Why do I yell so much?
Ever wonder that?
I come from a long line of
big mouths passionate people. I was raised in a home with four kids – you need a verbal edge. Once I became a mom of my own four, well, it seems “extreme yelling” became my Olympic sport.
Put that away!
I said NO!
For some reason, I always find myself shouting redundant questions at the decibel level of an F-16.
What were you thinking? OR, What did I just tell you! Or, How many times do I have to tell you?
When my kids were younger, yelling was a common occurrence. I’m not proud of that fact. It’s just fact. Then, one day I was in a Bible study at church when the leader said, “Yelling at your kids means you’ve lost control of the situation. They’ve won.”
That put things into perspective for me. I’m the mom. I don’t like to lose a battle in my home, so just thinking that my kids have won made me think “game on”.
Then there was that friend of mine who sweetly shared, “A mom sets the thermostat in her home, Joanne.” I didn’t like hearing that.
Because I realized it was true.
Want to Quit Yelling? Here’s 10 Ways to Quit
- The element of surprise. Kids know when to expect a shriek or shrill scream from mom. Remind yourself, there WILL be moments today that I’m going to want to scream. Every time you want to just imagine that your boss, neighbor, or pastor is there.
- Put down that cell phone and step away from social media. According to a recent article, parents are more addicted than kids. Another study revealed that we’re more likely to react poorly if our smartphone is in front of our face. Do you really want to stop yelling? Step away from social media.
- Follow through for once. This is my Achilles heal right here. Say it once and follow through. Which means I need to think clearly about what I want my child to do or not do and wait until it’s done.
- Give no more than two commands at a time. Kids do well when we give plain and simple commands. So, instead of saying, “Put your shoes away. Put your shirt and pants away, and come back and put your toys in your toybox.” Say, “Put all your laundry away. Then come and put your toys away.”
- Have your child repeat what you asked or said. You’ll be surprised just how well kids do listen.
- Pre-plan discipline. The word discipline comes from the biblical word disciple. Which means to teach. One of the things that got me to yelling was being so frustrated about a consequence when they didn’t listen. This is easy enough to remedy. Think about teachable consequences before your child does something wrong–instead of blowing up. Remember, godly discipline teaches.
- Focus. Are you paying attention? When things are stressful at home it’s easy to parent on auto-pilot. We get angry when we’re busy and our kids bully their way into our responsibilities. But, our kids are our responsibility–the most important one. If you need to get work done there’s nothing wrong with sending them outside to play or putting them in their room for some quiet time.
- Fear regret. While I know this is not something we think of in the heat of the moment, it’s the one thing that stings most: REGRET. It’s a terrible thing to feel. No mom wants to hurt her child with their words. Sadly, when I yell, that’s the time I’ll say something I need to ask forgiveness for. Spankings are forgotten–but words? They leave a lasting mark.
- Use your serial-killer voice. My reputation for yelling was pretty well known in our home. So, when I made a stand to stop– I found that bringing my voice down and annunciating my words scared my kids straight faster than a booming shout. If I want to really frighten them I open my eyes really wide, don’t blink and crack a smile. Wahla! Instant serial-killer.
Hello, My Name Is Joanne and I’m a Yeller
I’ve been in recovery for quite a few years. Maybe it’s my age, or the age of my kids. I’d like to think it’s incredible maturity and that I’m a gifted mom. Yeah, let’s go with that.
You can quit yelling, too. I know you can.
How do I know?
Because you have that spiritual gift called “self-control”. If your pastor or your child’s schoolteacher were over for dinner you probably wouldn’t shout and scream.
You use self-control when you want to.
How about you pick a few from those ten above and once and for all –really want to.
Joanne Kraft is a frequent guest on Focus on the Family and Family Life Today. Joanne is the author of The Mean Mom’s Guide to Raising Great Kids. She’d be the first to tell you she has four kids who are great – most of the time.