How To Stop Yelling At Your Kids

Nearly every parent loses control and screams at the children now and then. But what if you do it repeatedly? These tried & tested mom-approved tips, and advice from experts can really help!

You gave the 5-minute warning for shoes & mask to be put on. Now the clock is ticking closer to t-minus and there your kids have just started looking for their shoes.

You gave several additional warnings.

The clock is ticking but there are still no shoes or kids in sight!

You stand there trying to tell yourself to calm down. 

Your kids started fighting over who will sit where in the car

The bickering gets louder and louder.

Then, BAM.

You lost it.

There have been days when I have totally lost control over my temper and lashed out at my kids – yelled at them for being unreasonable or just because they have been annoying me. I know that is not good parenting. But it can get really frustrating on some days.

Being a parent is a 24 x 7 job and it can be a pretty tiring one. It doesn’t mean I don’t love my kids, but I guess that’s my exhaustion talking, I know it’s not a good excuse for bad parenting behaviour.

The way we choose to discipline our child is a personal choice based on our parenting styles. . And most of us feel pretty bad about it. In fact, research has shown that of all the things that induce guilt—being distracted by the phone, allowing too much screen time, not cooking healthy foods—being remorseful about shouting at our kids topped the list for most moms. Count me among them. 

Why Is Yelling Harmful?

Experts suggest that yelling at kids can be just as harmful as hitting them; in the two-year study, effects from harsh physical and verbal discipline were found to be frighteningly similar. A child who is yelled at is more likely to exhibit problem behaviour, thereby eliciting more yelling. It’s a sad cycle. Yelling never feels good, for anyone. When was the last time you felt better after someone yelled at you, or you yelled at them?

Joseph Shrand, PhD, instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School says to try this

Stop, Look and Listen method: Stop what you’re doing. Make eye contact with your kids, showing them they’re valuable. Then listen to what they’re saying, talking with them, not at them. “It’s much cooler to discover who your kid is than to try to mould them into who you want them to be.

Take a deep breath Mama, and let’s get started on your journey to stop yelling at your kids.

Tune in to your yelling triggers  

I learnt that my temper started getting frayed when my energy levels are running on empty. When I’m run-down, tired, overwhelmed, or have no extra oomph, I’m rarely at my best. The first step in keeping yourself calm and together is to anticipate what usually sets you off. So what did I do? I started giving myself a pep talk before getting out of bed I remind myself that mornings will always be chaotic and that I shouldn’t be surprised by them each day. These pep talks have become a daily habit, and I found that I handle the kids a lot better when I wired myself not to react emotionally. 

Our contributor mom Charultata C shares a tip that works for her

It is easier for the kids to concentrate on the problem when someone describes it to them. It gives them a chance to figure out what to do, on their own. Instead of “How many times do I need to tell you to put your lunch box in the sink? Do you have a hearing problem?”, you say, “Your lunch box is lying near the shoe rack.” It is harder for the children to focus when we are telling them what is wrong with them.


Turn your voice into a whisper

Even when you’re not angry, you may find yourself yelling—”Get in the car! We’re late for practice!” If you make a softer voice a habit, you’ll be less prone to yell at other times, too. When I turn the volume down and whisper to my kids, it gets their attention immediately because they know I have something important to say. Yes! it really works. I always thought it was only my LOUD voice they heard.

Say you’re sorry and make some changes

Finally, no matter how hard you try to remain in control, there will be days when you blow a fuse. I doubt there’s a parent on this planet who’s never lost their cool under pressure. When this happens, first, take a breath and forgive yourself. And then step up and apologize to your child(ren). Apologies are important, but the actions that follow are even more. You could tell your child that you’re trying to get better control of your temper and that you’re a work in progress—you’re learning, just like them! They will understand, trust me!

Get Up & Close

When the kids don’t listen, it makes me want to, well, shout!  I got this suggestion from a friend on finding a gentler method of reconnecting. You need to literally get down at your child’s level, putting your arm around her, and telling her that you understand how she’s feeling.

I tried this –  when my son refuses to turn off the TV once his show is over, screaming “No!”, I sit down next to him and start rubbing his back as I softly explain, in a kind but firm voice, “I know you want to watch more, but you’ve had your TV time for now. Can you please hand me the remote?” Instead of escalating into a full-on tantrum, the majority of the times he hands it to me. It works for me; give it a shot!

Dr Ishinna Sadana- Parenting Expert & Counsellor did a LIVE with Mansi Zaveri- Founder, and they talked about parenting, raising kids and how not to lose your cool. Watch the video and share it with a fellow mom. 

Prabhu Shubha Vilas, a TEDx speaker, lifestyle coach, storyteller and author on parenting & communication says

If I really want to take care of people well, then it depends on how much I want to communicate with myself.

Watch the full video below to know more about how you can be a better parent and not a bitter one!

Prachi Bansal is a mom & a KSP contributor who runs Empathy Advantage. She says

Our children give us an excellent opportunity to heal, grow and mature. They are the mirrors to our real self. They are walking in the steps of the little boy or girl within you. They are asking you to lead them with love, patience and care. 

Don’t you agree? We want to hear your stories? How have you managed to control your temper (or not)? Talk to us in the comments below or write to us at [email protected]. We love hearing from our readers!

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