I also know, from my own experience as a child, that certain harsh words that my parents or my grandparents used did hurt a lot, at the time, and I can still hear them today. And because I want my child to not go through the same experiences, I always look for information and techniques on how to manage my negative emotions, so that I can calmly communicate and stop yelling at my child.
Many parents don’t have enough patience and start yelling at their children, although they are aware that this is not the right way to do things and they feel guilty for doing it. And yet, they keep raising their voices, because they were “programmed” to act this way by the behavior of their own parents, who did the same to them.
Other parents only allow themselves to yell at their kids when they’re extremely angry and upset.
What you must know, right from the start, is that when you yell at your child, you need to face two negative consequences:
The child’s self-esteem is affected.
The bond between parent and child is damaged.
When adults scream, children become afraid. The see screaming as an attack, so they either go into fight mode (yell back at you) of flight mode, by trying, physically or emotionally, to remove themselves from the screams.
Kids learn how to communicate by imitating the way we communicate. Parents who scream at their children in order to force them to do something out of fear, will also teach their children to scream at others in order to get what they want.
When parents stop being patient and raise their voices at their children, they simply can’t manage their emotions. And kids also learn that screaming at others is a good way to fight a bad mood.
Here are a few suggestions, pieces of advice and solutions from parents who successfully manage these difficult moments and who have stopped yelling at their children.
Start building new habits
You can start by telling your child that you are trying really hard to manage your emotions so that you will stop yelling at him. Ask for his help: allow him to interrupt you when you start screaming. Here are a few examples of how he can do this in a delicate way.
Decide on a gesture, like covering his ears when you start screaming.
Or he can say: “You are screaming at me and it’s making me uncomfortable” or “Please, speak calmly to me, I know you love me”.
By allowing your child to remind you that you’re yelling, you are protecting his self-esteem, because the child understands that he doesn’t deserve this behavior. It also helps him protect himself without fighting or hiding, and strengthens the parent-child bond, since the child sees that the parent respects his needs and emotions.
And when your child reminds you that you’re yelling, here’s how you can react:
“Thank you for reminding me. I forgot, I was upset.”
“Forgive me, you didn’t deserve this treatment. I don’t like what you did, but this doesn’t mean that I can yell at you.”
“Let’s start over. I am sad, because you won’t agree with me.”
Here are a few suggestions, from parents who fought their anger and their tendency to yell at the child and who found all sorts of creative solutions that help them have more patience and to express their emotions without yelling and without affecting the child’s self-esteem.
So, here are 10 suggestions of ways that you can stop yelling at your child:
1. “As much as possible, allow yourself some personal time, a time when you can relax with a moisturizing mask on your face, while you read or do anything else you love. Do anything you like doing and that makes you feel like you’re taking care of yourself, it will calm you down and bring you joy.”
2. “When I feel like yelling or arguing with my child, I start singing: Wha-aaa-aa-t is haaa-ppening here? And I sing without raising my voice. So, I have my say without yelling.”