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.
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
I completely agree with this post 100%. I hate when I yell at my kid because I’m overwhelmed. And then the feeling is worse after. I’ve been able to acknowledge when I’m starting to feel overwhelmed and tell my kid that I’m losing patience and will start yelling soon. That ability only happens when I’ve been sleeping and am not hungry. So it happens less than I’d like to BUT I try to pat myself on the back when I do. Showing our kids that we acknowledge our own mistakes and show them that we can also be sorry, I think, is the best role modeling. Keep up the good work parents!
Thanks for this. Great thoughts to take with me for when things get too much. Parent tantrums are no fun for anyone. x
I like the term “parenting tantrums” because our outburst really do resemble tantrums as we vent and let steam fly out our ears and nostrils. When we feel like exploding, is it possible to run away to another room and punch a pillow secretly? Can we slip into a hot bath and forget the world? Can we try to find humor in the situation? Idk. Not always but we should have resources to turn to as back up plans! Tools to use just in case.
Christina @There's Just One Mommy says
Great tips — because we all get there at some point, no matter how hard we try.
I definitely agree with the apologizing — kids need to know even moms make mistakes.
This post totally resonates with me. I hate it when I yell, and still it happens. I guess that’s human. And usually it is something within my own responsibility that causes me yelling at my kids, like being overcommitted, un-rested or stuff going on with my husband. So thanks for this honest and encouraging post! :-)
I totally hate yelling at my kids too, and yet I seem to be doing it more with the Holiday’s approaching at an unstoppable light speed pace. I appreciate knowing that I’m not alone in this struggle. It does seem to help my 8 & 6 yr old to hear me say I’m not mad at you, I’m mad at this situation…. or something similar to that. Even if I yell that phrase I can sometimes see their demeanor change and not be as on guard. Thanks for being honest! More should be.
Maria Fe Magsino says
Thanks for this tip..I am a first time mom and I have a one year old son and sometimes I cant help my self and i yelled at him I feel so sorry for my child and for my self…but after reading this it helps me realized thing that i need to do when im starting to feel frustrated and pissed..this one really helps me on how to deal with my son.
Is your comment referring to the way I spelled ‘apologise’? If so I just wanted to let you know that I am Australian and we use UK English and spelling, so we spell the word with an ‘s’ not a ‘z’. Thanks :)
I LOVED your article, no matter how you spell the word “Apologise/ Apologize” :)
Most Americans think that their way of doing things, including spelling, is the correct way and the rest of the word are wrong or” weird”!
PS – Why does this feature assume everyone shouts at their children. I have never shouted, screamed of otherwise raised my voice to my child (now adult) – it is just not my way as a person as I have always disliked loud, shout-y people – and he is the most well behaved, courteous and respectful person of high intelligence.
I think it’s great that you are not a yeller… I wish it wasn’t a habit that I have! Though I never said or assumed that ‘everyone shouts at their children’… I just admitted that I do sometimes, and I shared what I do afterwards to help make it write, to learn from it, and to move on.
Sue Sanders says
In his 80’s, my wonderful father said to me, “There is nothing you 4 kids could ever do that would make me stop loving you. I was very touched. I shared that with my adult children. (Imperfect, but still loveable) My 3 year old granddaughter says it back to her mom almost daily, now! I think it is a good way to share your love with children, grandchildren. Helps the forgiveness moments.
Kenyetta J says
I feel it’s all about how you were raised as well. I was that child that got yelled at and I also do it with my child. It’s just something that I’ve been around. It’s no excuse cause now that I’m a parent, yelling doesn’t do anything but make you and the child feel bad. And to also add on, I grew up in a military home. My parents were both very strict and me and my sister are well respectful and we were well behaved as children, just like our children, that we have yelled at. Yelling is not a good thing at all, but just as long as you can admit it and move forward in a positive way then that’s you putting in effort to make a change to build a better bond with your child or children. I do commend you for being the parent that didn’t yell.
Heather @ SassyAtHome says
I relate to this so much! I also try to not yell. It just doesn’t help anyone. It doesn’t motivate my kids, and it certainly doesn’t make me feel any better! But I am not perfect and it happens sometimes. Always good to apologize and let kids know that THEY did not make Mommy yell and that she loves them no matter what.
Ayesha Mahmood says
I used to yell at my son, but this book has changed my life dramatically. It’s been a year that I’ve not found myself once yelling at my kids.
How to talk so kids will listen, listen so kids can talk
I recommend it to anyone who feels guilty after telling, insulting, punishing or even hurting.
What is the name of this book
The book is called – How to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids can talk
Alay Diokno says
Very nice to read an article with the same situation as i am. I definitely agree on calming down through counting 1 to 3 while inhaling and exhaling. ???
Thank you for sharing & being honest. I’m in the same boat & it us nice to hear that im not the only one that feels this way. I’m tired of reading how you shouldn’t yell at your kids. We know that. Thanks again for sharing!
I love what you wrote but please check your grammar. You misspelled apologize.
I’m glad my words resonated with you, and I fully admit that my spelling and grammar is not perfect, but the only ‘error’ I can see in the post is that I spell ‘Apologise’ with an s, and that’s because I am Australian and I use UK/Australian spelling. Is that what you mean??
Thank you katepickle!
As a full time sitter for my beautiful 2 1/2 year old granddaughter, I found your comments uplifting! There are times when I “revert” to the parenting methods I used when my children were small. I did not have the support of mother or grandmothers to help and just “winged ” it! ( the exception being Dr. Spock lol ) apologizing for my mistakes has been part of that parenting method. Thank you for reinforcing that! ( no matter how you spell it! Haha )
With a z or an s… apologising is always a good place to start isn’t it! ;) Sounds like your granddaughter is very lucky to have you in her life.
Thank you for this post I really need it at the time it came to me. I am working on better parenting and this has definitely helped me not carry my guilt or build up on it when I do have a “parent tantrum”. I will remember to follow these steps with my little ones and move on with life thank you
Mrs . Betty says
Betty, I have custody of my soon to be 2 1/2 years old . I find myself yelling at him. But I feel so bad when I do. I will hug him and tell him I am sorry, but he too young to understand. Then I pray and ask GOD to forgive me and to help me with patience and temper.
Hi Kate, I too struggle with yelling and really appreciate your honest and positive outlook. You are so right that we need to accept that it’s going to happen sometimes, so we can work on handling things better! And appologize/explain, I agree completely with this, is sets a really good example.
Thank you so very much for sharing this. This is a struggle I am currently facing, I don’t want my kids to remember me as such an angry mom because I love them so much I’m hust incredibly overwhelmed and outnumbered ?
Thank you for this article. This is something that i have been struggling with. My yelling at my 2 year old. I just don’t know how to make things right after i have yelled at hom but this article is great. It put things in perspective. What i have realised is that my 2 year old is now yelling back at me. I don’t know what to do make things better. He doesn’t speak can just say few words. Please help.
I hope this helps you to find a way forward after you yell. It’s not easy, especially when you see your less than perfect traits being reflected by your child’s behaviour, but if you are working on doing better, then your child will see that and learn that too. :)
Thank you. For replying back :)) after reading your article i am trying nit to yell at my son. Yesterday was a good day cause i managed not to yell at him all. Even though he was yelling at me and when the baby cries he yells alot. All being well i pray that this methid works and given time he would stop yelling. I have to ask you my son gets really angry anyways tips or advice you could give please? I had a really tough time when he was a baby i didn’t bond with my child. I was really tough on myself and was negeclting my child i am trying very hard to improve i really feel like a failure i wanna put things right is it too late to do this? Do children remember things as they get older? I would appreciate if you could give any tips advice thank you