When you think back to your life before you were a parent, you probably had an idea of what kind of parent you would be. You may have visions of cuddling and playing sports and watching movies with your kids, but you probably never imagined yourself years down the line seeking parenting tips to help you stop yelling at your children. In a world where corporal punishment is generally frowned upon, parents have turned to their voices as the most severe consequence for their children.
Research shows that consistent yelling at a child has negative consequences and can fracture the communication between parent and child. Not to mention the fact that children tend not to listen when they are being yelled at, so you end up not achieving the end goal you had hoped for. Depending upon their families and their cultures parents have varying tolerance for yelling in the home. But if you are here to learn how to curb the raised voices in your household, we have some parenting tips that will help.
Set Clear Boundaries
Are you constantly yelling at your child over the same issue? The problem might be that clear boundaries haven’t been set on that specific issue. For example, if you yell at your child a dozen times over a day to stop fighting with their sibling one of a few things may be happening. First, it may be the case that your child defines fighting differently than you do. What you see as a fight, they see as play. In that case, you need to clearly outline your expectations. It’s also possible that your child knows what he or she is doing but knows that the only consequence is dad yelling so they keep doing it. In this case, the boundary that the parents need to set is clear consequences for the behavior. Popular parenting tips for establishing boundaries in situations like this include calling a family meeting to discuss expectations or even posting a list of rules somewhere in your home that everyone can see.
Give Yourself Space
As much as we all love our children, sometimes we need a little bit of space to ourselves to collect our thoughts so we can return to them feeling positive and loving. If you’re in a situation with your children where you feel your anger starting to creep in, take a quick bathroom break, or sneak off for a glass of water. All you need is enough time to take a few deep breaths, collect your thoughts, and remember your role in the situation.
Remember Who You’re Talking To
It’s easy to forget sometimes that you’re talking to a child whose brain isn’t yet fully developed. As bright and mature as your child is she is still just a child. Don’t fall into the trap of hold her accountable to the reasoning skills of an adult peer. The truth is, undergirding this whole idea of establishing a yell-free home is a need for collective empathy. Next time you’re tempted to lash out at a child for something they’ve done, stop yourself for a moment and consider who you’re talking to. How old are they, what kind of person are they, how do you want to make them feel?
Understand Your Own Emotions
If you want to eliminate yelling in your household you need to get to the bottom of your own emotions. There is only so much time you can spend hiding in the bathroom and deep breathing. Take for example your child who keeps jumping off the back of the couch. What is the emotion you are feeling that leads you to yell at them? Are you mad that they aren’t listening to you? Probably. Are you afraid that they’ll get hurt? Definitely. In this case, maybe the emotion that is fueling your anger is fear. Having the ability to tap into your emotions and call them what they are will help you gain control over them. Now rather than yelling “I told you not to jump off the couch” again, you can communicate more calmly from a place of concern. The truth is, these parenting tips may not eliminate your child’s bad behavior but they will help you control your own.
No matter how many parenting tips you read, most of us are going to slip up and yell at our children from time to time. But the good news is that our job as parents isn’t to be perfect but to lead by example. Next time you feel regret for having yelled at your children, tell them. When you openly apologize to them, they learn from you. Set an example for how to own your mistakes when you make them.
For the record, you are a great parent and your children are lucky to have you. The simple fact that you are interested in adopting parenting tips to help minimize the yelling in your home speaks volumes. When you cultivate a calm household you and your children will feel happier and safer. For more parenting tips, follow along on our blog, and for information about sending your child to St. Barnabas School, contact us today.