“My biggest struggle was yelling – boy, was I a yeller!” wrote Rachel, a mama in my Facebook group.
Rachel has worked very hard to stop yelling and has made amazing progress.
How did she stop yelling? Determination and relentless focus, combined with tools that increased her ability to regulate her emotions in the moment.
Why did Rachel stop yelling? She realized how it affected her kids.
Managing to stop yelling is not easy- in fact it may be the hardest thing you’ll ever do- but it is possible. You can use those small people in your lives to motivate you and inspire you to make changes.
Sometimes we get so locked in our own stresses (“I’m going to be late for work again!”) and our own struggles (“Why can’t they just go to sleep?!?”) that we forget about our children at the receiving end of our outbursts.
We have our own grown-up tantrums and let the angry words fly. The crazy thing is that often we feel better because we’ve offloaded that angry energy. And sometimes we get results- everyone scrambles off to get ready and we manage to get to work on time.
But at what cost? What does this do to our kids?
Early on in her journey Rachel had an experience that helped her stay on track with her goal of stopping yelling. She was able to see herself through her children’s eyes- and what she saw terrified her.
She writes: “One day my kids were messing around in the bathroom, and I came in all angry and yelling. I happened to catch my face in the mirror and I stopped dead in my tracks, mouth open from yelling – my face looked so mean, so scary, I couldn’t believe it. This was the face I showed the people I love more than anything on earth?!”
Maybe we can tell ourselves it doesn’t matter- the kids seem fine and the situation is resolved. Maybe they are are used to it and they hardly even react.
Consider another ‘aha moment’ that really motivated Rachel to stay with the hard work of stopping yelling:
“One day, my husband yelled at my son for something and somehow my arm was around him and my hand was on his chest. As my husband shouted I could feel my son’s little heart beating a thousand beats a minute. On the outside, he was his typical, combative self, but I could feel his panic, his anxiety, his fear through his heart beat. I never want to be the cause of that fear, it broke my heart.”
Children may not react too much when we yell, especially if we yell a lot, but inside they are terrified and stressed.
Seeing herself from her children’s point of view- how scary and mean she looked- and recognizing how deeply- if invisibly- yelling affected her child- really changed things for Rachel. “On the occasions that I raise my voice, those incidents both pop in my head. I immediately stop and apologize.”
It takes so much work to stop yelling. But when we stop and really think about how it affects our children- we have 1 or 2 (or 3 or more) really great reasons to do so.
BONUS: If you want to stop yelling- I have an E- course for you:
“Stop Yelling At Your Kids: A How-To With 21 Days of Tools and Support.
How it works: I send you an email every day for 3 weeks. (It takes time to make lasting change!) You make the commitment to show up and work hard.
Each email contains strategies, tips, encouragement and support to make your stop yelling goal a reality. You’ll also get bonus download tools and other fun stuff and access to a private Facebook page for extra support from me and other parents on this journey.
It’s not easy to stop yelling at your kids but you can do it. I will show you how- and support you along the way.
Sign up here to get started right away. You can do this!!
Sarah Rosensweet is a certified peaceful parenting coach, speaker, and educator. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three big kids (ages 15, 18, and 21). Peaceful parenting is a non-punitive, connection-based approach that uses firm limits with lots of empathy. Sarah works one-on-one virtually with parents all over the world to help them go from frustrated and overwhelmed to, “We’ve got this!”
Read more at: www.sarahrosensweet.com
Thank you for sharing this. I hadn’t thought about the kids not showing a reaction. It’s really eye opening.