3 Tips I’m Using to Stop Yelling at My Kids

It was one of my New Year’s resolutions to stop yelling. I started with this goal during the week of Christmas, so it’s been about a month.

While I can’t say I haven’t yelled at all, I have yelled a lot less. A LOT less. Can count on one hand how many times I have in the past month, instead of that often before lunchtime every day. I got honest with myself and realized it was often not my kids who were making me yell, but other stresses. But, it’s still something I’m working on. It will probably always be something I’m working on, this not yelling at my kids thing. So, I have some strategies to help me not yell as much.

tips to stop yelling

The first thing I did was to take those prime yelling times and make them easier. Morning times are rough here: trying to get everyone out of bed, dressed, fed, hair done, teeth brushed, backpacks packed with all supplies and snacks, everything signed that needs signed, lunches packed, and us all out the door on time.

My boys are not morning people and neither am I. So trying to get them to school on time stresses me out and makes me more likely to yell. So, I organized our mornings as much as possible.  If I sign everything that needs to be signed and have my boys get their backpacks packed with their snacks the night before, that helps. Picking out outfits(and locating socks, which always seems impossible) and having those laid out makes the mornings easier, too. The more I can have done the night before, the smoother things go and the less likely I am to get stressed and yell.

The second thing I’m doing to stop yelling, I’ve mentioned before: taking a deep breath before opening my mouth. Sometimes I let out that deep breath in the form of an exasperated sigh. But, it gives me a brief moment to think before I say something in such a way that I’ll regret it. Some people have suggested counting to 10(or 100 or whatever you need to), but for me, I start to open my mouth to yell and in that moment, I take that open mouth to a deep breath instead of saying anything. And that’s enough to make me phrase something differently.

The third thing I’m realizing in my quest to stop yelling is that not everything my kids say needs any sort of response. There’s no reason to get into a verbal battle of wills with a child. Now, I’m not saying that I’ve started ignoring my kids.

But let’s say I tell my oldest that he has to get off the iPad. And of course, he doesn’t want to. So, he’ll want to try to tell me what all he “needs” to do on there before he can stop. Or how he only wants x amount of time more. Or even that I’m not fair. He can always come up with some sort of rationale. But, I can just tell him that he’s done, take the iPad, and that’s it. I do not have to go back and forth with him, explaining why. He knows why he’s done. If he wants to rant about it, I do not have to participate. I can walk away(with the iPad, of course). If he tries to follow me and keep up his whining, I can give him a sympathetic look and shrug my shoulders, but I don’t have to reply.

I’m the adult. I’m the mom. I don’t have to engage in every argument a child might want to have with me. And after doing this for about the past two weeks, my kids have stopped trying to argue their way into getting what it is they want because they see that I’m not only not going to change my mind, but I’m not even going to get into a debate with them about it.

Reasonable things, we can discuss. But when it turns into that whining, why do I have to, you’re so mean type of conversation coming from them, that’s what is more likely to push me to eventually yell. So, I don’t let it get to that point.

I just started a 30 Day Challenge with The Orange Rhino where I hope to gain even more tips on not yelling at my kids and I’ll keep you updated on what is working and what isn’t.

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Comments

  1. says

    So well written – good luck with your journey!

    and just an FYI – I couldn’t find your name anywhere on your blog or about me page, you should add it somewhere. :) Helps people connect to the blogger more.
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  2. says

    Thanks for sharing. Taking a deep breath and counting really helps me. That, and reciting Prov 14:1 over and over in my head. “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” Reminding myself that my children ARE my house, and it is up to me to build them up or tear them down is huge.
    Virginia @thatbaldchick recently posted..Introducing LindsayMy Profile

  3. says

    You are doing great. I’m also working on it. I do feel like I’m more of a yeller BUT I am working on not yelling as much. I do the deep breath thing a lot. Or I do the chant that I learned on Family Matters: “Three, two one, one, two, three, what the heck is bothering me?” 
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  4. says

    I’ve went from yelling to just having a snarky tone in my voice. I really need to start working on that now. Taking a deep breath before speaking is something I should definitely do before opening my mouth!
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  5. says

    Thanks for these ideas for not yelling at your kids. I’ve been working on this since I read your previous post. I have learned that my 3 year old is an excellent negotiator, but before that would lead to me getting too mad and raising my voice. Now, I avoid answering every whine or “reason” he needs something that I’ve already said no for. Instead, I use a firm voice and pick when to answer him.
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  6. says

    I am a yeller. I am trying desperately to get away from it. I’m doing better and you made a point where every thing your child says or does doesn’t warrant a response. I’ve started counting to 10 before opening my mouth…this is even working with adults!!

    My mother was a yeller and I remember hating that about her so I am diligently working to change my habits. Great post.
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  7. says

    I actually did this program called scream free parenting and it really worked for me. You might want to check out the book. Sure there are times when I still yell but I try not to do it as much as I did before. I’m glad you’re doing better. 
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  8. Ashley M says

    I think the worst side affect of yelling at our kids is that they, in turn, began to continually yell as well. They yell back, yell when they’re frustrated, mad or sad or angry. It’s a vicious cycle. 

  9. says

    These are great tips, especially the first one. I know when we aren’t organized and ready to go I get cranky and I end up yelling. I really need to get things together the night before. 
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  10. says

    I did the same thing with my mornings (I’m a night owl by nature). Everything is ready the night before, clothes picked out, homework signed and put in the backpack. We also do quick-and-easy breakfasts so if I’m running out of time we can eat them in the car on the way to school. It helps make the mornings smoother.

    Thanks for sharing these tips. And good job on yelling LESS. :)
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  11. jamie says

    I can totally relate to this post. It is certain stresses that cause me to yell, not my kids. I also try not to respond to everything they say.

  12. says

    I don’t yell (or raise my voice rather) until they didn’t listen the first THREE times, then my voice gets louder. Sadly my 7 year old is super sensitive to tones, he works best when spoken to as if he is a human being, not being yelled at. This has helped me be more calm. One thing that helps to keep yelling at ease around here is to get the necessary sleep in!
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