7 Life-Changing Steps to Help You Stop Yelling at Your Kids

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Do you yell at your kids? It is easy to do when you are a mom. One minute you are fine, and the next minute you’re so angry you could snatch your kid bald-headed.

You can not take one more minute of your kids fighting, the dog barking, and the phone ringing all at once.

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Child missing a shoe. 7 Life-Changing Steps to Help You Stop Yelling at Your Kids

Many times, it is that one little thing at the end of the day that sets you off. Before you know it, even the dog is running for cover.

As moms, we are constantly pulled at all ends. We are expected to do it all, and act like we have everything under control. Sometimes it is too much, and we snap.

In this post, we are going to talk about yelling, what it does to your kids, and how to stop for good.

RELATED: Teacher Secrets to Help You Get to Your Child’s Heart


What Is Yelling? When Is It Okay?

Webster defines yelling as to cry out in a loud, clear sound or shout.

Yelling or screaming should be saved for times of emergency. If your child is about to touch the stove, walk out in the street, or do some other harmful behavior then it is okay.

Yelling on a daily basis is not good for behavior management. If you overuse your loud voice it loses it potency and becomes ineffective. In fact, it starts to have a negative outcome.

Is Yelling Wrong?

I think most of us know screaming and yelling is wrong, yet we still do it. It feels good to get that release out. It is almost like the valve on an instant pot.

Unfortunately, I don’t think we realize when we yell at our children there is a mess to clean up afterward. The words we spew on to our kids drop like poison in the air and contaminate their hearts.

The worst feeling is when you know you have gone too far. You can see it in their eyes. And you hear it in their cries.

Regret sets in. You realize you have broken that sacred trust as a protector. Now you have become the verbal abuser you swore you would never be.

We have probably all lost it once or twice as moms. But when you yell at your children daily, that becomes a different story.

Many of you may not even know you are yelling. It is important to define yelling so you know if this is something you do.

RELATED: The Best Way to Raise a Smart Child Who Is Wise

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Sad pre-teen sitting on the floor next to a brick wall. 7 Life-Changing Steps to Help You Stop Yelling at Your Kids


What Happens When You Yell at Your Kids

1. Withdraw Due to Fear

When you yell at your kids, they want to withdraw. Hide. Runaway. Anything to get away from you. They are scared of you. 

2. Hate

When you yell at your kids, they will develop a deep sense of hate for the one who is yelling.  Yelling is nothing more than verbal and emotional abuse.

3 Powerless

Children feel powerless when a parent is yelling at them. There is nothing they can do but sit there and take it. Once a child is old enough to be in charge, there will be retribution.

4. Lie

Kids tend to lie sometimes. If you add yelling, then there is more of a chance they will say anything to keep the peace. They would rather take their chance on a lie than to hear screaming.

It is easy to develop a habit of lying when you live with a person who yells.

5. Repeat

When you yell at your kids they tend to scream back at you. This is the way they have been taught to deal with their problems. This pattern gets carried over to the next generation.

RELATED: When You Feel Like You Have Failed as a Parent

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Purchase your ebook or paperback on Amazon or at your favorite digital store. 

7 Life-Changing Steps to Help You Stop Yelling at Your Kids

1. Breathe

Pause. Take a deep breath. Calm yourself down before you say anything. Count to ten in your head to get your mind off the situation.

2. Step Outside Yourself

Pretend like a videotape is recording you. Would you be embarrassed if you played it back and watched yourself? Or if others watched you? In fact, someone is watching you. Your kids and God.

3. Listen

Listen to your child explain the situation. This will give you more time to calm down and think. You don’t want to overreact because you didn’t know all the details.

4. Measure Your Words

Carefully speak your words in a way that is neutral. State the facts and calmly give the consequences. Try to keep your emotions out of it.

5. Step Away For a Minute

If you can’t control yourself, excuse yourself for a couple of minutes until you can calm down. Go to your room and think about what just happened.

6. Pray For God to Help You

Go before God and confess your impatience, anger, and frustration to Him. Ask Him to give you a heart for your children that is loving, kind, and slow to anger.

Write down scriptures on notecards that are pertinent to your anger. Put in a place you will see every day. Renew your thinking with the truth. Remind yourself daily that God loves your kids, and He can help you raise them in a home that is full of love and peace.

RELATED: How to Pray for Your Kids in Your War Room

7. Get Help

If you continue to yell at your kids, you need help. Find a counselor. There are very few times when you truly need to raise your voice at your kids. Your kids deserve a parent who is in control.

Instead of yelling, catch your child doing good things. Praise those behaviors over and over. This is a tactic I use in the classroom, and it works beautifully every single day at home too. 

RELATED: Parental Anxiety: 7 Breakthrough Tips To Calm Yourself Down

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Does Yelling Even Work?

Yelling at your kids is not effective. As a society, we have bought into the lie that yelling is okay because it gets results. You may get compliance short-term, but long-term it is a parenting tactic based on fear.

Fear-based parenting is destructive. It destroys the overall relationship. Years and years of yelling rot the foundation for a friendship when your child is an adult.

You can parent your child using logical and appropriate consequences without ever raising your voice. You are the parent. Act like one. Be reasonable and fair, but enforce your family rules calmly.

For more help, check out this article on Three Important Steps to Take After Yelling at Your Kids. It will help you go back and heal the relationship.

Do you yell at your kids? What do you do to stop?


Do You Have Big Family Problems? There is Help and Hope!

Are you experiencing family problems or even an estrangement? Do you feel shame, anger, or rejection? Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store. 

This book not only talks about my seven-year estrangement from my Christian family, but it also gives solid tips to help you with your own family problems. Break free from your pain. Allow God to heal you no matter what has happened in your family of origin. There is hope when your family falls apart.

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Get Creating Family Memories. This book will help you manage your family in a way that allows more time to be intentional with your kids.  It includes a schedule too. You can get it at your favorite bookstore.

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  1. Britta on March 15, 2019 at 11:38 am

    Thank you so much for writing this! My grandma grew up in an extremely abusive home, she did a little better (but was still abusive), and my mom did a much better job… but she also did a lot of wacking, chasing and yelling. I do think I am a very calm, relaxed and loving mother, but I definitely have that “repeat” thing happening. I’ve noticed that in the tough moments when I can’t control, I tend to be a “hollering” mother. I don’t want that. This article really helped me! Thank you for the pointers on how to take control. I am hoping that my children will be great parents because I was able to get rid of the pattern of yelling once and for all 🙂

    • Julie Plagens on March 23, 2019 at 3:18 pm

      Britta, thank you for opening up. It is hard not to repeat something you learned as a child. I think the best way to keep from passing it on to the next generation is to forgive those who have hurt you and release the rest to God. Keep catching yourself. I believe you can do it!

  2. Ziaul Hasan on May 29, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Very good write up with nice images…thank you

  3. Patrice on May 28, 2018 at 3:12 am

    I don’t have children as yet but I agree I
    Remember being shouted at a lot growing up and it doesn’t help your kids will just show down.

    Love Patrice x


    • Julie Plagens on June 2, 2018 at 8:33 pm

      Patrice, I am so sorry about the yelling you experienced growing up. Hopefully, it is not something you will repeat with your kids.

  4. Christopher Mitchell on May 27, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    I think you bring up some great points here. It can really be so hard not to lose your cool even though that’s the best thing for a situation!

    • Julie Plagens on June 2, 2018 at 8:34 pm

      Christopher, yes, it is hard not to lose it every once in a while. It is definitely not good to do it, though.
      Thanks for your comment.

  5. Denni on May 26, 2018 at 10:48 am

    I really cant stand people who raise their voice at children. Is a kid you need to explain to him not loosing it. How are you educating the kid if you cant control yourself

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      Denni, yes, it is hard to hear others yelling. It is good to control yourself so you can be appropriate for the kids. Thanks for your comment.

  6. Agentszerozerosetter on May 26, 2018 at 7:00 am

    Sometimes beeing calm can be so hard! But is a basic important point to solve in the better way every situation!

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:09 pm

      it is hard to be calm sometimes. I have to really think to myself to calm down before I speak. Thanks for your comment.

  7. Alison Rost on May 26, 2018 at 3:24 am

    There will be incidents like this as a parent. I realized though, how much it affects your child mentally and emotionally. It’s really important that we take that to consideration. It’s good to breathe and wait until we’re ready to talk about it, instead of yelling at the kids.

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:10 pm

      Alison, this is so true. It does affect a child when you continually yell. Thanks for your time reading this.

  8. Ana Ojha on May 25, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    I don’t have kids but I totally agree with you that there’re better ways to handle any child than yelling! The same goes for adults too. I have seen in the corporate world that employees usually hate their bosses who yell publically!

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:11 pm

      Ana, yelling across the board is not productive. I get more done when I am not terrified.
      Thanks for your comment.

  9. Princess Quinn on May 25, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    I am guilty of this. ugh! I try so hard to be calm but sometimes I can’t hold it in. Ill follow these tips!

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:12 pm

      I am glad you are going to work on it. It is hard to not yell. Breathing goes a long way. Thanks for being honest!

  10. lavandamichelle on May 25, 2018 at 6:25 am

    What a wonderful post! I used to yell at my kids, my mom used to yell at me and my siblings, and my grandmother yelled at my mom. But I realized that it just hurts them and raising your voices teaches them to do that when a problem occurs rather than solve it in mature and calm fashion. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:13 pm

      Lavanda, I am glad you can see the cycle of yelling in your family. It is hard to break. We tend to do what our parents do. Thanks for your comment.

  11. Kiwi on May 25, 2018 at 12:23 am

    I am not a parent yet but I do believe in excessive yelling is probably very traumatizing. There is a difference between disciplining and being a little stern verses yelling out of pure anger and frustration and not being in control of your emotional and diverting it on the child.

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:15 pm

      Kiwi, I totally agree. There is a time for being serious and stern. I totally believe in discipline. It is possible to hand out a fair punishment without losing it. Thanks for your comment.

  12. Brittany on May 24, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    I think that yelling at our children isn’t really doing anything for them but just scares them!

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:16 pm

      Brittany, yelling isn’t very effective. Dealing with the problem calmly makes for a better situation. Thanks for your comment.

  13. Rachel on May 24, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    I don’t have children of my own yet, but I definitely agree. Of course, my relationship with my own mother is not perfect, and there have been times where I felt like I was on the receiving end of undeserved yelling. Looking back and knowing that I can’t change the past, I think it is important for me now to understand that my mother wasn’t criticizing me as a human being but needed an emotional outlet. It probably was not the best option, but at least I know that I’m not to blame.

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:17 pm

      Rachel, I am glad you realize some of the issues that happened at your home. It is important to forgive those who didn’t realize how their hurtful words affected you. Thanks for your comment.

  14. What Corinne Did on May 24, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    I can’t remember my parents actually yelling at us. They have been pissed at us more than once but I can’t remember them being furious to the point they’d yell

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:18 pm

      Corrine, you are blessed. Not many kids today can say this. Thanks for your comment.

  15. Carol Cassara on May 24, 2018 at 9:58 am

    I think it’s really important to analyze this if you’re a parent. I feel like I have no say in it, but then again, I was once a child too and if a parent yelled at me, it definitely lowered my confidence. These are good ways that parents can limit or stop their yelling.

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:20 pm

      Carol, I am glad you can see the way yelling affects others by your own experience as a child. You can see yelling didn’t help you any. Thanks for commenting.

  16. EscapeWriters on May 24, 2018 at 4:05 am

    I think no body in this world loves yelling at their children.. There are some events when we have to yell/scream as you mentioned like when you find your child is in danger, not be with u while crossing the traffic. So the root cause of yelling need not be our own frustration. If anyone of us yelling too much than one should seriously settle down his/her problems first.

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:21 pm

      Most of the time, we are so frustrated about not only our child’s behavior but something else. It is good to figure out the something else. Thanks for your comment.

  17. Cristina Coroiu on May 24, 2018 at 3:04 am

    My mom did yell at us from time to time. But we did tend to be active kids and draw all over the house. So I get why she lost her temper. I agree with you, yelling from time to time it’s ok as long as you explained to the kid after why you got so angry and say that you still love him. Yelling every day will just make the kid to ignore or even hate you. I’m curious how I will be as a mother 🙂

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:23 pm

      Cristina, I hope you will remember the feeling of yelling. Instead of yelling, just give the punishment and enforce it. I bet you will be a great mom. Thanks for your comment.

  18. Flyingkids on May 23, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    These are really good tips. Parents should read this article. Very insightful.

  19. Kate Andrews on May 23, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    I don’t have kids but this is something I think about a lot. I feel like it was more effective when my mom spoke to me in a low tone and looked me straight in the eye. It was terrifying!

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:25 pm

      Kate, so true! My mom had “that look.” That did more than anything! Thanks for your comment,

  20. Ramesh on May 23, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    Children are very sensitive,I think yelling at them is not a solution. But yes sometimes we need to do if we see them going out of track. Interesting topic. Thanks for sharing.

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:28 pm

      Ramesh, kids are sensitive. You are right. I believe they should be disciplined, just without a lot of drama that complicates the situation. Thanks for your comment.

  21. Wiki on May 23, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Hello ,

    I saw your tweet about animals and thought I will check your website. I like it!

    I love pets. I have two beautiful thai cats called Tammy(female) and Yommo(male). Yommo is 1 year older than Tommy. He acts like a bigger brother for her. 🙂
    I have even created an Instagram account for them ( https://www.instagram.com/tayo_home/ ) and probably soon they will have more followers than me (kinda funny).

    I have subscribed to your newsletter. 🙂

    Keep up the good work on your blog.


    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:47 pm

      Thanks, Wiki. I appreciate you subscribing.

  22. Brandy on May 23, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    No, I really don’t yell. There are times I have raised my voice, but it’s a rare occasion and when I do the kids are like who are you. Ha! No, but in all seriousness, the kids haven’t been raised around a “yeller”, it’s not my style. I prefer to talk to them like their mini-adults in many ways, get down to their level and have a chat. I’ve also been known to say, “Mama needs a moment. I will be back to deal with you in a moment ..” and I walk out of the room, collect my thoughts and return. I hope this teaches them how to handle overwhelming situations in a healthy way when they’re adults.

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:31 pm

      Good for you! Glad you have a way to deal with your frustration. You are an awesome mom. Thanks for your comment.

  23. Ally on May 23, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    I completely agree with you. I definitely do not think that yelling is a good way to get your point across to your children, there will be far more negative side effects than positive ones.

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:32 pm

      Ally, I am so glad that you don’t think yelling is effective. Thanks for your comment.

  24. brandon hudson on May 23, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    While I do not have children of my own, I volunteer and work with children. These tips were useful and I will try to use them to help foster better relations with kids.

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:33 pm

      Brandon, I am glad you will use these tips when you work with kids. Thanks for your comment.

  25. Chuck G on May 23, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    I think all parents could use a lesson in anger management with kids. Yes they can be a handful, but screaming at them only makes it worse, not better. Thank you for this!

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:35 pm

      Chuck, yes, I agree. I think keeping the attention on the situation is better than adding to it with yelling. Thanks for your comment.

  26. Lisa on May 23, 2018 at 11:11 am

    I needed this post about 25 years ago when I was yelling at my kids. I have seen the effects it has on them now as adults (and one a parent herself who, take a guess, yells at her kids) I pray every day that cycle can be broken that was caused by my mistakes.

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:37 pm

      Lisa, I am so sorry. I hope that the cycle is broken, too. You can always pray for a change. Thanks for your comment.

  27. Robert Hoffman on May 23, 2018 at 10:30 am

    I agree, yelling is typically wrong, and I almost always regret having to resort to that. On the other hand, like swearing, chronic use is ridiculous but using it for effect can sometimes be effective. As in “this is important”, and those are the moments in particular that I try to come back to once I’ve calmed down, explain why I was so upset and what was so important,… after I’ve apologized for yelling.

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:39 pm

      Robert, I can see your point. Every once in a while we can have a good effect when we raise our voice. It gets their attention. Thanks for your comment.

  28. Hadas Aharon on May 23, 2018 at 9:14 am

    I don’t have kids, but I treat my dog like my daugther 😀 I agree with your thoughts though, it is preferable not to raise your voice.

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:40 pm

      Hades, I think that is cute. Thanks for your comment.

  29. Sarah Bailey on May 23, 2018 at 8:43 am

    These sound like some good tips to help parents out when it comes to yelling. I have to admit I don’t remember my parents really yelling at me when I was a child.

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:41 pm

      I am so glad they didn’t yell. I bet you won’t yell either. Thanks for your comment.

  30. Amber Myers on May 23, 2018 at 7:43 am

    Yup, I yell. I try not to do it all the time, but if no one listens after I say it 3 times, I’m raising my voice. Suddenly, people listen to me!

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:43 pm

      Great strategy. Sometimes a louder voice gets a kids attention. You don’t have to yell to do that. Thanks for your comment.

  31. Msddah on May 23, 2018 at 7:09 am

    I honestly hate yelling and hate giving it out too. But this are great to have in mind as a parent. Great post

    • Julie Plagens on May 23, 2018 at 7:29 am

      Thanks for your comment. Yelling is tough to hear!

  32. LiveLoveAndAdventure on May 22, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    Thanks for your post. There are definitely better ways to handle things with your children than yelling at them since you sometimes can say things you don’t mean or stress them out even more unintentionally.

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:44 pm

      Very true! It does stress out kids more when we yell. Thanks for your comment.

  33. Cassie on May 22, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    This is a very informative post. You make a lot of good points

  34. Mika on May 22, 2018 at 11:24 am

    I totally agree with “being reasonable and fair, but enforcing your family rules calmly”. This is how I personally grew up so I can relate to this.

    • Julie Plagens on May 23, 2018 at 7:31 am

      I am so glad your family didn’t yell. That makes it much better for you. Thanks for your comment,

  35. Monique Elise on May 21, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    “Fear-based parenting is destructive” – such a powerful note! I think it’s important to lead by example and teach your children to deal with frustrations/anger in healthy ways.

    • Julie Plagens on May 22, 2018 at 8:46 am

      Monique, thanks for your comment. I am so glad you agree.

  36. Elizabeth O on May 21, 2018 at 10:41 am

    This is an interesting article indeed. It was useful to read your thoughts on yelling and the affect it may have on little ears.

    • Julie Plagens on May 22, 2018 at 8:46 am

      Elizabeth, thanks for commenting. I hope it will be helpful to you.

  37. Ivan on May 21, 2018 at 9:59 am

    I have to agree that some ladies do lose it when they have so many things to think about and so many responsibilities to juggle. If that happens, make it a point to comfort your child afterwards and explain what happened and why it happened.


    • Julie Plagens on May 22, 2018 at 8:47 am

      Thanks for your comment, Ivan. I appreciate your thoughts.

  38. Elizabeth on May 21, 2018 at 6:48 am

    I think it’s important for kids to realise that their parents are humans too and do make mistakes. Life isn’t a rolling field of marshmallows and unicorns; there are real life things to deal with. I think, in this day and age, my occasional yelling at my kids is the least likely thing to damage them long term.

    • Anonymous on May 21, 2018 at 9:12 am

      Elizabeth, I am laughing at your analogy; it is pretty funny. I agree. As parents, we do lose it sometimes. I am talking about a daily habit. There is really no reason to yell constantly because it will backfire on you eventually.
      I am a teacher. I see what it does to students when you yell at them. If it were an effective teaching tool, it would have been taught in college.
      Can you imagine your kids getting yelled at every day at school by their teacher? I am sure you would be at school talking to the principal because you would see your child is starting to close up and be scared.
      The same thing happens at home if you yell a lot. I know this first hand.
      Next time you yell, step out of yourself and look at your child’s face. See what it is doing.

  39. Luci on May 21, 2018 at 12:43 am

    I’m not a parent but I am an aunt and I do not like it when my sister yells at her kids. Its doesn’t help anything at all, I feel that it makes it worse.

    • Julie Plagens on May 21, 2018 at 9:14 am

      I get really upset when I watch people yell at their kids. There was a preacher that yelled. I never went back to hear another sermon because it made terrified. Some of that is due to be yelled at.

  40. Clair on May 20, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    Great post! I have found myself numerous times to be a yelling mom, and it always ends with everyone upset. The yelling may feel good during the moment, but never feels good after it is over. I love all the things you have listed out to do when you are caught up in the moment of yelling. If we just step away and catch a grip, we will find ourselves realizing that yelling isn’t going to get us anywhere.

    • Julie Plagens on May 21, 2018 at 9:16 am

      Clair, I am so glad you are seeing this. I have yelled before too. I still have a relationship that is not right because I yelled. I am really grieved about it.
      Thanks for your honesty.

  41. Annie on May 20, 2018 at 10:40 am

    After I accidentally yell at my kids, I use it as a teaching moment. I tell them what I did wrong and how I could have done it better. We all make emotionally charged mistakes. I hope I can teach them to be emotionally mature through my example.

    • Julie Plagens on May 21, 2018 at 9:18 am

      Annie, that is so good! I am glad you are able to turn a bad situation into a learning moment. I bet you are an awesome mom! Thanks for your comment.

  42. Nailil on May 20, 2018 at 9:40 am

    I admit that I yell on a daily basis. This post however, has made me rethink my yelling.

    • Julie Plagens on May 21, 2018 at 9:20 am

      Nailil, I am glad you are rethinking things. As a teacher, I have found that if I jump on all the positives my kids are doing, the other kids try and do the same thing. It is amazing what positive reinforcement does to a child. They want the love.

  43. Lyosha on May 20, 2018 at 9:03 am

    I don’t think yelling is ok. It was the worst to me when I was a kid. And my husband is stilll having huge issues because his mother used to yell at him as punishment. He is always stressed whenever people raise their voices even if it’s just emotional for example during the video game or things like that

    • Julie Plagens on May 26, 2018 at 10:46 pm

      Lyosha, I can understand his anxiety. Yelling can bring back bad memories. It’s good to remember this as an adult. Thanks for your comment.

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