Are you a yeller? Do you find yourself yelling more than you’d like? A lot of parents do. There is so much on our plates these days it seems everyone is stressed and short-fused.
It can be hard to stop yelling once you are in the pattern as a family. Sometimes a family member is being triggered and doesn’t even realize it. Sometimes parents are simply fatigued and just have no patience. Other times, maybe you’ve given the instruction one too many times and you are tired of your kids not listening. At that point, many parents think yelling is the only option that is left.
The problem with all of these is that yelling, for any reason, damages the person and damages the relationship. That is definitely not what we, as parents, are intending. So, if you find yourself yelling and would like another way, here are a few tips:
Tip #1: Don’t engage when you’re angry. Deal with your anger first and separately, and then come back to the conversation … respectfully.
Tip #2: Find a way to decompress. You need to let off steam on a regular basis so you have the capacity to be patient and kind in those hard moments. What do you enjoy doing? Maybe it’s exercise or a movie or a massage, swimming, beach time, etc. Whatever that is, find a way to fit it into your schedule. It will help.
Tip #3: Let go of blaming. As soon as we point fingers at our children, it creates a defensive posture. It puts us at odds. Sit down peacefully (after you have dealt with your anger) so you can have a real conversation (conversations mean both people get a chance to speak). Find out what is not working and work towards a resolution.
Tip #4: Re-evaluate your expectations. It’s important to consider the age of your child, what you are asking for and if that is reasonable. If it is reasonable, have a conversation instead of yelling or blaming. Find out WHY what you want done is not happening. Then work on a solution together. If you realize what you are asking for is not reasonable, don’t remove the expectation without a conversation. Talk about it and let your child know you were asking for too much and you are sorry. You want to clean the slate so you can both move forward without resentment.
Tip #5: Clean up the past. If you have been a yeller, let your kids know up front that you don’t want to be that kind of parent. This is not where you say, “If you would just do XYZ, I wouldn’t have to yell.” This is where you say, “I’m responsible for how I behave. And it’s not okay to yell at you. I’m sorry. I’m going to find another way.” Get a third party to help if needed. (It’s really important to get support, if you can’t make the shift without it.)
Some of these ideas may seem foreign and you have no idea how to get there. That’s totally understandable. We don’t learn these skills growing up and we don’t learn them when we start having kids. I offer a free no obligation 15-minute phone consultation and would be happy to assist you in shifting the dynamics so you and your children can experience more harmony. You may also sign up for our free weekly newsletter at www.alovingway.com. We send out articles, tips and helpful insights regularly.
Remember, the investment you make in your relationship with your children will always pay off. When each of us takes our last breath, THAT is what will have mattered.
Traci L. Williams is the Founder of A Loving Way to Parent. She provides parenting classes, groups and coaching. She is known for her practical parenting style and can be reached directly at 951-240-1407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.