Your kids don’t need to be yelled at to listen!
Why do we think screaming at them will make things better?
For most of my life as a mother, I have struggled with yelling at my children. I don’t like doing it, but often feel like it is the only way to be heard. After almost 15 years of being a mom now, I can finally say that I’ve learned many tricks to help me control my anger and frustration and use better techniques than raising my voice at my precious little ones. These techniques have come after years of feeling like a failure, like my kids didn’t deserve to be treated the way I was treating them, and feeling like I was a terrible mom. I can’t think of any worse feeling than that of feeling like a complete failure at the things that matter most to you in life.
Sometimes I feel like the incredible hulk- I can get mean an ugly with the flip of a switch!
Perhaps you are like me, and have a hard time not screaming when your child spills soap all over the floor that you just cleaned. Maybe you raise your voice when the toilet seat is covered in grossness and you have an accident in your pants while trying to clean it up fast enough to sit down? Yep, that’s happened to me. If you are like most parents, you occasionally (if not daily) feel the need to increase the volume of your voice to “scary” when your kids are constantly fighting or hurting each other; when they are not doing the things that you asked them to do; when the house is a mess even though you just cleaned it; when they come home with bad grades or get in trouble at school (thus embarrassing us and proving to the world that we really are the failure we think we are). It doesn’t matter what little thing sets us off, really, for when we learn how to apply a few very simple techniques, we learn that yelling at our kids can actually make the situation worse instead of better.
I just cleaned this room!
Our kids are a lot smarter than we often give them credit for. They get used to our tendencies and know when we are serious and when we are not. For example, I started to be more mindful of when my kids were listening to me and when they ignored me. I found that if I yelled for them to come or to do something, it usually took about 15 minutes of me yelling, with about 5 threats to get them to come. They had learned my threshold and that they could tune me out and continue what they were doing until I got to a certain decibel in my voice, after which they knew I meant business. That was just not cool. I knew something had to change- 15 minutes was just too long, lol.
I started researching everything I could find out how to get our kids to listen without yelling at them. It became my mission to overcome this huge weakness of mine and to train my children. I am still far from perfect, but feel so much better about my parenting and my ability to control myself, that I just have to share with other desperate parents, in hopes to give you motivation to do the same.
Don’t you dare push my buttons!
In order to attract the kind of love and warmth we want in our homes, we cannot allow anger in our home, let alone in our hearts. Trust me, I know that this is much easier said than done. Even after practicing keeping my tone kind and harmless, I still struggle with my old tendencies to lose my cool and act like a toddler that has had their cookie taken from them. Being a parent or a caretaker is hard. Very. Hard. We all struggle on occasion, if not every hour, to feel like we are doing our best and making a difference in the lives of our children. We put pressure on ourselves, compare ourselves to what seem like “perfect” parents or families, and often feel this need to be better taking over our minds. It can be overwhelming. By now you’re probably just saying,”Tell me what to do! Help me! PLEASE!!!”
Haha, okay, I’ll get to the point… The first thing you really need to do right now, is calm down and breathe. Yep, you heard me, just breathe. I’m not talking about the shallow quick paced breaths as if you’ve just worked out. I’m suggesting you learn to deep breathe. It is scientifically proven that learning how to deep breathe calms down our stress level by releasing endorphins in our brains which immediately make us feel better. With the aid of those endorphins, we can see the situation for what it is and not have to feel out of control on how to handle it. So, the next time you walk into a room that you just cleaned, to find it looking like a tornado hit while you were in the bathroom, pause and deep breathe. I know it sounds too simple, and impossible that breathing could help out in such a time, but just give it a try, it really makes a difference. Breathe in through your nose until you fill you entire lungs to capacity, then slowly let the air out as if through a straw in your mouth. Do this several times before you say a word. You will be amazed at how much better you feel and how much easier it is to react with a calm collected voice rather than screaming at first sight.
I have at least 9 more tips that get even better than this. Because I know how much we all struggle with this problem, I have made a free printable with my 10 tips to Help You Stop Yelling at Your Kids. If you are anything like me, you want more than just a blog article to remind you how to keep calm and mom on when the going gets tough. As a young mom, I would’ve loved a list of things to hang up and look at often, to remind me of how to be react with love and not anger. I hope you enjoy it and find it useful!
To get this printable, just click on the link below.
10 Ways to Stop Yelling at Your Kids
Some related articles:
Mom, You Are Not Failing
The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Children