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How do you do it? Help me stop yelling at my kids. - Page 2

post #21 of 38
1. Find out what your triggers are and work on them

2. Practice mindful meditation and practice other techneques for calmness

3. Slow down a lot...walk slower...talk slower...mindful meditation helps with that.

4. Keep careful track of your cycles so that you know your pms time...even if you don't suffer seriously you may be prone to being less patient then(this is the only time I yell..yes, it became that obvious to me)

5. If your trigger is messes...don't have crafts/waterpaints/messy things in the house...take them to other places for that. We do those things outside and we have a regular playgroup for that stuff, we have crayons and markers but if we do that sort of things it's planned and organized. Work with who you are and what your limitations are. (I have a no play dough rule because it always gets stuck in the carpet and I lose it and I figure it's just toxic junk anyway..and I hate the stuff)

6. If your trigger is noise(mine isn't noise so much as sudden noise that startles me) teach your kids inside and outside noise. Also designate an escape area for you to go to when you feel that urge. I go up to the living room and sit. I'm fortunate in that we have the basement as a family area and a quieter upstairs living room.

7. Take regular and scheduled breaks for yourself. Half an hour walk every night. I joined a rowing club and I go once a week, no kids, just me. It's amazing and the thought of that break often gets me through when I'm about to lose it.

8. Sing. I start yelling and then change it to a fake yell and then into a silly song and it cracks the kids up and changes the entire dynamic of the room. It's crazy but somehow it works. Probably like the whispering that someone mentioned above.

Eta...I rarely yell. Because I rarely yell my kids yell less. It has taken work but it was well worth it. I really have a ton more patience. I used to talk about real and fake patience...the fake it til you make it works..because I find that I rarely have to fake patience, I just now am more patient and rarely lose it and yell anymore. In fact I was really angry at my 15 year old for something she did and I was talking about how much I yelled and screamed at her but looking back on her..it really wasnt' yelling or screaming. It was lecturing sternly but it wasn't yelling. And what she did was off the charts crazy dangerous(which is also a trigger for me).
post #22 of 38
Originally Posted by jewelsJZ View Post
The Naomi Aldort book worked for me today! I got it at the library last night and started reading it this morning. My kids were still sleeping and I had the rare treat of sitting w/ coffee and being able to read the first part of the book. Used it the instant my oldest woke up. He started his grumpy morning screeching thing that he does every day and instead of telling him to be quiet so as not to wake his sibs and him continuing to screech and then me threatening to send him back to his room, I just did the validating thing from the book and he stopped right away.
We had a MUCH MUCH MUCH better day today, and only because I behaved differently.
Mama, that is so awesome. :::
post #23 of 38
Originally Posted by Sancta View Post
I'm in the middle of Scream Free Parenting by Hal something or other and I'm loving it.

He pretty much says that screaming = immaturity. A child should not have the power to push an adult to that point, and it only brings about negative reactions and behavior. We cannot change our children, only ourselves.
I'm gonna check that book out. Thanks for sharing, Sancta!
post #24 of 38
Thanks for the rec for Scream Free Parenting. After reading the reviews on Amazon, I downloaded the Kindle version and hope to start it tonight.
post #25 of 38
Thread Starter 
I'm gonna try to get that book, too. Sounds good.
Been having a much better few days but started out today not so good so thought i'd post about it here as a way to try to get myself back on track today. The 5 yr. old had a screaming, kicking all out fit because he spilled some dry cereal on the floor. No big deal, me and the 3 yr. old both start helping him clean it up, he starts to clean up, then knocks the cup over and some of the cereal spills again and he screams, LOUD, right in my ear and I lost it. Noise is, apparently, one of my big triggers. I yelled at him, told him to stop acting like a baby and leave the room. Then both kids start fighting over a piece of paper, one of those little card ads that pulls out of magazines. This is all while I am trying to get ready and they are being so loud and I don't want them to wake the baby up.
Okay, gonna try to get back on track here today and not yell. Ok, crap, the 3 year old just came over and scratched me. But I didn't yell. I think she was trying to tickle in her not-so-gentle way.
post #26 of 38

Thank you for the incredibly helpful suggestions. 


I've realized finally that my biggest trigger is my nearly-subconscious worry about what other people might think. 


Example:  this morning, I blew my stack because my 3 year old was noodling around not getting dressed for preschool and we were going to be late for about the 15th time in a row. 


After it all blew over, I realized that right before I yelled, my thoughts flashed to my kid's annoying preschool teacher.  She's someone who just doesn't understand the life of a working parent, so she sneers when we show up late.  I felt a tiny wave of shame thinking about how we'd be judged by this preschool teacher, and I just snapped.


So I'm working hard on that - not letting other people's expectations rule me (or my imagining of their expectations). 


I've also started marking the calendar every month. Around 10 days after my period, I start getting WAY less patient (with the pinnacle of grumpiness around 17-20 past my period), so I'm trying to do more yoga and take better care of myself for the last half of the month.

post #27 of 38

i'm working on this too!  here are a couple quick meditations/thoughts from buddhism that i'm finding helpful in the moment:


breathing in, i am calm; breathing out i smile

great for those little irritations that can really get to me


breathing in, i am angry; breathing out, i know anger is in me

for those bigger moments.  even that tiny shift from "i am angry" to "there is anger in me" (ie, there is a self and there is the anger, two separate things) is way more effective than i thought



question:  how do you all make a time out for yourself not a punishment/withdrawl from your kids?  when i try to leave, my 3yr old usually runs after me and/or grabs on to me ... and i do not handle that very well, or even if i do ok, he's usually very upset at my leaving.

post #28 of 38
Originally Posted by Dukey25 View Post

I am a yeller and i am trying to change this. What is working for me right now is when I yell or feel like yelling I take the kids outside for a walk or something. For some reason that seems to break the cycle and gives me a breather. I find for me the yelling stems from frustration, my parents were spankers and when I find myself in a situation where I don't know what to do but spank I yell.

I find that when we're spiraling into a negative dynamic leaving the house to "reset" really works. Doesn't matter what we do - a walk, trip to the store for milk - just getting out of the house brightens everyone's mood.
I do tell my kids that I'm feeling frustrated - both of my kids learned that word pretty quickly - and that I need a short break. I'll stay in the same room, or, go into my room & read or rest. Now that they're older, I also suggest, when appropriate, that they might be feeling frustrated or grumpy & that they might benefit from a break.
post #29 of 38

Hi there, I just wanted to give you a virtual hug. I have been through screaming bouts several times with my kids and I hate the way that I feel when it is happening and afterward. To me it feels hard to get out of but so wrong.


I have found apologising and hugging helps me get out of it. It gets me down to the children's level. The compassionate moments wake me up out of my funk a bit.


I also really like Rescue Remedy. I start taking double doses every ten minutes until it starts to work.


We don't watch much tv, but if I am having a particularly rough time I throw it on and take some quiet time to nap/read/drink tea/take a warm bath/revitalise my mood. It is better for them than my mood, so I find it to be the perfect time to plug it in.


Let yourself cry. Vent to a friend or sister. You are feeling stress and it is probably beyond what your kids are doing.


I understand this sort of thing so well.



post #30 of 38

I have a high needs 16 month old, and probably a few times a week I feel the urge to yell at him bubble up.  He's totally in that stage where he is incredibly frustrated by his own limitations - will be hellbent on doing something that he physically isn't capable of doing, and also seems to zero in on the ONE thing that he shouldn't do.


I'm a really, really, really patient person.  If a friend were to describe me, the first adjective they'd come up with would be that I'm laid back.  I roll with the punches very easily.  Messes don't bother me, I don't lose my temper EVER.  But kids, man.  He can drive me right up to that edge where I HAVE to vent in some way or I'm going to take it out on him unfairly.


Rescue Remedy helps (for both of us, they make a kids version).  A trick  my mom said she used to do with us - really, really loudly sing, "I LOOOOVE MY CHIIIILD!"  in a crazy opera voice.  It helps me vent  and be loud without yelling and also usually snaps him out of the tantrum, at least for a second.  Similarly...ever seen Garden State?  You know when Natalie Portman's character does the "unique" thing?  I do that.  Spew total gibberish and dance around like a crazy person for a second.  Sometimes we go outside and throw something (beanbags usually).  Careful not to throw AT something, though.  


I also reassure myself that every time I'm able to cope with being angry in a healthy way, I'm teaching him how to do it as well.

post #31 of 38
Originally Posted by jennpn View Post

I grew up in a home with a lot of yelling and van feel myself going there with my 2 year old at times. I have taken it out of my resource options. It is simply not an option. I believe it is disrespectful, humiliating and shaming to be yelled at and I wouldn't speak to anyone like that, the last of which would be the one I love most in the world. I remember my reasons why I don't. If I feel my voice raising I lower it as much as I want to raise it until at times I am whispering. It does the trick and usually has a calming effect on my son.
I also say this prayer in my head if I need a moment
"Lord, give me a gentle spirit and the heart of a child...help me to walk at "his" pace and see the world through "his" eyes. Thank you for the gift of motherhood." This always does the trick. I am humbled and can see my little boy just being a little boy through new eyes. Even if your are not religious just redirecting your energy with these words will help.

Good luck mama!

Thank you for this post - I love it ! I have struggled with this yelling for a while now & hate myself for allowing it to happen. Naturally the tears follow with the guilt of treating the most loved one in my life with such little respect. But your post put it into perspective for me, especially the prayer which is SO true. I am very grateful for motherhood and that is above all to everything, something which I should remember when the frustrating little things bring out the yelling. From now on it is simply not an option. Thank you again for making the penny finally drop.
post #32 of 38
post #33 of 38



Great thread!


I was going to suggest these articles from Dr. Laura as well. I get her newsletters and I saved all in this series from last week. I also like the Naomi Aldort book and it reminds me I could reread it about now. And thank you for that little prayer, I printed it out and taped it on the inside of my son's wardrobe for easy reference and will try that too! I also had never really considered what my specific triggers are, and I'll pay attention to that in the coming weeks and see if that awareness can help avoid the situations that set me off. Also, we use Rescue Remedy quite a bit, but I'd never thought to use it when I want to yell. I'll definitely try it next time I'm feeling edgy!


I also wanted to say I recently learned a very simple breathing technique. It goes 4-7-8. You breathe in through your nose for a count of 4, then hold for a count of 7, then breathe out (either through nose or mouth) for a count of 8. The important thing is the long out breath. That helps your body regulate the sympathetic nervous system, which is almost always highly activated when we get the urge to yell. The trick with this breathing exercise is not just to do it when you're feeling triggered, but throughout the day to help prevent the trigger setting off your nervous system. I've been doing this for only four days now but I do see a difference in being generally more relaxed. It is so easy to do and I am not usually good at doing "practices", but this one can be done anytime anywhere so I am managing pretty well.


I also sometimes do snake breath (just going "sssssssssssssssssssssss") in the heat of the moment when I feel like yelling. It always puzzles my son when I do it (he's a toddler) and once he even started doing it too and I had to laugh...which totally broke up the anger! But it does help me not to yell in that moment.

post #34 of 38

subbing. this i so helpful.

post #35 of 38

Thank you so much for this thread.


There has been so much useful - sage advice on here.


I am a yeller, which I hate and want / need to change. I don't want this to be my life, but it is. How can a 2 1/2 year old push me to my limit? It is absolutley ridiculous. But, he does.

This has been my internal monologue for what feels like forever. It is definitely too long, anyway


I know it is normal toddler stuff, nothing that I am not surprised by.


All my friends and family would describe me as patient and laid-back, nothing ever riles me. Man, if only they could be a fly on a wall in our house. I don't want the most important people in my life to see me like this. I am literally a different person and not in a good way. Don't they deserve the best of us?


Thank you, thank you, thank you, I will be trying all of these things. I know the way I am now will effect who my children become. I am so mindful of that, and it worries me trremendously.


Thank you for the little prayer. It brought tears to my eyes.


Peace, love and blessings to you all.

post #36 of 38

I am very grateful for this thread. I did not make to read all posts yet, but I want to recommend a book which helped me a lot (among others) to understand why kids act the way they act and how we can help them to overcome their distress and discouragement.


Alyson Schafer: Honey I wrecked the kids




Good Luck



post #37 of 38

Great thread!!

post #38 of 38

A positive experience from today:


We were having one of those awful days where I was about to lose it by 7:30 a.m.  By 3, I had run through all of my usual coping techniques, lost my temper and forced myself to calm down and regroup over and over again.  Things were not improving.  So...I used the "if you can't say anything nice don't say anything" rule.  I said maybe 10 words in 2 hours, and instead, I focused on non-verbal communication, and just observing my daughter.  We both calmed waaaay down, and by the end, it was almost like a game.  I actually felt like playing!  When she asked one of her millions of questions, I answered with action/inaction.  When she asked a yes or no question, I nodded my head, which required us to look at each other while we spoke.  When she made one of her bazillions of random statements, I'd smile or frown (or whatever).  Instead of asking her to do things and her saying no, I just help up her shorts with a questioning look, and she would hold out her foot for me to start putting them on her.  It really did change my perspective enough to break me out of my funk. Thought I'd share, in hopesit might be a trick that works for others, too.

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