10 Ways To Not Yell At Your Kids
However, reality is that we yell at our kids quite often – usually out of frustration. Because they’re not listening to us. The odd occasion it’s because they’re in danger / trouble … but more likely the former.
I took a challenge once, to stop yelling, and I did a bit of research into what to do / how to handle myself. Here are some of the ways not to yell at your kids:
1. Breathe In / Breathe Out
For whatever reason, you can feel yourself getting stressed and about to yell. First thing’s first – Breathe. Breathing, and focussing on your breathing, will help to centre you and bring you back to the moment. Which will ultimately help clear your head.
2. Look At The Big Picture
After you’ve cleared your head by breathing, look at what’s happening in that moment. Are your kids not listening to you? Have they done the opposite of what you’ve asked? What do you want them to do? What would yelling at them achieve – now lets try and do it without yelling.
3. Get Close & No Distractions
Turn off the TV. Take whatever it is they’re doing, off them. Then, bring your kids in close to you, and get down on their level. This will help to focus their attention on you, and stop them from wandering off somewhere else or look at something else.
4. Explain & Tell The Truth
Just tell them what you want – tell them how it is. Don’t over complicate it. Keep it simple: “I really need you guys to pick up your toys right now, and I really don’t want to yell at you”. OR “I really don’t want you guys to fight, can we separate and do different things?”
5. Offer Choices
A lot of people discourage giving kids choices, but I find it works in our house. Give your kids a couple of choices and get them to pick which one they want. Often just thinking about something, will take their mind off of their defiance. For example, I often use “Now, Chloe, do you want to pick up the Lego, or the Cars?”. And then “Ok Ronan, Chloe’s going to pick up the Lego, you pick up the cars”. OR if your kids are fighting “Would you like to come over here and play with this?”. I’m talking TWO choices here – not several choices. Keep it as simple as possible.
6. Get Involved
If it’s something you can help with – use that as an incentive to get your kids to do it. So say to them “If you start picking up your toys, I’ll come and help you”. “Why don’t you come here and help me wipe down the table” (or something to help get your kids separated, especially if they’re fighting).
7. Breathe In / Breathe Out
Always take it back to your breath. Even just explaining what you want your kids to do can be frustrating, and end up in a yelling situation. So if you feel yourself wanting to yell – BREATHE. Focus. Be in the moment.
8. Be Smart
Use a timer. The simple egg timer has saved my life a thousand times over, and stopped me yelling, and many fights. If you want your kids to stop fighting over a toy – give one kid the toy and then set the timer on. If you want your kids to tidy up, set a time limit on how long they have to do it for. You can use a timer for ANYTHING – just gotta be smart about it.
9. Change It Up / Let It Go
Sometimes, you just have to let it go. Kids won’t tidy up? Just let it go. Kids are fighting? Just let it go. They’ll sort themselves out. Take them outside – change it up. Go for a walk.
10. Breathe In / Breathe Out
Not yelling at your kids can be stressful, so ALWAYS bring it back to your breath.
Please remember, if you do end up yelling, don’t be too hard on yourself. Parenting is not easy. Not yelling can be very very hard – feel free to check out my post on what to do after you yell at your kids.
Wine also helps – at the end of the day of course (so dumb that day-drinking isn’t acceptable)…
Remember, I am no professional, I just share what works for me. Read this and take from it what you want. Make it work for you, and if you think none of it will work – don’t worry! We all do our best as parents.