 11:30 am, and I’m yelling.
These situations have become all too familiar. I feel like I’m losing my cool every day, and I don’t like it.Why do we yell at our kids? Here are 3 tips to stop yelling. #parentingresolution Click To Tweet
Why do people yell at their kids?
As I’ve been doing research on this year’s parenting resolution, I’ve concluded that there are several reasons why people yell at their children.
Lack of skills/knowledge of what to do
We often parent with the skills we’ve experienced or witnessed in our personal lives. If you were raised in a home with yelling, most likely this will be your natural parenting default.
When you’re mentally and emotionally drained, thinking through everything you want to say and do can be especially challenging. So we might act more impulsively.
Perhaps you’ve dealt with the same situation repeatedly and you’re at a loss. You may be tempted to yell when you’re in situations like these.
Parents who yell may use this strategy because they want to control or frighten their children into submission or obedience.
Parents may yell out of fear and in many cases, this may be the only justifiable reason to yell.
For instance, if your preschooler is running towards a busy road full of speeding cars, it’s very hard not to yell at them. You’re scared, and you want to get their attention as soon as possible.
Why is yelling problematic?
Yelling at our children has many repercussions. Here are a few that are most concerning:
It harms the relationship you have with your child.
There is no doubt that yelling will impact your relationship with your child. Yelling is meant to frighten and intimidate. Yelling at your kids can cause them to have fear or resentment towards you. No one wants to be in a relationship that’s based on fear and intimidation.
It hurts your child’s self-esteem.
Much of a child’s sense of self-worth comes from feeling loved and valued as an individual. Being yelled at sends a message that they are unloved and insignificant. Also, when a parent is yelling at their child, the messages conveyed are often belittling.
The parent isn’t yelling: “I love you so much my heart could explode!” or “You are the best thing that ever happened to me!”
Rather, they’re yelling things like:
“Why do you do this all the time?! What’s the matter with you!” or “What were you thinking?!”
The yell, as well as the message delivered in the yell, hammers away at a child’s self-worth. Eventually, they start to believe the words they’ve heard.
It loses its impact.
Remember that preschooler who’s running towards a street full of cars? Imagine if you yell at this kid all the time over every issue and mishap? Suddenly, when you want your yell to catch their attention, it doesn’t have any impact!
However, the same preschooler who is in a home where yelling is a rarity most likely will stop in his tracks the second you yell at him.
Three techniques to stop yelling.
I am a Christian. I regularly hand my issues and struggles over to God. I can not fix myself but the Lord can and will help me in all things. I am the caretaker of His children. My girls are not mine, but His. It grieves me when I lose my cool with them. That’s why I want to make a change.
Here are three techniques that can help you break the habit of yelling.
The rubber band method.
I got this technique from Jackie over at LJSkool. While her method involves using the rubber bands to catch her children doing something good, the modified technique uses the rubber band as a reminder of what not to do – and a consequence if the parent does choose to yell.
Here’s how it works. Place three rubber bands on your left wrist. If you yell at your kids, one rubber band gets moved over to your right wrist.
This technique can be rather soul-crushing… especially if you’ve just moved your last rubber band over to your right wrist. However, I find it’s also a deliberate way to challenge and counter poor behaviour. When I move that rubber band, I have to think about the scenario. I have to contemplate my words and tone and I have to address the fact that I screwed up.
If you’re having success with keeping your cool, then the next week, start with two rubber bands, and the week after that, go down to one.
Don’t yell, just love.
I adore this technique from Crystal over at Money Saving Mom. Whenever she feels like yelling at her kids, she mindfully chooses love and pours her love on them. Read the article for all of the details about this strategy.
Perhaps since I’m a former early childhood educator, this strategy from Lemon Lime Adventures resonated with me the most. Instead of handling things from afar, move closer to your kids and talk with them. I encourage you to read the article to get the full effect of this approach.
So this is the challenge for February. Will you join me? Identify what triggers you to yell. Select a technique to stop yelling at your kids and let me know what you’re going to do to break this habit.
Also, make sure to use the hashtag #parentingresolution with any of your social media shares… I want to follow you on your journey to make 2016 your best parenting year yet!
If you liked this post, I invite you to pin it.
This post is part of The Parenting Resolution series. The entire series is here:
Introduction: The Parenting Resolution: Make 2016 the Best Year!
Challenge #1: The Parenting Resolution: Creating a Learning Plan