Yelling in Parenting

Judging by statistics I read, spanking is still a problem.  Yet, this doesn’t seem to be something the mothers I know  personally do– none of them spank. (Yes, I live in a bubble, I guess!)

Time-out and the isolation of a child due to  challenging behavior, whilst a problem in the US (and confirmed by my international readers that this really doesn’t come up in other countries), is again,  not something the mothers I personally know seem to do.  (Yes, again, I live in a bubble).

But yelling seems to be almost a commonality.  And most of all, this seems to be something that occurs with even more frequency with children who are over the age of 7 rather  than small children.

It is almost as if the lie of anger wins – you know, the lie in one’s head that says, “My goodness!  They are seven years old!  They KNOW better than that!  They are just doing this to make me angry!  They are trying to push my buttons!”

Anger looks at ONLY the negative, anger makes us feel as if we must “fix” this problem right away or our child will grow up to be this horrible human being, anger makes us feel as if the normal things that children do being children need to be squashed and stomped on instead of being calmly guided.

And underneath that anger, is our own needs.  Our own very real fear.  Our own very real fatigue and loneliness.  Our own distraction with other things that really have nothing to do with our child. 

From an attachment standpoint, yelling makes very little sense because we want to treat our children with dignity and  we know children need our guidance.  But trying to guide a child with yelling is a little like trying to drive a car by solely using the horn.  Your guidance, your message will be lost in the delivery.

From a Waldorf perspective, yelling is not a tool to use for discipline.  A small child lives in the will, the doing, and in the lower senses – and guess what?  Hearing is not one of the lower four senses that make up the willing senses of the small child! 

What can you do instead of yelling?

1. PLAN your day – children need time to let off steam, and children also need time to calm down.  Limit how many places you are trying to get your children off to, because if Mommy is less stressed then everyone is happier!  Children truly need less activities, more time at home, less lessons and classes and more time with family.

2.  CALL IT QUITS – If it is close to bedtime and everyone is falling apart, sometimes all you can do is get through it and get everyone off to bed.  Recognize the times when the lesson will be lost due to hunger, needing sleep, etc.  Raising a child is not a “one-shot” deal – your child can still grow up to be a wonderful adult even if you don’t “hammer the point” over and over.

3.  For the older children, be careful too not equate the 7-9 year old with a teenager in terms of reasoning skills!  Here are some of my thoughts regarding talking to the seven and eight year old:http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/02/26/how-to-talk-to-your-seven-and-eight-year-old/ 

Make sure what you expect is actually developmentally appropriate.

4.  WALK IT OFF – If you feel so angry that you are going to explode, go outside and calm down and then come back and guide.  If you get angry again, go back outside.  You can only effectively guide your child when you are calm. 

5.  STICK TO THE BOUNDARY – None of this is to say the boundary should not be kept.  The boundary needs to be kept!  The behavior must be guided, but CALMLY.

6. TRY LESS WORDS – If you talk, explain, re-hash, lecture, write the book down and leave it on their pillow, you are using too many words and the child is tuning you out!  Less words!  Control your verbal spillage!

7.  MORE WORK- Yes, you will have to do chores with them when they are under the age of seven.  Yes, when they ages seven through nine they will get distracted and will need verbal reminders.  Yes, the effort is worth it, and knowing that  training a child to do chores requires effort will hopefully help you not to yell so much about it!

8.  BOUNDARIES ON FRIENDS – There should be no guilt in having “family-only” time during the week and week-ends.  Simplifying makes life less stressful and less stressful means less yelling!

9. FILL YOUR OWN TANK – It is hard when you have babies and toddlers to get time to yourself, but involve Dad and family.  Also catch those small moments.  Catch a few minutes to read after your child goes to sleep.  Sing while you do the dishes.  Keep filling up your tank, so you can be calm and centered,

10.  JUST BECAUSE YOUR CHILD IS HAVING A BAD DAY DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO!  Your child will not remember ten years from now why you yelled at them; they will only remember how things felt generally and how you made them feel.  If you can model being calm and controlled, think of what a powerful life lesson that could be for your child to see and learn from!

11. CONNECTION – keep connecting with this child; love this child.  That is the most important key to discipline.

12.  SOLVE THE PROBLEM – If your older child is always being noisy during a younger child’s naptime, and you yell, what could you do to solve the problem instead?  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting something different to happen!

Don’t let the big lie of anger get you!  You don’t have to yell.  Model this calmness during the “breaking points” and your whole family will benefit! During this period of renewal between Easter and Ascension, commit to not yelling.

Many blessings,

Carrie

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11 thoughts on “Yelling in Parenting

  1. Great topic Carrie and great post! Of course I have yelled at my kids before and it tears me up afterwards every time. But I’ve also rewarded myself (silently) inside the times I have succeeded at consciously NOT yelling at them as well.

    Great points and reminders to us all in your post.

    Thanks,
    Jacqueline

  2. Hi Carrie.

    Thanks.
    I especially liked:

    10. JUST BECAUSE YOUR CHILD IS HAVING A BAD DAY DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO!
    Priceless.

  3. Wonderful post Carrie. I just finished reading a response on parenting, thought i’d pass it along – http://gregghake.wordpress.com/2010/05/01/practical-wisdom-whats-your-job-description/#comments

    “Children Learn What They Live” by Dorothy Law Nolte

    If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
    If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
    If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
    If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
    If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
    If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
    If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
    If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
    If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
    If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
    If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
    If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
    If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
    If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
    If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
    If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
    If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
    If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
    If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

    Thanks for your continued efforts to awaken each of us to the potential within!
    Mom’s, share this info with Dad’s – even tho we’re busy we want to be better fathers.

  4. hi Carrie

    I’ve been failing lately LOL. my temper is so short, since nigel was born on 4/19. My poor Emerson. I feel like all I say is “no”

    she loves her brother, but i’m nervous since 3 year olds don’t really know where their body is in space, and i’m afraid she’s going to accidently smash into him.

    so…i’ve been having a rough time of it. That and recoverying from the c-section. And it was a difficult one.

    Thanks for this post. It is really helpful

    I have to remember, Im not the only one adjusting…she is too (and my husband as well)

    compassion all round!

    Jennifer

    • Oh Jennifer! Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations!! I hope you are feeling better and better each and every day!

      Much love!!
      Carrie

  5. I have been traveling and haven’t had internet time to read your blog, and oh, how I have missed your wisdom. I just wrote a post on my blog about kind of the same subject.

    Lately my mantra when I get angry has been to recite the fruit of the spirit. Something about saying “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness…” reminds me that these are the qualities that I want to be cultivating instead of anger, impatience, irritability…

  6. Pingback: Parental Anger and Forgiveness of Children « The Parenting Passageway

  7. Pingback: May Gentle Discipline Fair » The Road Less Traveled To Parenthood » Baby Dust Diaries

  8. Carrie,
    Another wonderful post. I have been slowly reading through your blog when I have a few minutes here and there. Looking at the posts that seem to deal with how our life is going right now. This is one I have been stressing about. Again great points to think about and instill in my household. Thank you again!

  9. Pingback: May Gentle Discipline Fair « Baby Dust Diaries

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