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yelling at your kids

How to Stop Yelling at Your Kids: 7 Easy Tips to Be a Calm Parent

Are you yelling at your kids all the time? It is easy to do when you are a parent. One minute you are fine, and the next minute you’re so angry you could snatch your kid bald-headed! Ha!

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 overwhelmed and angry because we are expected to juggle everything and then act like we are not frazzled when posting on Instagram.

But is it working?

If you are yelling at your kids, check out what it is doing to them. More importantly, learn how to stop yelling at your kids and be a calm parent.

RELATED: How to Discipline Kids: 29 Easy Ways to Get Kids to Obey

What Is Yelling? When Is It Okay?

Webster defines yelling as crying 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 behavior management. If you overuse your loud voice it loses its potency and becomes ineffective. In fact, it starts to have a negative outcome.

Can Yelling at a Child be Harmful?

You may be thinking, Okay, Really? Can yelling at a child cause trauma? But down deep, I think most of us know screaming and yelling are wrong.

The psychological effects of yelling at a child can be devastating. 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 are yelling at your kids daily, that becomes a different story.

Many of you may not even know you are yelling at your kids. It is important to start watching yourself so you can stop.  What you don’t realize is that you could be making things worse when you raise your voice.

RELATED: I highly recommend listening to the Crazy Cool Family podcast to help you parent in a more healthy way.

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What are the Effects of Yelling at Your Child?

There are at least 6 long-term effects of yelling at a child. Your child may not have all six, but even one side effect of yelling is too much. Check them out and see if this is happening in your home.

1. Withdraw

Yelling will cause your child to want to withdraw. Hide. Runaway. Anything to get away from you and your verbal attacks. Not only that but many times yelling causes kids to feel scared. Is this really how you want your kids to feel when they are around you?

2. Hate

Kids who are yelled at often develop a deep sense of hate and do not even know it.  Yelling is nothing more than verbal and emotional abuse. Sadly, the hatred may stay with your child for years and cause problems in other relationships as an adult.

3 Powerless

When you yell at your kids, they feel powerless. There is nothing they can do but sit there and take it. Many times, shame sets in if the same words are repeated over and over again causing a deep sense of being out of control.

4. Lie

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

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

5. Generational stronghold

When you yell at your kids, they tend to scream back at you when older. You have personally taught them to deal with their problems in this way. This pattern gets carried over to the next generation and sometimes with an increased aggression.

6. Anxiety

Yelling at your child can cause anxiety. When your child does not have a safe space at home, they feel scared and insecure. There is no place to calm down from the “fight or flight” mode, relax, and process what happened.

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

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How to Stop Yelling at Your Kids

If you want to know how to quit yelling at your kids, check out these 7 tips. They will help you calm down and take a minute to think before you explode in an abusive way.

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. If you can’t talk in a calm voice, then practice self-control and close your mouth until you can behave appropriately.

2. Step Outside Yourself

Pretend like a videotape is recording you. Would you be embarrassed if you played it back and watched yourself yelling at your kids? 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. This has been one of the hardest things for me to do. I am not a big yeller, but I like to get in my words…in lecture form.

4. Measure Your Words

Carefully speak your words in a way that is neutral instead of yelling at your kids. State the facts and calmly give the consequences. Try to keep your emotions out of it. Make sure your child knows you love him with not only your words but your tone of voice.

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. Start again at step one and breathe. Repeat the process until you have control over yourself.

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 yelling at your kids, you need help. Most likely, you are being triggered by something in your past. 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 kids 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.

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Is Yelling Effective?

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 there is damage to the 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.

How do you fix a relationship with a child after yelling? Check out this article on Three Important Steps to Take After Yelling at Your Kids. It is great advice on how to make amends for your behavior.

Are you yelling at your kids all the time? What do you do to stop?

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Got Family Problems? There is Help and Hope!

Are you experiencing family problems or even estranged? Are you feeling 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 talks about my seven-year estrangement from my Christian family and 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.

Join the group Christian Family Living on Facebook

Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Family Living. This is a place for Christian women to freely talk about parenting, marriage, faith, family, and culture. Being a Christian is hard! Let’s do it together. Most of all, a sense of humor is required. Got memes? Bring it on!

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87 thoughts on “How to Stop Yelling at Your Kids: 7 Easy Tips to Be a Calm Parent”

  1. 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 🙂

    1. 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. 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

  3. Agentszerozerosetter

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. Princess Quinn

    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!

  7. 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! 🙂

  8. 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.

    1. 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.

  9. 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.

    1. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

    1. 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.

  12. 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 🙂

    1. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

    1. 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.

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  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. “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.

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

  27. 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.

    1. 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.

  28. 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.

    1. 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.

  29. 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.

    1. 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.

  30. 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.

    1. 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.

  31. 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

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