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Parenting often becomes synonymous with days filled with yelling, leaving parents burdened with a sense of guilt. It’s akin to an addiction—parents dislike the act of yelling but find themselves struggling to break free from its grip. Resisting the urge to raise one’s voice demands significant effort.
While it may yield temporary results, yelling ultimately proves to be a detrimental form of discipline. Here’s a guide on transitioning from being a constant yeller to becoming a composed and effective parent who raises disciplined children.
1. Know That Sometimes It’s You, Not The Kid
If we’re honest enough, sometimes a parent yells, not so much because of what the child did, but because of their own mental and emotional state. Recognize when your response toward the child is triggered more by your own shortcomings and emotional state than the child’s misbehavior.
Sometimes, you’re just exhausted, and all fuses are short. Deal with your emotions before responding to the child’s ill behavior.
2. Apologize For Yelling
We fall, and sometimes we yell even after promising ourselves that we won’t. Letting your child know that you are sorry for yelling at them when it happens keeps you on guard against doing it again.
This also helps the child know that yelling isn’t good, even if mommy or daddy did it, and will keep them from yelling at others too.
3. Lower Your Expectations
We set high expectations for our children and then get frustrated when they cannot meet them. We must remember that they are kids and will perform in the capacity of kids.
While it’s a wonderful thing to set high goals for your children, make them reasonable enough to keep both you and the child from getting upset when there’s real or imagined failure.
4. Anticipate And Prepare For Melt Downs
Once you have known your kid long enough, you’ll know what triggers their meltdowns and your frustrations enough to prepare for them.
This may look like different things to different parents, but carry snacks or an extra hat, wear socks the previous night, or eat in the purple bowl daily. Anything to maintain sanity as long as it’s safe and no one will go to jail.
5. Know That Some “Misbehavior” Is Normal
We may want our little bundles of joy to never have a streak of ill behavior. Still, some of the things we consider bad manners may actually be acceptable and explainable toddler or teenage behavior. After all, kids are meant to push boundaries.
There’s nothing wrong with your child [or you] if they color a little outside the lines. It’s all part of development.
6. Delay The Lesson Until You’re Calmer
Instant justice and lessons may sound noble, but the lesson is lost in all the yelling. When the child clearly misses the point, wait until you’re calm before administering the lesson.
This teaches the child that self-control is possible and increases your muscle to withstand bad behavior without losing your cool.
7. Devise Ways To Calm Yourself
We always seem to have ways in which children should calm themselves down instead of yelling, and we also need a list for Moms and Dads.
Give yourself a time-out, breathe and count to 15, stare at a piece of furniture—anything you need to do to calm your nerves, and keep the yelling instructions at bay.
8. Forewarn The Kids
Yelling is bad enough, but it’s traumatizing when the kids are startled by your sudden yelling with no prior warning that their behavior is unacceptable.
Let the kids know their behavior is driving you off the edge, and they have a few minutes to behave.
9. Know What Triggers You
If you’re easily provoked to yell, find out what triggers you to be aggressive with your children and address it.
Your explosive response may stem from an unpleasant experience you had during the day, and addressing it helps you respond more calmly.
10. Yell, When You Have To
There are times when you actually need to yell, and you have to know when that is. If a child is in imminent danger and the only way to get their attention is to yell at them to get them away from danger, do it.
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