How to Stop Yelling At your Kids… or at least try to.

Despite the fact that I have a degree in Early Childhood Education and more than ten years experience working in child care and preschool services, when it comes to this parenting gig I am still struggling with some things, just like everyone else. At the moment, one of my biggest battles is with shouting.

I shout. I shout way too often. I loose it and I rant and rave and yell.

It doesn’t have to be something major to set me off and in the beginning it feels quite good to yell. It feels good to let it out. It feels like this is the only way I can get my message across, the only way I can regain some control. When I begin shouting I feel powerful and totally justified.

But then the moment passes and I suddenly realise what I am doing. I suddenly see and hear this angry person spewing forth angry words on the people I love more than anything in the world. It scares me that I could ever feel like this expression of rage is justifiable and it makes me sad.

When I blogged about not wanting to regret shouting I was surprised at how many people tweeted, commented or emailed to say they felt the same way. It made me feel a little better to know that I was not the only one with a yelling problem but it also made me think. I don’t have all the answers (not by a long shot) and I know this will challenge me (a lot!) but I’m going to work on ways to shout less… who’s with me?

Before I Start Yelling…

It’s always easier to stop something before it begins don’t you think? And it’s easier to be successful at something if you set yourself up for that success. So I’ve been looking at how I can stop yelling before I am even angry. What can I do to change myself and the environment so that I don’t even get to the point of wanting to yell?

Find Your Triggers
After thinking about it for a while I realised that I often loose it and yell when I am frustrated by something other than my children. When I am feeling stretched by everything I have to do, when other things in my life are not going right, when I feel generally stressed and out of control, that is when the little things set me off into that downward spiral of yelling.

While the fact that I take my stress out on my kids was a hard truth to face, it is actually quite liberating in a way. This is something I can actively change. I can’t change the fact that four year olds whine and that seven year olds like to say “It’s not fair” a hundred times a day, but I can change how many things I put on my to do list. I can identify those things that stress me and work out ways to either let them go or deal with them better.

What are your yelling triggers?

A Positive First Response.
The idea is simple…. work out the types of situations that frustrate you and pre-plan a ‘positive first response’.

For example – It really pushes my buttons when my girls whine about how things are ‘so unfair’. When it happens I want to scream at them and tell them not to be ungrateful and send them to their rooms, except I know that won’t achieve anything and that isn’t the way I want to parent. So I sat down and I thought about it. I thought about why they say that, about how they are feeling, about what they understand. I thought about what I could do and say when they say that and I wrote myself a little script.

So now when someone says those fateful words, and I’m in that moment of wanting to yell I don’t have to think too hard to come up with a better response. I can just recite my little script… “Being fair doesn’t mean being equal. Everyone gets what they need when they need it, that is fair.” and hopefully not yell.

When I’m in the Moment…

When I am in the moment… right there… angry and frustrated and feeling unheard. What do I do then? How do I stop myself tipping over the edge and being the crazy shouting Mum?

Walk Away
It seems so obvious, just walk away, but oh boy it can be SO hard for me to do!

When I am on the verge of yelling I need to just take a breath and walk away. I don’t have to engage in whatever the problem is right then, that instant. It is ok for me to step away and come back when I have had a chance to think things through and find some rationality. If it really is a problem it will still be there when I come back to it, or perhaps it’s not such a big deal in the first place and giving the kids a chance to sort it out on their own is a fabulous thing.

Not only does taking a break give me a chance to calm down and not yell, it also shows my children that it is ok to walk away, it is ok not to fight, or to take a moment to yourself when you need it. I think that is an important lesson to teach.

Redirect Your Energy
When my kids lash out at someone or something I often tell them that it is ok to feel like hitting but it is not ok to hurt someone or break something and that they could instead hit a pillow or kick a ball to get that feeling out. I need to take my own advice.

After I’ve walked away I’m going to do some mundane physical activity. I’m going to redirect my frustrated energy into something like folding the washing, or cleaning the bedroom, or gardening. I need an activity that I can do without thinking too much, to give my brain a chance to slow down and think things through, and I need an activity that is physical enough to help get out some of that tension.

What would your mundane activity of choice be?

Make a Funny
Humour is something I’ve been using more and more of late. Doing something to make everyone laugh can really change the tone of the situation. When everything feels like it’s about to go to hell in a hand basket try telling a fart joke or singing a favourite song replacing the half of the words with ‘poo’.

“Baa Baa Poo Sheep, have you any poo?” Come on… who can yell when they are singing something like that??

It’s hard to stay angry when you are being silly and funny. It is hard to yell when you are busy telling a joke or acting the fool. Being funny can be enough to remind myself of the parent I want to be.

After I’ve Yelled

I feel crap after I’ve yelled. I feel like a big huge parenting failure. But there is still something positive I can do, even after I’ve yelled.

Apologise
Saying I’m sorry, and really meaning it, is important. I don’t need to go into details and tell my kids what a terrible mother I am, they don’t need to hear that. But they do need to hear that sometimes everyone makes mistakes, sometimes everyone gets angry and says or does things they don’t mean, and that is ok. Even when I’m angry I still love them and even when I’ve made a mistake they still love me.

Cut Yourself Some Slack!
I can beat myself up for days after I loose it. I easily fall into that cycle of self talk that goes something like… “I suck at this parenting gig, why on earth did I think having four children would be a good idea, they deserve better than me….” But you know, that is not going to help me be a better parent. I am not perfect, I will never be perfect. I make mistakes, and that is ok. Instead of being down on myself I’m just going to pick myself up, dust myself off and try to do better next time. After all… that is all we can do.

As I said, I don’t have all the answers and I’d love to hear the things you do to try and avoid yelling at your kids. There are some fabulous posts on discipline at Parenting Passageway that I find super helpful. Are there other blogs or articles that you find helpful?

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Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:

  1. says

    Great post Kate, I never used to be a shouter but more and more recently I have been experiencing exactly what you describe “It doesn’t have to be something major to set me off and in the beginning it feels quite good to yell. It feels good to let it out. It feels like this is the only way I can get my message across, the only way I can regain some control. When I begin shouting I feel powerful and totally justified.” This is such a perfect description. I am going to committ to trying really hard to implement some tools to stop this, starting with finding a positive and rehearsed phrase to quote at my daughter when she turns to me with ‘that’ look on her face and starts to say “But I WANTED….” shouting isn’t an effective way to communicate and its teaching my children bad habits. Thank you.

  2. says

    Great post Kate as I too am trying to work at this.

    I have started to
    STOP
    and take a breath.

    I find it helps me to just pause for that moment and look at the whole picture and not just the tiny trigger which has caused me to want to yell.

    And to drink water often. Seriously it helps. As when I get dry I get touchy and moody etc. Plus having a drink of water gives me a moment to clear my head (or try to)

  3. Neane says

    Hi Kate

    Great post. I was discussing this with a girlfriend the other day – my first child didn’t hear me yelling until he was about 2 – 2 1/2 around the time his baby brother arrived and I was just exhausted.

    I distinctly remember the first time I lost it at him and do you know what? He hadn’t done anything that wrong – just a bit silly. But I’d been thrust in the middle of my in-laws Christmas family crises and I took it out on him and I cried and cried afterwards.

    I really like your script for the It’s not Fair whine. I learnt another recently from a friend who is also an early childhood teacher who has 2 children who want everything equal – “different treats for different kids on different days”.

    I feel blessed having friends like her and access to people like you – it helps to learn new coping mechanisms and know that other people go through this stuff too.

    Cheers

  4. says

    I’ll be bookmarking this! The small boy is not yet at a stage where I feel the need to yell at him (15 months – mischievous but not naughty) but I do fear that I could become a shouty parent (shouting is one of my favourite options if my husband and I get into an argument!). And I don’t want to be. You’ve got some great strategies here which I will try my very best to remember in the future – thanks!!

  5. says

    Sometimes I think my I was blessed with my son to teach me patience. I’ve been – and still sometimes am – one of those parents who yells. And much to my disgust he’s the only person I yell at.

    Now, he tells me he hates it when I yell and I’ve definitely improved and if I do it, I absolutely apologise and tell him why I felt compelled to yell, but I know I shouldn’t have.

    I love the baa baa poo sheep song. I reckon he would too.

    Now, to work on my swearing.

  6. says

    Gosh I needed to read this today. Woke up tired, cold outside, kids ratty, spent the morning yelling. Yelling even at a 7 month baby – what the?! Feeling like the most horrible mother in the world. I have read your post once. And will read it over and over again. Time to change something.

    Thank you.

  7. says

    Oh I definitely need this advice at the moment. Feeling a bit stretched which always makes me stressed and prone to loud embarrassing outbursts. I particularly like your advice on practising positive responses – I must work on that! Thanks for sharing.

  8. says

    Yep, I shout a lot more than I would like and a lot more than my kids would like! Definitely going to give some of these strategies a go! Maybe I need to set myself a challenge too!

  9. says

    Great post, thank you! One of my biggest mothering “fails” is shouting too much. I really don’t want the kids remembering me shouting all the time. I had a really bad day about a month ago where the kids were misbehaving all day and I was shouting all day, we seemed stuck in a vicious cycle. I had a couple of glasses of wine that night and resolved to not (well try not) shout anymore. I’m going okay, not perfect but better. Don’t really have any tips, I just try and stop and count to ten before opening my mouth. I tend to beat myself up about my “fails” too. I saw some “child expert” on Sunrise once say that parents who worry a lot about their mistakes as parents should give themselves a break as the parents who are really damaging their children don’t spend much time worrying about mistakes they might have made. That made me feel a lot better. Good luck :-)

    • Jessica says

      I agree Kate, I don’t want my kids remembering me yelling either, but if it calms your conscience a bit, my mom, after I lamented the same concern to her, said, “do you remember me yelling at your kids?” Uh, no….so, good news is, hopefully it’s not SO frequent that it will be a memory that sticks.
      And I love the advice that parents who are worried and concerned about their parenting are the ones who are usually getting it mostly right(who can honestly get it all right) It’s the ones who never worry that should be evaluating things more often!

  10. says

    Fantastic post Kate.

    I think most mums feel the same way as you- I certainly do! I shout at the older boy but always feel bad afterwards- especially when it is for the same thing over and over. Then I think about it and wonder why I am doing it (well I know why- it is frustration, tiredness etc) but really, he is just a toddler and shouting at him is not going to get either of us anywhere.

    This past month has been especially hard (with getting ready to move) but I am hoping a new place, access to a garden (therefore lots more outside time and a blow up pool over summer) will help give us both some time to de-stress!

    I find saying “Noah” then taking a deep breath before starting to say what I want to say. I also find using the same phrases (because of his age) works- since he is a climber for example I try to say in the same tone “Noah……….get down now please” – I saw it strongly but in an even voice if that makes sense.

    I hate losing patience with my kids. I am glad I am not the only one that does it though.

  11. says

    My boys battle each other constantly, and I’m finding that I am starting to yell at them more and more and I really don’t want to. My kids are beautiful, but they can easily drive me crazy. They can also make me smile and feel loved and I just have to remember that. And breathe.

  12. says

    I need to stop yelling too. You’ve got some great points there Kate, I like the song too! Sometimes I write something or draw something on my hand to look at when I’m about to yell to remind myself to stop.
    There’s some interesting stuff at Joyfully Rejoicing While it’s an unschooling site it has lots of mindful parenting stuff too.

  13. Ness says

    Thank you so much for this post! I never used to be a shouter but in the past couple of weeks I have been feeling like a complete and utter failure as I shout almost every day. I have been feeling like such a horrible Mum but today two of my favourite blogs have featured yelling so it has been amazing to hear that I am not alone. I love all your ideas and Baa Baa poo sheep had me in stitches so I’ll definitely be implementing that one! Thank you!

  14. says

    I meant to comment with the above link when you did your post on toy guns too, under the passing on nonviolent rules section.

  15. says

    Kate, this is why I love to read your blog. You inspire me to be a better mother. Seriously.

    Unfortunately, I yell and shout too. When my son has a tantrum and I’m about to yell I try to give him a hug. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but sometimes it’s enough to diffuse both of us. I also try to use humour but this one is really hard to do when I am angry.

    It’s difficult not to react immediately with yelling, but I think it’s great that you and all the moms (and dads) that have commented are consciously trying to change their behaviour to be a better parent. We need more of that in this world!

  16. says

    Ah Kate, your posts hit the spot so often! Thank-you for your honesty and all your wonderful tips. x

  17. Rebecca says

    Thank you for this blog. I am a in the moment yeller. I have tried to get a handle on this at time singing grumpy mummy away and at other times being silly or walking away. It is so hard sometimes with so many competing demands on you.

  18. says

    oh my goodness – the timeliness of this post!

    I’m a yeller … even more so since I quit smoking in April. Just a HORRID yeller and screamer. So embarrassing !!

    I love the poo suggestion … and love the “drink a glass of water” solution – so brilliant … not only are you combining the walking away, but also getting in some needed water.

    :)

    Yours in trying to not yell so much, and to apologize better when I goof up. (thx for this!)

  19. says

    I missed this post back in June. I have felt the same way for awhile now. I was the zen parent until Xanthe was born. Then I became the yelly mummy. I have recently purchased “Buddism for mothers of young children” and that is helping.
    What you said about being silly instead is what I do a lot. And it helps so much. My son is only 3 so it doesn’t take much to make him laugh. I also have photos in my bedroom of my son as a newborn on my chest. When I need to regroup I look at those photos. It reminds me how precious he is and how hugely I love him and how much we are each others whole world and how I don’t want yelling to be a part of that world. I still have moments but it’s better than it was.

  20. says

    Wow… While reading this I’ve just come to a horrible realisation. You ask what’s your mundane job of choice and it hit a chord with me… With my DH I’ve always just walked away and I’ll clean like a woman possessed (and mutter away under my breath like a crazy woman) until I’be worked through it all in my head, cleared it a bit and worked out exactly just who is in the wrong (often it’s me), and how I can discuss with DH this issue (or *ahem* quietly ignore if the issue is me), but I don’t do this with my kids…
    My kids I yell. They don’t understand, they just see horrible Mummy yelling at them for no discernible reason. Geez if I’m going to yell it should really be at DH, he’s the adult, he gets it, but to do this to my beautiful children is something I so don’t want to be doing… And yes, when I look back at it, I am mostly getting frustrated at trying to fit in too much. Trying to get out the door sonewhere and my little girl wants to turn back and get her favourite toy when we are already running late (geez whats 30seconds) or she’s gone and knocked over the folding and sat on another pile I’ve just done (probably because she wants to sit in the floor near me whilst I am doing it).
    In the wee hours of the early morning, in a quiet house with no distractions except for a gorgeous baby boy dozing post-feed on my arm, it’s easy to recognise that all SHE wants is some of my time… How simple is that? She needs more of it and I shpuld be giving it to her while she still wants it. Big wake up call… Thank you, and sorry for the big comment, it just hit a very strong chord with me. I will be taking all of your suggestions in…

  21. rubycat says

    Thanks, Kate. I came here after following a link and your comments are so profound, reasonable and succinct. It’s a real, “why didn’t I think of that myself?” revelation to read them. My children are away camping with my husband at the moment, but when they return I am going to make a real effort to your words of wisdom into my daily life.

    One other thing (and please, please don’t let this negate all I said in the earlier paragraph), you write so articulately that I feel I must point out that it’s actually ‘lose’, not ‘loose’ in the context you are using the word (eg. ‘I am going to lose my mind’ vs ‘I have a loose tooth’).

    Thanks for posting!

    • katef says

      arrgh that damn lose and loose…. I can never remember which is which! If only spell check could read my posts and pop in the correct word for me! Thanks for letting me know!

  22. Blaine says

    Oh my gosh this made me cry with relief! I just found your blog and more specifically this post and the relief at knowing I’m not the only yeller is profound! I have 2 little boys and after having severe postnatal issues with my first son he’s become my target when I’m under stress or tired. Any little thing he does that isn’t exactly right has had me doing my nut. Its so distressing because hes the gentlest most loving child and being yelled at is awful for him. I’ve been on a mission for almost a year now to change the way I parent before I run out of time and cause permanent issues between me and my babies (my oldest just turned 4 and my youngest is almost 18m) but the yelling is so hard to conquer!!!! Thanks for the suggestions and also for the very timely assurance that I’m not alone with this!

    • karen says

      Ive just found this post as old as it is, having the worst day ever my son 7 wrote me a note saying he doent like me because i shout at him.dont think ive actually stopped crying since 8am, now 11am. So devastated that this has built up to such an experience that he has had to make his feelings clear on paper.
      My 2 yr old is in the terrible 2 stages and hubbie works lots, ive always worked up until my second came and feeling totally frustrated and taking it out on my son. I hate myself right now but but this post has helped me to know that i am not the only one :(

      • katef says

        You are so not alone!
        And you know, as bad as it seems now, there is always tomorrow. And I don’t think it is the end of the world to show our kids that sometimes we all make mistakes and do and say things we shouldn’t when we are tired/frustrated/upset…. and it’s important to show them that we don’t give up, that we keep trying and that we can improve and change….

  23. says

    Hi there,
    I read your post after today’s link to ‘messy kids modern parents’ and it was beautifully written and resonates with so many women.
    About a year and a half ago I started my webshop (www.modernforkids.com) and there are times where I think I bit off more than I can chew since I have a 2 and 4 year old as well and as a result when overwhelmed by business responsibilties and the two boys are bickering – the yelling starts…or when it takes far too long to get out the door to school in the morning…I will continue to check out your posts and will be sure to take a deep breath and put it in perspective – especially since it was my choice to start my own business….! Best from Toronto

  24. Alycia says

    OK, I know that this post was written ages ago in internet years, but I wanted to say that I think it’s fantastic and everyone could learn something from it.
    The making a funny part rubbed me a little wrong. That is my mom’s ONLY way of dealing with conflict or an uncomfortable situation. So there are never any real conversations there and it has always frustrated me (yeah I’ve tried talking to her about…). But if used every once in awhile I can see how it would be a great coping technique!
    Really fantastic post, thank you for being so honest!

  25. Tania B says

    Hi! Thanks so much for this. I to have been in situations where I have lashed out at my kids and blamed my anger on them – even when they are not the problem. I find the need to let loose and yelling sometimes feels good to release my anger but then after feel horrible, disgusting and really think that I am a bad mum! Its so hard sometimes to keep it all together inside and keep cool working mum, doing it all running around for kids etc then coming home exhausted kids ratty and not loosing it has been hard. I will now try and BREATHE and walk into my garden even it it means carrying one kid out with me to stop the fighting. I will try and it is time to change my behaviour in order to save some sanity in my house.

  26. Gen says

    Hi Kate, I think you’ve written a great article here. My shout-o-meter has been red hot lately and my two young boys are looking like deer in headlights way too often. You have really captured the emotions that we mums go through and given some practical clear advice on what we can do to change the situation. Even though your advice is really simple and kinda obvious, it is helpful to have it written down and brought together in this way. Thanks so much! This one is getting printed and put in my bedside drawer!

  27. Rae says

    This is a GREAT post and has given me some food for thought as well as some practical techniques to try. I never thought I would be the yelling mom (my mother was one, so why I thought I wouldn’t be??) but here I am, yelling more than I care to admit. And like you, many times it’s really not the kids, it’s that I feel frazzled, or that I haven’t eaten all day, I’m tired, or whatever. Lately, I have really tried to reign in my yelling and I have improved, but I want more for my children… and for myself. Great post and great reminder that we are all striving to be better.

  28. Jill says

    Hi just discovered this even though its so old its really relevant and nice to hear mums as opposed to moms talking. I am feeling really heartbroken about my behavior with my kids I feel as if I am always yelling ,I am often surprised it is occuring as it seems to come on so suddeny out of nowhere such silly things will set me off,this unpredictability is so horrible for my kids. When im yelling I seem unable to stop from saying really hurtful things which I certainly dont mean and then absolutely despise myself for later,i desperately need this to stop as I adore my kids and cant bear the thought of being such a negative force in our family. I have been doing this all on my own for years their dad and I had a pretty awful time he has basically abandoned us and has nothing really to do with us , I cant stand the thought of screwing up their personalities or doing a crap job as a mum,i never dreamed I would end up a single mum I sometimes wish i had never had them as I dont know what kind of life I can give them I feel so guilty all the time. I am trying to see a psycologist but having trouble finding a bulk billing one in my rural area money is always so tight I have to get on top of this as I so very much want happiness and laughter.

  29. says

    Thank you for this post. I just discovered this :) I can tend to yell out of frustration also but it is rarely because of what the children have done wrong. If I stop and think what is mostly annoying me it is usually something I have done like spend too much time on the Internet! I walk away, say a prayer and re-prioritize. It has worked for me over the past few months and am pleased that I haven’t felt the need to yell for a while.

  30. Tahlia says

    Jill I absolutely agree…. Your situation is so similar to mine. I say the most horrible things and scream right in my childrens faces to get them to stop fighting. I hate myself! My daughter is constantly asking for her daddy and saying she loves him and I’m so scared that when she is older I will lose her. I want to be a better mum… :-(

  31. Jessica says

    I just found your post today. I really needed this. I feel so ashamed of yelling at my kids. It is very hard for me to open up about this and didn’t want to talk about it with anyone. I want to stop yelling too. I feel so horrible afterwards. I just don’t know how to stop. Thank you very much. What an inspiration you are.

    • katef says

      I’m glad I could help Jessica…

      I am just like you, you know. Just yesterday I had a big yell-fest at my kids, even though I knew it wouldn’t help, and even though I knew I’d feel terrible… and I did. I think getting over the yelling is a work in progress for lots of us…

  32. April says

    Thank you! I just spent the morning yelling at my four year old for hitting her sister(6) when she got mad and yelling in her sisters face. I was really hurt to see her yelling at her sister like that because I knew that she has learned it from me. And the pain and frustration of seeing my bad parenting skills come out in them hurt so much that I lashed out at her and yelled in her face and preceded to tell her that if she didn’t like it done to her she shouldn’t do it to anyone. While the idea of teaching the golden rule to my kids makes sense to me, maybe living by it would teach it better. Thank you for posting this. The only path ahead of me is determination to change my shouting ways.

  33. Michelle says

    Thank you for sharing that. I am trying to talk to my son (7) about anger management, and how while you may not be able to control a feeling, you can control what you do with that feeling, and you can choose to express your anger in healthy ways. In this ‘teaching’ session I have really discovered I need to practice what I preach and give up the yelling. I don’t want to be a screaming banchee. It’s not necessary – I just have to work out healthier options, and put consequences other than ‘hearing mummy rant’ for bad behavior or to get what I want. Great to hear I’m not alone. Thanks for the honesty.

  34. ShugaShan says

    I just want to say thank you. I feel like I am not alone. I do apologize when I yell, but it doesn’t make me feel better. I am going to try and walk away. My 4 year old already yells back at me – how can she not? That’s what I do. Here’s to moving forward. I’m going to try and walk away.

  35. Jane says

    I feel like a huge weight has lifted just reading everyone elses comments. I have a friend who seems to be posting constantly on facebook about Non violent communication, and how she connects with her kids in all these wonderful ways, and how they dont winge, etc etc and I feel like crying because my boys fight a lot, they take forever to get going in the morning, I yell a lot, and find myself frustrated every single day and I wonder where the joy of parenting went. Just knowing I am not alone makes a difference.

  36. Alison says

    I feel better reading everyone comment. My daughter is nearly seven and she is simply a star. I feel bad as I shout a lot, for all the little silly things when she is simply being a child. The other day I shouted at her and she made me a song on why it is not good to shout and what it makes her feel. At that momemt I wished if the ground has a big opening and took me away.

  37. Danni Bartley says

    Hello, Well how happy am I to have just read this after putting me son to bed earlier I sat down and cried, I felt an awful Mum. He’s been testing me today as started in year one and doesn’t want to go and I ended up yelling at him this evening and then feeling like the worst Mother in the world. I am also a foster carer and sat here thinking ‘how can I be a foster carer when I am a bad Mum who yelled at my son’ he’s only 5 and he’s my world and more. I love fostering but I think I just having a bad day, hay we all get them. With thanks to reading this I feel less of a failure now so thank you. Here’s to tomorrow : }

  38. Mary says

    read your post it was really good and I wish wish wish I could try and put these things into action. My dad shouted at us when we were kids and he is still can be angry at times and he is almost 80!!! Obviously it was done to him. I remember as a little girl being terrified and now i feel I am repeating history. I just want to die after there has been a big shouting match and the stress of it is worse than what the shouting was about to begin with. I get chest pains and how my husband hasnt ran away I dont know cos I can be a nightmare epseciallly when I have PMT. I have got so angry with my kids but I have really being trying lately. It definitely is caused for me by having so much to do. Good to know I am not alone.

  39. says

    This is wonderful. Emotional and then I cracked up at the poo joke. Will try to remember humour when I’m about to lose it. Everything you’ve written is so true for many of us. For someone that detests noise and loves peace, I sure do a lot of yelling at times. I beat myself about it all time and I hate it when I feel helpless at the wave of rage that rises up, but walking away might just do it. Followed by that poo joke of course. x

  40. jk says

    I was brought up like this my mom n dad constantly arguing and dad beating mum and mum beating us but they loved us so much and now im shouting because its easier i hate myself for it and i really dont want my kids scared of me.. my boy knows i love him.. i am myself goin through a second broken marriage and no help from familys but its no excuse.. the kids constantly argue and beat each other and never tidy up im just so tired and broken. But i love my kids more than anything in the world. Im going to start the breathing teqniques and walking away into another room.

  41. Jill Hollingsworth says

    I have read so many parenting articles, but none speak to me like these… I yelled loud at my 4 year old last night and I yell every day at both kids. I had a headache, after, all night ( I feel like it’s my punishment, probably stress ) and felt like the worst parent ever since last night. I just now visualized how I could have changed the situation last night with the humor. I will be using that for sure. I love my kids more than anything but since my two year old was born, I have felt so fatigued and just alone. I am so glad to read this and the comments too. Thank you so much.

  42. tzen d says

    glad i read this post!! i have 2 toddlers (2 1/2 and 4 yrs old) this has been such a difficult month for me cause my husband is on a business trip. i feel that the only thing i do is yell yell yell!!!! i feel that when i yell at my kids there is monster coming out of me or sth!!! then when i look at their beautiful faces all upset I feel sooooooo terrible!! I just walked away and started crying! I’m thinking did i have to react that way? why? why do i have to yell so much? i know it’s because i’m tired and that i feel alone. but it’s not their fault! from reading all the comments, i’m not alone!! responding to this post helped me get it off my chest! thank you

    • katepickle says

      One thing that should be on the list of suggestions is to recognise when we are doing it tough and seek support. I know that is not always easy, and we can’t always get a family member or babysitter to come and give us a break, but even just planning some time for ourselves after the kids are in bed, or calling a friend on the phone… we were not meant to cope with this all on our own and I think the yelling is a symptom of that sometimes.

  43. KSS says

    Thank you for this post Kate! And thank you to everyone who has commented! It helps to get through the guilt of yelling afterwards, to know that I am not alone with this feeling. Today’s theme…yelling…at my son who will be 4 this month – still a baby, still learning. I yelled because I was stressed – long few weeks of stress…no excuse but today was a yelling day and now I feel guilty. What set me off? This morning, cause he wanted a chocolate bar for breakfast and continued to ask over and over and over. Tonight I really lost it cause he wanted the pj’s that are in the washing machine. As I am writing this I realize how silly it all is but as many others have said it only takes that one little thing to push you to the crazy yelling mom point. My poor husband thinks I’m a loon! Kate I appreciate the calming tips and I already try the walking away for a few minutes to breath which, when I can get myself to remember to do it, does work for sure. But for the times I just forget to walk away, I am going to try the silly poo song. Good to know I am not alone and am not the worst mother in the world…but do need to work on myself.

    • katepickle says

      You are certainly not alone… it has been a while since I wrote this post and sometimes I still struggle with all this stuff. We are all a work in progress…

  44. katy says

    read your post today im constantly shouting at my 3 year old little girl and 1 year old from first thing in morning.i feel like a bad mum I cant help myself but shout all the time the littlest thing irritates tates me don’t like them having toys out because of the mess ,I cant find the time to sit down and play with them as I feel there is other important things to do,i feel down and angry think I need help but my mum doesnt want me to get on anti-depressants so it try and cope with all this I feel im the only one out there.do you have any advice thank you.

    • katepickle says

      Much love katy… sounds like you are in a difficult place right now. I wonder if there are other forms of help besides medication? I truly believe that if medication is the right thing for you, there is no shame in taking it… but perhaps just talking to a professional might help, and that doesn’t always mean taking meds in the end.

  45. says

    “Am I doing enough to stop shouting…?”

    I think that if you have enough about you to be able to ask that question in the first place then you are well on your way to doing enough.

    That’s not to say that we are ever going to turn out perfectly balanced children in one generation, rather all we can hope is that we have done enough to show the way and give our kids the self awareness to be able to handle their children better than we did ours.

    That said, we are and likely always will be subject to stresses and worries in our everyday life and it will always be a test to respond to them as rational calm individuals.

    It’s not a crime to shout if you apologise and endeavor to be better next time.

    Children will always test their parents and sometimes it is easy to see why some species eat their young…

  46. Tania says

    Glad to know I’m not alone… came across this today as I’m totally at my wits end, trying to understand why I’m so angry all the time. Kids are 7 and 5 (boy and girl) they constantly fight over every little thing. I’m tired and feel like I’m suffocating. When the decibels start to rise, I go into panic mode, I can’t breathe, it’s hard to ignore and walk away (have already tried that). Love my kids, but agree my ‘screaming’ is harming my relationship with them and my relationship with my husband who I feel is unsupportive. He works long hours and I’m currently unemployed – we emigrated to Australia 2 years ago so I don’t have the support of family or friends to lean on here. Being a full-time stay at home mom was never my intension and whilst I have been looking for work – the knock-backs are frustrating and is destroying my self-confidence. I hate the way my body looks now – post babies and age! Have had a number of set backs in last 10 years – redundancies, failed relationship, losing a baby… I am forever analysing things, still recalling/living in the past – wishing, wondering – can’t seem to let go and move on. Have seen several Councillors relating to different things – mainly the kids but truthfully I don’t think the problem is the kids – I think it is me. I am so angry for my own failings that I am taking it out on everyone around me. I get weepy – think it’s depression but no-one takes it seriously. Current councillor just made me feel worse – some think they know everything about you after a couple of sessions. Not quite sure what needs to change but obvious something has to. Getting a job would be a start, at least I’ll have some money to book a well deserved pamper, lol. Have tried exercising (Drs orders) helps a little but some days have no energy or am so busy doing chores (OCD) – I channel all my anger into tidying the house!! Would give anything for my kids to stop arguing and be nice together – would definitely make my life more pleasant :)

    • katepickle says

      Much love and strength to you Tania… it sounds like you are doing the best you can in a very difficult situation. I hope things turn around for you soon and you can find your way to a better place.

  47. Kim says

    Thank you for this article. Sitting in my car feeling like the worst mom in the world because I lost in with my 6 yr old on the way to a parade- yes fun event – bc be wouldn’t brush his teeth. Not the end of the world but he can be so defiant at times. I then end up replaying all the other times I have been terrible to him and my heart could just shatter into a million pieces. I have made great strides but when we have a set back it can devestate me. Glad to know I’m not alone but I want so bad to STOP this behavior. I feel so ashamed and as the other readers mentioned it many times isn’t about our kids- it is our own stresses and issues. Tania, I can relate to a lot of what you said. We should connect. Hugs to you all

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