I used to hate it whenever I yelled at my kids. I would feel guilty and completely out of control. We are human, we all lose our cool especially when our little one push our buttons. But we need to demonstrate to our kids that we are able to control our emotions. It is critical for us to remain calm even in the most stressful conditions.
Once I had established the reasons why I wanted to stop yelling at my kids, it was time to make a change. Change is never easy but I knew that it needed to happen, the bad behaviour needed to stop. As much as this may seem far-fetched, I’ve learnt that it is possible to be heard without raising your voice. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but today I would like to share with you how I stopped yelling at my kids.
Always keep in mind that you are dealing with little people
Our children are going to mess up, over and over again. Expect that to happen. Our primary role is to guide them. When they break a glass and you are tempted to yell, remember that in most occasions it’s not intentional. If it is, why? Was your child trying to get your attention?
Have pre-determined consequences for each transgression
Try to have specific consequences for certain transgressions and make sure that everybody knows what they are, including the kids. For example, if my eldest leaves his clothes on the floor, he knows that he’ll have to be in bed 30 min before his bedtime. If he’s rude or raises his voice, then he’ll need to go to bed immediately after dinner. That way if I walk into his bathroom and find clothes on the floor, I calmly tell him to pick them up and let him know he’s going to bed early.
It’s okay to walk away
You are going to get frustrated and angry. It’s okay leave the room to cool down, if possible. Then you can address the issue at hand once you’ve calmed down and gathered your thoughts.
Know what’s considered normal behaviour
Keep in mind what’s considered normal behaviour for your child’s age group. It’s normal for a four-year old to break things, climb on furniture and do all kinds of things that will set off your triggers. Before yelling, use that moment to teach and not shout.
You should know your triggers by now, so try to be proactive. If you know that your mornings are stressful and you end up raising your voice to get the kids out of the house, then wake up earlier and prep the night before. Also train the kids to prep the night before. My 4-year-old loves to take long baths. So I put her in the bath then I continue with other tasks. Such as applying my make-up, making my bed and brushing my teeth until she’s ready to get out. That way I don’t have to wait for her, which would be frustrating and increase chances of me raising my voice.
There you have it, that is how I stopped yelling at my kids. Please be aware that this is not an overnight process, it will take some time. I’ve been working on it for a while now and I still have slip ups. It all starts with the commitment to change. If you are a yeller, are you ready to stop yelling at your kids? Let me know in the comments below.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Elsie B Photography