Effective Alternatives to Yelling at Our Kids
I was chatting with another mom at school pick-up recently, and she was telling me a story about how her daughter was screaming so loudly that she was worried about what the neighbors would think. I was secretly relieved to hear this because it made the sometimes overwhelming noise in my house seem normal, too. Some days the decibel level reaches such an alarming high that I feel the need to keep up and start yelling, too just to be heard. This is very frustrating to me because, as a teacher, I always prided myself on not being a “yeller”, so that when the occasion sometimes arose when I might need to raise my voice, the students really knew I was serious. Although I am not a “serial yeller”, I find that with my own children, I sometimes yell more often than I would like. This out of control feeling is one that I really don’t like, so it inspired me to think of ways to keep calm and avoid escalating to the screaming stage. After all, we are the “life” teachers of our children.
Stop and think: is this battle worth fighting and shouting over? I notice that when I am over tired, I am more easily triggered. A situation that I would normally remain calm about when I am well-rested seems extra annoying because my threshold is a lot less.
Keep your voice calm. I have found that if I keep my voice calm, quiet, and firm, my kids are more likely to do the same. It is our job as parents to set the example and model the correct behavior.
Teach your children appropriate ways to express their feelings without emotional outbursts. I’m not suggesting you hush them or negate their feelings when they are truly upset. However, practicing more appropriate ways to handle themselves will set them on the path of being able to do this on their own, eventually.
Think of a grown-up you know who behaves this way. Remind yourself how uncomfortable it is to be near that person and think about what would happen if somebody yelled at YOU all the time. Imagine how low your self-esteem would be!
Most importantly, if you feel yourself losing control, take a break and ask for help. No one is going to stay cool, calm, and collected all of the time, but at least we can try to improve our reactions most of the time.
Meet The Bella Behind the Blog: Kristen Farley is a mother of three and a domestic goddess. She is a former teacher who enjoys spending lots of time with her kids, healthy eating, volunteering at school, and mommy blogging for the masses.