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How to Stop Yelling at Your Kids

How to Stop Yelling at Your Kids

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    I love a line I read in a book once. It went something like this: “If it isn’t life threatening, if the house is not ablaze, if it is not an emergency, or if the child you are yelling to is not half a mile away, then yelling is the wrong choice in parenting.”

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    Yelling negatively and directly affects the way children see themselves and how they feel about their life and their place in this world. Yelling is also bad for the parents’ self-esteem since it is usually a behaviour that one regrets or is ashamed of.

    It is important to realize that when a parent yells they are not editing what they say the same way they would if they were speaking in a calmer moment of discussion or conversation.

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    The first step one must take to stop yelling is to understand what triggers the yelling. Yes, one’s child is probably doing something naughty, however, it is important to think about what makes one choose to yell instead of speaking matter-of-factly.

    Ninety percent of the time, the reason people yell is that they were yelled at as children. Even though they may have hated being yelled at it is all they know and simply fall into that same pattern during times of stress with their own children.

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    The second step is to realize what response is most likely to occur after one finishes yelling. Because yelling makes a child feel badly about themselves they will often lash back in order to protect themselves, and then become revengeful. They may, out of fear and sadness, stop the behaviour for a short period of time, however the anger and humiliation they felt will build up and soon enough they will lash out. A good example here is when parents think yelling works when their children are small, but are shocked when they experience severe disobedience when their children get a little older.

    So, if one knows that they are yelling simply because it is what they have learned and they understand that the result of yelling never achieves the desired result, what is the alternative? What is the solution?

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    Instead of yelling one must train oneself to take a deep breath and then state the behaviour they want from their child in a matter-of-fact, assertive tone of voice.

    If one’s child is begging them to watch TV when it is homework time, one should simply say, “You need to stop whining and go do your homework.” If the begging continues say, “You can stop begging right now or you can go to time out. What is your choice?” If the child is used to yelling, they will probably continue, so the parent should take the child by the hand and walk him/her to a predetermined time out spot. The amount of time the child should spend there is one minute per year of age. After the time is up one should go back and state what they expect from their child again – to begin their homework.

    With this these new tools, one should feel more confident that they have the knowledge now to change from what they have learned from their own parents to what they now know is the better, more effective way to handle discipline.

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    Last Updated on November 18, 2020

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
    Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

    1. Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
    2. Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
    3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
    4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
    5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
    6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
    7. X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
    8. Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
    9. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
    10. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
    11. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
    12. Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
    13. Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
    14. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
    15. Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.

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