The way I teach how to stop yelling at your kids is different than most experts.
I teach you strategies for both 1) in the moment and 2) out of the moment.
A combination of both will help you calm your nervous system so you can act from your highest self in the most challenging moments, including when your kids are driving you nuts.
How To Stop Yelling In The Moment
When you’re in the moment, feeling triggered, the most important thing to do is regulate your body to a state of calm.
This will help you stop taking the action you don’t want to be taking (yelling).
Here are my top three strategies for how to stop yelling when you’re feeling triggered in the moment.
1. Place your hand on your heart.
Touch is a form of self-soothing. By placing your hand on your heart, you provide yourself with self compassion.
It’s like saying, “I’m here for you. You’re okay. It’s safe to calm down. We got this.”
2. Have go-to mantras to repeat.
In the moment fixes aren’t the long-term strategies that give you the transformation, but they are really important as you start practicing not yelling. You’ll still likely find yourself triggered, and it will take longer than you expect for real change to stick.
So having a few go-to mantras to help you regulate to a state of calm can be really helpful in the moment.
Mantras To Use In The Moment:
- I’m safe.
- My child is safe.
- I can cope with this.
- Lessons are being learned.
- Kids are supposed to do XYZ. It’s okay.
- Nothing has gone wrong.
3. Take deep breaths in and out.
Breath is one of the most powerful ways to release emotion from your body. And this is important to do because your emotions are what’s driving you to yell (more on this below).
Take deep breaths in and out whenever you’re feeling triggered in the moment. Don’t expect the emotion to go away entirely, but do expect it to decrease in intensity.
How To Stop Yelling Out Of The Moment
Out of the moment is where the magic happens. This is where you can become a mom who doesn’t yell at all.
It’s based on identifying the root cause of why you yell (your thoughts and feelings) and changing them.
Step 1: Identify what you’re currently thinking and feeling.
Your thoughts create your feelings. And your feelings create your actions.
Yelling is an action. So the reason that you’re yelling is because of what you’re thinking and feeling, not because of what is happening at home.
To become someone who doesn’t yell, you need to determine what you’re currently thinking and feeling that’s causing you to yell.
For example, let’s say you walk into your son’s room and you see clothes and toys all over the floor. You immediately get mad and yell at him. You don’t want to. It just happens. The reason this just “happens” is because you’ve repeated the pattern so much that it’s now your default. To change it, you have to identify what you’re thinking and feeling that’s causing you to yell. In this case, it might be thoughts like “he doesn’t listen to me; his room was supposed to be cleaned by now” and that line of thinking might create feelings of frustration and irritation which in turn you react to and yell.
So think about the last time you yelled; What were you thinking? What were you feeling?
Step 2: Create a plan to think and feel on purpose.
Think about the version of you who doesn’t yell. She still has the same kids who do the same things (i.e. don’t clean their rooms when asked).
How does this version of you respond? How does she react? How does she show up, if she’s not yelling?
Most importantly: how does she think and feel about her kids when they don’t listen (or do whatever it is that you often yell about)?
Come up with the thoughts and feelings this version of you has so you can have a plan for how you want to show up in the future.
For example, if you want to feel steady and empowered when your kids don’t listen or follow the rules, what do you need to think that way? Maybe a thought like: I can be a loving mom, enforce the rules, and feel content all at the same time.
*Side note: did you know you don’t have to get mad and angry when your kids don’t do what you want? It’s true. You can have rules, enforce them, and not get upset about it. Try it. It’s magic.
Step 3: Practice becoming her.
Take your new thoughts and feelings and visualize being the mom who thinks and feels how you want to in the moment.
Make sure that you keep your kids behaving the same (you can’t control them!).
This will take practice. Right now you’re practicing in the old way. So expect this to really be a practice for you.
A Final Note
Be sure not to make it hard or heavy. This work is worth doing, but it doesn’t have to be so full of guilt and shame.
You’re doing a great job! And that includes even if there are times when you yell and snap. You’re a human being (not a robot), so give yourself permission to love and respect yourself as a woman and mom, mistakes and all.