Are you a mom that yells? Do you want to stop yelling at your kids? Have you heard or said some of these popular opinions on yelling moms?
“I’m not a perfect mom. No one is”
“My kids won’t respond or obey unless I raise my voice.”
“Yelling is just a way I vent my anger. I’m not hurting my kids, just venting frustration.”
Recently I have read more and more articles about moms who yell at their kids. One mom said,
“Yelling is the speaking voice in our house. It’s the only thing to get above the noise.”
Have you ever considered why it is so noisy in your home? Or why your kids don’t listen to you until you have repeated your directions at the top of your lungs — for the third time?
Kids do know how to listen and they do know how to obey–the first time they are told. However, they have learned from some parents that they do not have to obey until the third or fourth repeated command. Consider the typical scenario:
“Zach, put your shoes on it’s time to go to the store.”
You wait and your son just sits there playing with his toys.
“Zach, mommy said to put your shoes on. It’s time to leave.”
There is still no movement or acknowledgement of your command.
“ZACH! Get up RIGHT NOW and put your shoes on. We are leaving, NOW!”
Finally, your five-year old son responds and grudgingly puts his shoes on while your blood pressure rises and you shove your phone into your purse. Such pleasantries happen everyday, don’t they?
I implore you to consider that you are hurting your child when you yell. First of all, you are teaching him to ignore any authority in life unless commands are yelled. Your home is not a military base; your home is supposed to be a place of quietness, rest and security. Yelling only adds heightened tensions to the atmosphere. Second, you are exhibiting frustration and anger towards a child that needs an abundance of love and affection. Consider your facial expression and body language when you yell:
Are you gritting your teeth and clenching your fists?
Do you hit the table or throw an object?
Sounds silly, but I’ve seen it happen–more than once or twice. Face reality and admit that your yelling is not productive, but only destructive. There is a way to change your yelling fits into more calm commands and see obedience and happiness in your children as a result. Here’s the no-yell, no-fail plan.
- Don’t be a repeater. If you tell your kids to finish their food, be ready and willing to make them obey. Do not repeat the command. Simply punish them, and then repeat the command after the punishment. If you tell your child to clean his or her room before bed, do not repeat the command, simply punish him or her for disobeying and then repeat the command. Continue this process until the child has obeyed. Keep calm and do not raise your voice. Yes, it is hard work at first if your child is not use to obeying right away. Be ready for some conflict, but keep your cool. It will pay off! Before too long, your child will learn that you really mean what you say — without you yelling instructions!
- Be consistent. Always follow through and make your kids obey a command. If you don’t feel like making them obey, it is better to not give them a command than to let your child disobey without consequence. But, the best decision it to be an offensive parent instead of a defensive one. Decide if you want well-mannered, respectful, hard-working, diligent, kind, delightful and obedient kid or if you want an unruly, lazy, obnoxious, dishonoring and self-absorbed child and work industriously to instill those desired attributes into your child.
- Send yourself to your room. Do you feel your blood-pressure rising? Does the sight of scattered toys and unmade beds make your blood boil? Send yourself to your room and cool down for a few minutes. Don’t deal with stressful situations until you are calm. Then, decide the best method on cleaning up the mess, washing the marker off the wall or breaking up the sibling squabble. Each “adventure” that happens throughout the day needs to be addressed with a calm and collected parent.
- Have accountability. Express your desire to yell less to a close friend, your spouse or a family member that is dependable and honest enough to encourage you to achieve this goal. Keep a chart or record of every time you raise your voice or yell and report to this accountability partner every few days. Seeing your faults on paper and having to verbally admit them to others does help you to stop committing them. You could even ask your spouse to say a code word when he sees you beginning to lose your temper. This code word helps to bring you back to reality and grasp the reins of your tongue before it’s too late.
- Pray. If the art of juggling kids, cooking, cleaning, home-schooling, working, ministering and being a wife can sometimes make you feel burnt out, turn to your refuge and strength—the Lord Jesus Christ. Slip away from the chaos and beg God for wisdom and a calm temper. God can replace your stress, bad attitude and unkind tongue with a loving countenance and renewed spirit ready for the task at hand. Jesus said his yoke was easy and his burden was light. Whose burdens are your carrying? Have you put other things on you that God has not required? Get into God’s easy yoke and you can find strength to “get it all done”.
- Consider the Word. The Bible teaches us in Proverbs 31 that the law of kindness is found in a virtuous woman’s tongue. Do you desire to be a woman God views as virtuous? Keep kindness in your tongue. Honestly, I don’t view a kind woman yelling at her kids. Yes, correct your kids. But correct them with the law of kindness.
Feel free to let us know how you are doing in your journey of becoming a non-yelling mom! Share any additional tips or ideas below that have worked for you!