No one said life with kids would be easy.
The other day, I received an email from a Mom who felt terrible for yelling at her kids that morning.
She told me the story about how she was trying to get out of the house to take the kids to a playdate.
With shoes, socks, and jackets on, she pushed her kids out the door and told them to hop in the car while she went back inside to grab her purse.
Purse in hand, ready to go, she opened the door and saw her kids stomping barefoot in mud puddles, the littlest one was covered head to foot in mud.
And she lost it.
Yelling and screaming, she gathered up her children, pushed them inside the house, stripped them down and put them into the bath. She screamed at how disrespectful they were and how they never listened and that not only was the playdate canceled for today, but that they weren’t ever going to another playdate ever again.
She was livid.
Oh, I know how this Mama feels because I’ve felt that way too.
Anger can take over any of us.
After I told her that I understood her anger, I passed on a few of my yelling tips, but realized that I didn’t have a post on my favorite yelling tip, the ABCs of yelling.
A- Assess the Situation
C- Calmly Address the Situation
Many parents, including myself at times, skip right over these steps and just react. We don’t give ourselves the time to calm down so that we don’t yell. Because of this, we don’t CALMLY take care of the situation.
We just jump in and react…full of emotions and anger. When we do this it’s harder to handle the situation as well as we could if we slowed down and followed these steps.
Assess The Situation
Take a split second to determine if the current problem is a life or death situation. Does it need your immediate reaction, or can you take a few seconds and compose yourself before you react?
99% of the time, we have can take a few seconds.
Instead of feeling the urgency to yell, catch yourself and pause. Physical reminders can help with this.
This takes practice, but after a while, you’ll find that it gets easier to pause before you yell. This pause is important because it gives us time to breathe…
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor Frankl
Big emotions, like anger, activate the part of our brain called the limbic system. This is a very primitive part of our brain that is one of the driving forces that activates our fight or flight response.
Our frontal lobe is the area that we use to make decisions and think logically. The problem is that when our brain is activated in our limbic system, we can’t use our frontal lobe. We’re literally so emotional that we can’t think straight.
We must take the time to calm down so we can decide on the best way to handle a situation.
Calm down your body and emotions so that you can think clearly and address the situation in an appropriate way.
The easiest way of doing this is to breathe deep full breaths. Take a few deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. This oxygenates your brain and helps you calm down and focus better.
Calmly Address the Situation
Now that you know the why and are feeling calmer, it’s time to address the situation. When you can approach your child in a kind, calm manner you will find better solutions than if you deal with it while angry.
Look at what’s going on in that moment. Look at the behavior behind the action and try to see the whole picture.
A lot of times when we have a good idea of WHY our child is acting the way they are, we can approach them in a better way. It’s so much easier to dissolve a situation when we can focus in on the feelings and motivation behind the behavior, instead of just the behavior.
Plus, your child is more likely to listen to what you are saying when you are calm, rather than angry.
If you can’t do this without losing it, then go back to step 2 until you can.
I know it feels like we have to react immediately when our child acts out or breaks a rule, but the truth is that when we take a few moments to pause we can address the situation in a more thoughtful way. Our reactions are better and our choices in discipline is usually better too.
How to Stop Yelling
If you struggle with feeling angry and frustrated at your kids and your life, there are tools that can teach you how to approach your kids calmly and handle their big emotions like a ninja.
If you are tired of your home feeling chaotic and out of control, I have something that will transform your home into a peaceful, happy home with kids.
You can be that calm happy parent that you know your kids deserve.
It is possible.
(Amanda) has really helped me understand that I CAN parent my child without yelling. My home already feels more peaceful. My child is happier and more cooperative.
It is possible to be that parent who has it all together.
It is possible to love your life with your kids.
It is possible to have a peaceful, calm, and stress-free home with kids.
Mama’s Anger Management has already helped hundreds of mothers take control of their anger and build happier homes with their kids. Don’t you want that too?
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- Here’s Why You’re Yelling At Your Kids…and what to do about it. - January 31, 2017