Yelling at Kids: How to Recover from a Total Disconnect from Your Child
Mama, you are yelling at me and I don’t appreciate that! – my five year old
Sometimes, no matter how positive and peaceful we intend to be… we react.
Sometimes we react badly…we yell! we say mean things! we wish for a break!!!!!
Then we end up totally disconnected from our kids.
If you ever do that, yell and then feel terrible, or defeated, or guilty, you are not alone. In a survey from the University of New Hampshire, out of 1,000 parents 90% admitted to yelling when they felt at the end of their rope.
That 90% is a big number so if you find yourself yelling, even if it’s not what you wish you were doing, you are certainly NOT the only parent doing it.
While yelling is not a positive or effective way to address our children and learning not to yell is totally worthwhile, here I want to share 3 steps for how to recover from a yelling or angry moment.
Learning to recover when we make a mistake helps restore connection with our child. It also models important skills to your children. Skills they will need when they feel angry or annoyed too. Most of all taking the time to follow these three steps will helps you shift the mood at home from tension and frustration back into a more positive, loving mood.
Here Are Three Steps You can Take After Yelling At Your Child To Restore Your Relationship
Rewind: Acknowledge internally that you have said something hurtful or rude
Repair: Apologize for not only what you said, but how you did it.
Replay: Try again, this time responding with kindness and the intent to connect.
Here is an example of how I used these steps after my son pointed out I was yelling one evening:
To self: Oops! I lost it and yelled. I’m at the end of my rope. I have to stop and repair this. (rewind)
To my child: I yelled at you, which was totally the wrong way to tell you want I wanted. I am sorry for yelling and for not using a respectful voice. I love you. (repair)
To my child: I’d like to start over. I see you didn’t hang up your coat or put your shoes away. Can you tell me what your plan is?
My child to me: I’m going to do it now. I know I keep forgetting a lot. Sorry about that.
It’s not unusual for parents to feel annoyed, overwhelmed, bothered or even down right angry. Every parent has something that might set them off at one time or another. Some parents have what seems like an infinite reserve of patience. Others, well, not so much.
What triggers your yelling? Maybe it is undone chores, skipped naps, the spills, the tears, the teasing…the car will not start, the laundry is piling up?
Life gets busy. We all have expectations, worries, plans and stress. You might yell and regret it very much. I get that. I’ve been there.
Be kind to yourself and take breaks when you can. If it helps you, remember this:
Even if we can’t parent in the most nurturing ways all the time, the more often we can, the more our children get what they need, the better they will be able to weather the times when we parent in less nurturing ways. –Pam Leo, Connection Parenting
Here are some fantastic resources to stop yelling:
I like this short video from Dr. G. because she is honest about her own yelling, plus her tips are spot on (especially about making eye contact!)
These two posts are also excellent:
How To Stop Yelling At Kids by Dr. Laura Markham
100 Alternatives to Yelling from The Orange Rhino
What are the moments in which you find yourself most likely to yell?
Peace & Be Well,