8 Ways to Stop Yelling at Your Kids
Practical tools that work, even when the honey spills everywhere.
It is that time of year again in Jewish homes. We’re getting ready for the most significant holidays of the year and it gets hectic. Our children seem to be underfoot just when our workload seems to increase. That’s when tempers flare and we unfortunately resort to the time honored parenting technique of yelling.
Yelling isn’t fun for anyone. Children get insulted and hurt and parents feel embarrassed and often foolish losing it in front of their kids.
Here are 8 ways to stop yelling at your children:
1. Take deep breaths:
Deep breathing has been touted for years as the ultimate relaxer. Science has proven that it does work; it lowers blood pressure, silences the fight or flight response, and stimulates the nerves that trigger relaxation. It is easy, its quick and it works.
2. Take five:
When we get angry, it is probably a good indicator that we need a little break. Go to the bathroom, or step outside for breathe of fresh air or just sit down and have a cup of coffee. Teach your kids this strategy, “I find myself getting angry, I think it means I need a break. I need a couple of minutes of quiet right now.”
3. Get help:
Yelling usually means we are overwhelmed. We cannot do it all ourselves, as much as we think we can. It’s tough to ask for help, but it needs to be done. Enlist your kids, your spouse, your friend your parents or your in law or treat yourself to a cleaning lady. You will be glad you did.
4. Talk yourself through it:
When we don't have help or we can’t take a break, give yourself a pep talk. “You can do this!” “Just a few more hours until bed time, I can handle this!” Parenting can feel like a thankless job. All our hard work often goes unnoticed. No one is going to tell you, “Good job, you swept up every last one of those cheerios!” It is times like this when we need to be our own cheerleaders.
5. Be funny:
The best way to dispel an angry mood is to find the humor in the situation. Life with kids is messy. When the phone rings, the doorbell sounds, and one child spills his juice, and your other one is screaming about the fact that his favorite sweater is in the wash, it seems counterintuitive, but it can be that the only sane alternative is to laugh. When your child shmears themselves with tomato sauce or you find that your two-year-old got into your desk and now is covered in Post-its again, laugh, don’t yell.
And for those times when can’t hold back and have to yell:
6. Talk about yourself:
If you’ve reached your limit and just can’t hold yourself back, then do it using “I” statements. For example, “I’m getting really angry right now! I need some quiet in here!” is much better than, “You guys are driving me crazy! Why do you always have to be so noisy!”
7. Don't accuse, give information:
Similarly, if you need to raise your voice, you want to give information instead of delivering accusations. Instead of: “You never listen! You are misbehaving!” Tell them what you want them to do: “It is bed time right now! It is time to get into pajamas!” Repeat as needed.
8. Be positive:
Finally, you can yell something positive. You can say, “I know you know how to listen! I know you can sweep up the crumbs like I asked you too!” “I know you know how to share! I know you both can resolve this problem with the legos peacefully!”
May your New Year be filled with peace and calm!