We’ve all been there. Exhausted, frustrated, and sick of the whining and fighting, we’ve all shouted the words, ‘SIT DOWN AND BE QUIET!” at our children. Go ahead. Admit it. You’ve done it and you certainly aren’t alone. All parents are guilty of, at one time or another, yelling at kids to get their attention, or in a desperate effort to simply be heard. It’s okay to lose control on a rare occasion, but if you find yourself yelling at your kids on a daily basis, it means you are relying on it as a form of communication. And that is simply wrong. Learn how to stop yelling at your kids and they’ll learn how to listen to you.
You can learn to stop yelling at your kids
For some, the simple idea of not yelling seems like an impossible task. After all, the only time the kids listen is when you yell. Right? Here’s something to consider – If you have always raised your voice to get the attention of your child, chances are he or she has learned to only follow direction when being yelled at. That’s not a good thing. Here’s how to stop yelling at your kids and get them to listen.
Why yelling is wrong
Yelling at your kids is simply not productive, as you probably know by now. What typically happens when you yell? Chances are, the children yell back. As a result, you yell over them. Then, they yell louder. No one is actually listening to anyone, and everyone is just fighting to be heard. Thus, nothing is really getting resolved, there is no lesson being learned, and everyone ends up feeling frustrated and upset. And then, there’s the guilt. Your guilt, that is. At the end of the day, when the kids are asleep and your left to your thoughts, you feel guilty over the way you handled the situation, and you make a vow to yourself to do it all different tomorrow.
So it’s obvious that yelling is not getting anyone anywhere and the problem is not going to resolve itself. When you yell, you teach the children to communicate by yelling. Before you know it, you’ll hear them yelling at their siblings and at their friends when they want something. Why? Because it’s how they’ve learned to communicate. It doesn’t make you a bad parent. It simply makes you human.
How to stop yelling once and for all
Evaluate the situation – Sit back and think about what is causing you to yell at your kids in the first place. Is it fighting? Are they leaving their toys all over the house? What is the cause of your stress? Identify it and evaluate what can be done to make the situation less stressful.
Speak quietly – It may sound insane, but when you get upset, speak quietly. By speaking in hushed tones, children have no choice but to stop and pay close attention to what you’re saying. You remain calm, the child remains calm, and everyone learns how to listen to one another.
Practice – Stop yelling at your kids by making it a game. You and your child practice speaking to each other in quiet voices. If your child get upset about something and begins to yell, encourage him or her to speak with you quietly about it. If they begin to raise their voice, tell them that you cannot hear them unless they speak quietly. Request that your child say the same to you when you get upset, which will help you realize how often you are truly yelling at your kids.
Take a time out – When all else fails, do what you can to walk away from an exasperating situation. When your kids are driving you nuts and you feel you’re about to lose it, step outside, phone the babysitter, or head to the gym. Most gyms have a daycare on-site, and getting a short break may be all you need to get yourself back under control and prevent yelling at your kids before you start.
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Jennifer Wagner – Yahoo! Contributor Network