How I Stopped Yelling At My Kids

I come from a long line of professional yellers, stompers and door slammers. I had a PhD in verbal assaults. It was my gift.

Yet, today, I do not yell. I do not yell at my husband or my kids. I would love to say it was the meds for depression and anxiety, but I cut it out even before then. Here is how I did it:

STEP 1: Believe yelling is not okay. When you are screaming at someone, you are not thinking clearly, you have abandoned love and kindness, and … well … it’s hurtful. ¬†Outside of having to yell, “FIRE!” or “MOVE! There’s a train coming!” it’s just plain hurtful. Yelling hurts. It never helps.

STEP 2: Acknowledge your children learn through what you do, more than what you say.”STOP YELLING AT YOUR BROTHER!!!” Um, yeah.

STEP 3: If it’s good enough for your kids, it’s good enough for you. Give your kids permission to say, “Mom, can you please change your voice?” Also, in our house we do something extra for the person we have hurt. So, if I yelled at my kids, I owed them an extra treat or some extra reading time or they could stay up a little later, etc. I have to make a repair for yelling. Just like I ask them to do.

STEP 4: Do not yell at your child the first time they rationally and calmly say, “Mom, can you please change your voice?” You’ll want to, but it’s better to put yourself in a time out … in your room … while you scream into a pillow. Not that I know anything about that.

STEP 5: Yell less and less and less until you are no longer a yeller.