I try not to.
I’m working on not yelling and I think I’m getting better at making different choices but sometimes…
Sometimes I yell at my kids.
I think I will always struggle with this part of parenting.
I am not giving up, but I am accepting that it happens sometimes.
So I’ve lost it, and I’ve yelled, now what?
What to do after you yell at your kids.
So I’m being realistic, I am going to yell at my kids occasionally. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it happens, and when it happens I want to do my best to make things right again.
Here are some things I do after I yell to help myself, my kids, and to move on.
Usually I am yelling because I am overwhelmed, frustrated, feeling invisible or any number of intense feelings. These feelings don’t magically disappear after I’ve yelled, in fact usually I feel worse. Now I’m feeling tense, and upset, and guilty, and if I just let these feelings all swirl around without addressing them things won’t get any better.
I need to take a minute to calm down, to just acknowledge whatever I’m feeling and let the stress and overwhelm pass a little.
It’s ok to tell your kids that you need a moment to calm down. Actually it’s a good thing to role model for your kids – when you are feeling out of control, you need a moment to figure out your feelings, calm down, and think before moving on.
After I’ve calmed down I need to apologise.
This is not about whatever happened to cause my outburst, this is just about me and my actions.
I am apologising for yelling. I am apologising for scaring my kids, or upsetting them. I am apologising for not dealing with things in a better way. I am saying sorry for making a mistake.
I want my kids to learn that we are all human, we all make bad choices and lose it sometimes, but when that happens we take responsibility for our actions and apologise.
Sometimes after an apology I need to explain.
I need to explain exactly what I was angry about – because often that message is totally lost among all the yelling and screaming.
I need to explain why I didn’t manage things better – because I can’t expect my kids to know or understand that I am tired, or stressed out, or overwhelmed unless I tell them.
I need to explain how I could have handled the situation better – because we can’t learn unless we work out how to do better next time.
Yelling, calming down, apologising, and explaining doesn’t make the initial trigger disappear, so now I need to have another go at making things work.
Perhaps I need to have a calm conversation with my kids and come up with a plan to deal with a problem.
Or perhaps I need to acknowledge things that are stressing me and work out ways to take something off my plate.
Maybe I need to come up with a ‘positive first response‘ or preplan how to deal with recurrent situations so I have something better to say or do instead of yelling.
A parenting tantrum is often a good reminder that I need to spend some time connecting with my kids.
It’s a good way to show them I am sorry, and that I am not still angry, and it is a great way to stop similar situations happening in the future. If we make an effort to spend time with our kids and really connect with them, they are more likely to listen to us, to accept limits, and to be able to discuss issues without fighting… and so are we.
I shared some ideas for connecting with your kids when things are wonky here, and some ideas for connecting with older kids/tweens here, and ways to manage one on one time with your kids when you are busy here.
Instead of piling on the guilt over your outburst give yourself some grace.
Everyone makes mistakes, you are working towards doing better, and in the big scheme of things you are a pretty good parent so ditch the guilt and move on.
Do you struggle with yelling?
I’ve shared some ideas for how to stop yelling here, and shared ideas from real parents who are also struggling with it here.