Three Important Steps To Take After Yelling At Your Kids

Three Important Steps To Take After Yelling At Your Kids

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. 

It’s just unrealistic to think that with all the stressors of daily life that you might not at some point yell at your child.

Most important isn’t being perfect but isntead being willing to recover.

 The 3 steps for how to recover from yelling at your child

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 

  1. Rewind: Acknowledge internally that you have said something hurtful or rude
  2. Repair: Apologize for not only what you said, but how you did it.
  3. 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 

yelling at kids how to recover

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

Keep Calm and Deal with Defiance 

What are the moments in which you find yourself most likely to yell?

Peace & Be Well,


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Ariadne is a happy and busy mama to three children. She practices peaceful, playful, responsive parenting and is passionate about all things parenting and chocolate. Ariadne has a Masters in Psychology and is a certified Positive Discipline Parenting Educator. She lives on top of a beautiful mountain with her family, and one cuddly dog.

7 Responses to Three Important Steps To Take After Yelling At Your Kids

  1. I love the fact that the third step is to replay, to go back and do it over. Someone once said, “It’s not as much what we do but what we do after what we have done that makes the difference.” Sometimes we mess up but these steps can really make a difference to reconnect and set things on the right foot again.

  2. I’ve done this forever with my children (they are now adults) I thought this was just common sense?

  3. when I slip and yell, I hold that moment in compassion, and do what this article outlined. What a great opportunity to model compassionate, honest, kind behavior! If they see us do it, they will apply that model to their own life, quickly repairing errors in judgement to the benefit of their future interactions and relationships. Isn’t that nice?

  4. Common sense is not common! I can’t believe you haven’t noticed that people cause harm with their ignorance, not realizing the damage they are causing. It would have been great if my dad had done this after he yelled at me!

  5. I realised that when my child did something naughty that I couldn’t handle I put her in time out – really she had just pushed my buttons and I was too annoyed to deal with it so she went to time out. Then it happened again and i said, I’m too angry right now, I need a moment to calm down then we can talk about it. I sat on the couch with eyes closed, relaxed my shoulders and Took some deep breathes. When I opened my eyes she was beside me wanting to talk about what had just happened. By then I was calm and we could talk about what had happened

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