I AM SO TIRED OF YELLING!

Are you tired of yelling at kids all day? I feel like that's all I do. So I reached out to real moms & asked for advice. Here is what they shared. I FEEL LIKE ALL I DO IS YELL ALL DAY LONG.

This might be a slight exaggeration…I guess I usually don’t start yelling until 9:30 or 10:00 in the morning, with a short reprieve when Ethan is at school from 11:00 to 3:00. But when he gets home from school and the kids are all together again? ALL.I.DO.IS.YELL.

“KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OF YOUR SISTERS!”

“DON’T TOUCH HIM/HER!”

“LILA STOP CRYING YOU WERE FIGHTING WITH ETHAN, TOO!”

“ETHAN HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU TO LEAVE THEM ALONE! AM I SPEAKING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE? WHAT PART OF “KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF” DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND?”

“MIA IF YOU DO THAT AGAIN YOU ARE GOING TO YOUR ROOM.”

“DO YOU GUYS HEAR ME? WHY AREN’T YOU LISTENING TO ME? YOU ARE TOTALLY IGNORING ME! KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OF EACH OTHER!”

“HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU NO RUNNING IN THE HOUSE!”

“I AM GOING TO THROW ALL OF THESE TOYS AWAY IF YOU DON’T PICK THEM UP NOW”

“STOP CRYING!”

“STOP YELLING AND SCREAMING!”

KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OF EACH OTHER!!!

The list just goes on and on. I am frustrated.

I am so tired of yelling. It doesn’t work. But I don’t know what else to do. You know what it makes me feel like? Like I don’t know what I’m doing and that I’m a terrible mom. It also makes me feel like maybe I’m not cut out for this whole parenting thing. I don’t feel like being a mom when all I do is yell.

Don’t get me wrong…I know I’m not the only mom out there to feel this way, but I have to admit, it’s a really shitty feeling.

I rarely spank, taking toys away doesn’t work, going to their rooms is a temporary time out for all of us, but doesn’t change behavior…I don’t know what else to do. I feel horrible because when the kids grow up and look back, I feel like all they will remember is me yelling all the time. I am at a loss.

Are you tired of yelling at kids all day? I feel like that's all I do. So I reached out to real moms & asked for advice. Here is what they shared. So I am asking, begging really, for advice. Your tried and true tricks that really work. Because I can’t keep yelling like this all the time. I know it’s horrible (and ineffective) parenting…please help!

If you can relate, make sure to read through the comments below for some fantastic advice from other moms! Thank you to everybody who shared!

Follow Up: After getting such great advice from you all, I wrote a follow up post titled How To Stop Yelling At Your Kids: Tips To Help You Maintain Your Sanity.

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Comments

  1. I have a yelling issue, too. It used to be so much worse, and this is how I improved it: It’s going to sound a bit nuts, but what helped for me is to use on *myself* one of those tools we’re always told as parents to use with our kids–a behavior chart. What’s good for the goslings is also good for the gander! So, I displayed it on the fridge. I would give myself a star at the end of each day that I didn’t yell (as one for each day that I didn’t pig out on the kids’ leftover food, which is a whole other ball of wax). When I reached 20 stars, I’d reward myself with something like a pedicure. Seeing on paper how much I was or wasn’t yelling each day (and was or wasn’t fattening up my butt), well, it helped me a lot with self-control. I still do yell sometimes. Especially if you’re wired that way, it’s human. You do have to cut yourself some slack, and it’s not the worst thing in the world for the kids to know that sometimes mom’s temper gets the best of her, too.
    Jenny recently posted..Top 10 Uses for My Post-Partum Gut RollMy Profile

  2. I know exactly how you feel. My twins are four years old and I feel like an old record player on loud the whole time!
    “Stop fighting” “leave him/her alone!” “How many times do I have to tell you (insert comment here)!” Etc. Etc. Etc.
    I feel like I have no other level of speech volume besides loud and incredibly loud. Its mentally exhausting. Emotionally exhausting too.
    I have eventually had to walk away from them just to breathe for two seconds before I do something drastic.
    I am with you with the whole frustration of it. I am hoping others who comment will provide better advice.
    I can’t even remember when last I blogged. :(

  3. I am relating with you 100% right now. And with my hubs deployed I think, no I KNOW, it’s gotten worse. And? Yes, I feel horrible. Out of control. Lost. And not very mommylike. Yet… I often feel like if I’m not yelling I’m not being effective.

    I have actually been trying very hard to calm it down… and I think I’m getting better. I do the count to 10, walk away and come back. Just let them hash it out (like when fighting ‘well you two need to make it right with each other, mommy wasn’t fighting’).

    I’m definitely going to be stalking this post to see what your other readers offer up as advice.
    Great post.
    laura recently posted..Celebrating National Strawberry Shortcake Day with Dessert SushiMy Profile

  4. A few suggestions for you:
    1) Pick your battles. ““STOP CRYING!” Stop Crying isn’t something you can force someone to do by simply telling them to stop. Is this really a battle you need to participate in?
    2) Give only one warning. “HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU NO RUNNING IN THE HOUSE!” “I AM GOING TO THROW ALL OF THESE TOYS AWAY IF YOU DON’T PICK THEM UP NOW” Once. Then take action.
    3) Whisper. “DO YOU GUYS HEAR ME? WHY AREN’T YOU LISTENING TO ME? YOU ARE TOTALLY IGNORING ME! KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OF EACH OTHER!” “STOP YELLING AND SCREAMING!” Pretty simple, they can’t hear you whisper while yelling so chances are they’ll stop to hear what you just said. (Reverse psychology.)
    4) Seperate. They can’t fight from different rooms. (Physically.)
    5) Propose and enforce family rules. (ie: No hitting. Immediate time out/loss of privelage.)
    6) Remember to breathe and count to 10 yourself.

    Thinking of you. :)

  5. You know I know how you feel. My kids even talk at an above average volume, so we all find ourselves yelling just to talk over each other. But the yelling at them? I do it way to much.

    What I’ve noticed in MY house (may not be the case in yours), is that when I find myself yelling a lot, it means they need my attention more to redirect them into something more productive. Also I sometimes have to swallow my instinct to yell and speak calmly. They may hear my voice when I yell, but they hear my words when I speak calmly at their level. Good luck. :)
    Leigh Ann recently posted..Headshots: A humbling experienceMy Profile

  6. You own your tone…imagine that you’ve lost your voice….try whispering…the kids will freak out and stop what they are doing just so they can hear you.

    Sometimes when it gets to be too much…I stop what I am doing and I send myself to my room. Let the kids fight. “Excuse me. I am going to my room. When you are ready to play nice and be kind to each other, then come and get me. If someone gets hurt while I’m gone, you’ll just have to take care of it yourselves.” Then leave the room. Inevitably…with no one to pay attention to them…they’ll get bored with each other and come find you. Or they will get hungry.

    I also use the “don’t come crying to me.” Comment. “I’ve asked you to play nice several times. The next time someone gets hurt, I don’t want to hear any crying or screaming or complaining. You can stay away from each other (play in different rooms) or play nice together.”

    And inevitably..I also separate them (make them sit on chairs in opposite sides of the room) and tell them that there is no more talking or touching or playing for 10 minutes (or until dinner is ready). Or I actually tell them what they need to go play (H you go play with your art kit and R you go play with your legos) that separates them.

  7. The thing that works best for me is getting myself out of the situation for a minute. (kind of like counting to 10 but a little longer) I allow myself to calm down and then I don’t explode. It is still a work in progress but it does help.
    Good luck!
    Kristen recently posted..Memories Captured – Music Feeds The SoulMy Profile

  8. Hi Natalie,

    I feel your frustration and commend you for reaching out for advice and support. So many moms and dads experience exactly what you’re going through right now.

    You’re sure to get plenty of helpful advice in the comments and from those who have been in your shoes, but I wanted to share a link with you that might also be useful:
    Parenting techniques and effective ways to communicate with your loved ones –
    http://happyhealthyhip.com/workshops.php

  9. Try whispering. Seriously. I found that yelling wasn’t getting me anywhere, but a really serious whisper got his attention fast – mostly because he had to get quiet to hear me!

  10. I feel ya 100%. Yes, they will look back and remember a mom who screamed at them all the time. It completely shadows the good, fun, loving time you spend together. I know this by example, and yet, I’m a yeller. The biggest thing that convicts me is when I hear my oldest when he loses his temper. He sounds just like me and it is disgusting. The biggest thing I have to remember is to keep my patience. Do the best I can to keep it at a reasonable level and give myself a break from time to time. I always try harder the next day. You’re not going to be perfect, so don’t expect that. Redirecting their attention and play has worked best for me, but I notice when I’m tired, stressed, over it, that things escalate so much quicker because I take the harsh way out and yell instead of suggesting another game or what have you. Good luck. I’m still working at it too.

  11. I hate when I find myself yelling at my kids at the end of the day – it happens to all of us. My advice? Wear earplugs and drink more. Kidding, listen to the good moms :)
    Poppy recently posted..You Can Have My Kidney, but not My DentistMy Profile

  12. What I have found is that yelling DOES NOT communicate what I am trying to say. I do take a moment, breathe, and then try and use different words. My kids are teens now, and I still yell, but I realize that they would ‘hear me’ more, if I am not yelling.

  13. I also yell and know it does not work but I get so frustrated. Love these tips in the comments.
    Carly recently posted..New Years ResolutionsMy Profile

  14. I’m a yeller. And I know why I do it. I grew up in a house of yelling. It was what I was conditioned to respond to. I hate it to but I use it because IT WORKS. It startles my son into paying attention to what I’m saying.

    Now, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. I think the idea, as other people mentioned, is that you save your voice until you mean business. And then you talk like you mean business. I’m working on it. And my son hates it so sometimes when he doesn’t listen, I will calmly ask him if he wants me to yell and he says no. Aversion therapy?
    Fadra recently posted..Blogmas 2012: The Best of the RestMy Profile

  15. Some day I feel like I just need to use my “angry voice first. My “kind” voice seems to be ignored.
    JDaniel4′s Mom recently posted..Breakfast Foods- Snowman MealMy Profile

  16. I do this at home with my kids as well. I don’t like it, but it seems like they’ve been conditioned to only respond after I freak out. I know that’s on me and I need to do something about it.

    At girl scout meets I often found myself yelling just so that the girls could simply hear me. They all get together and start chatting and before you know it the volume in the room is so loud that you can’t even hear yourself think. I’ve started whispering or talking very low at all meetings. That way they have to be quiet so that they can hear what I’m saying. If I don’t have their attention I do the “if you can hear me clap once, if you can hear me clap twice” thing until I get their attention again.
    Jennifer recently posted..A new beginning, Creative WritingMy Profile

  17. This resonates with me mainly because I can pinpoint WHY it’s such a hot button item for me. You know when you’re younger and you proclaim your parents are awful parents about at least one thing and you take that thing and say this is not how I’m going to parent? Well, for me it’s my mother’s yelling. And then here I am doing the same thing and I hate it. I try (and sometimes it works) to curb it, breathe first, walk away, realize I’m the adult (and that my kids are learning my behavior. That’s the worst. My 12 yr old has so many of my mannerisms and I want to catch her now before it’s “normal” for her.)

    At my 9-year-old’s school, there was a developmental coach who was brought into the traditional classrooms (she started out only working with kids with developmental delays) and she would say “put on your brakes” and the kids would have to stop and stand still. I think it had something to do with her not being me, you know? And the principal says something (I don’t know the language; I think it’s an African dialect) like AH-JO and the kids respond AH-JAY. I tried it once at home and it worked because they were surprised to hear me do it. I just know that I have to eliminate triggers like being tired (ha!) and I’m less inclined to yell. As often.
    Arnebya recently posted..Wanna See My Butt?My Profile

    • Shanna Johnson says:

      My worst fear has always been yelling like my mother. I catch myself screaming at my 2 year olds and it just scares them and makes them cry, my 3 year old just yells back, but he is also on the verge of crying. I realized that being tired makes me extra irratable, so sleep and caffeine help. Removing potential battles helps a lot. If you are constantly saying “Don’t touch that!” then IT needs to be removed permanently. It also helps to apologize to your children when you yell at them, it helps reminds you both that yelling is not what you should be doing. My current strategy is posting a big sign on my living room wall with the “house rules” These are confined to (1) No hurting (2) No yelling. It helps me remember not to yell and it helps me to remember what isn’t worth yelling about.

  18. I did this to my toddler a lot in the first few months after the baby was born. It did not work, obviously.

    So I would speak softly when I want him to do something. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it works. If I want him to stop crying/ screaming/ yelling, I actually hug him. It doesn’t always work immediately, but it works most of the time.

    I think the yelling issue requires us to change our mindset, our behavior, not just them. Also, look into triggers. Why is Ethan always disturbing his sisters? Is he looking for attention? Boredom?

    Good luck, I know how frustrating it is. There are days I still yell. Sigh.
    Alison recently posted..Memories Captured – January LinkupMy Profile

  19. I have this problem, too. The kids don’t listen to me nearly as much as they do their dad, so I feel like I always have to yell to get their attention. For the oldest, who’s 7, taking things away (like Legos or video games) really does help. The rest are harder because they’re younger. I’ve read that whispering or singing helps, and I should try that, but I feel silly. :) I do know that with the little ones, getting down at their level and talking sternly and quietly REALLY gets their attention.
    Greta @gfunkified recently posted..Mamavation UpdateMy Profile

  20. First of all, Natalie, thank YOU for being so honest with us. I’m a yeller too. And I hate it.

    I just read all of these comments and I’m so happy to have some wonderful suggestions to curb it. I don’t want to be the Mom that yelled all the time either. And my oldest hates it and has started doing it too. So yeah, time to nip this in the bud!

    Thank you again for this post!

  21. When it gets to the point where I have to yell then I know it’s time for daddy step in. Usually all it takes is the threat of calling him and the kids behave. Usually.
    Jessica recently posted..Problems With Homeschooling Two KidsMy Profile

  22. Hi Natalie, I came here through a RT by Alison. That you are asking for help is definitely a sign that you a good mother. First, pat yourself on the back. Them maybe eat some chocolate.

    The best story I’ve heard about keeping cool is about a mother of 15 (that’s not a typo. Fifteen kids, God bless her). Things were usually loud and hectic, and one day she had had enough. She said, “the next person who yells is going to her room.” And then she yelled. I think that is absolutely brilliant.

    By nature, I have a short fuse and have not always been able to speak to my kids the way I want. I know that they will learn to react the way I show them, and I don’t want them to blow up at every frustration (to be fair, parenting seems filled with more frustration that your average office job, but still). I’ve been working on it for the past three years or so, and I have seen improvement.

    Here are some things that worked for me:
    Knowing my triggers: Am I tired (duh, but I mean more so than usual)? When’s the last time I ate something substantial/healthy? Is there anything over the normal stressors that is causing me additional stress? Have there been any changes in the routine that are throwing me off? Just keeping in mind that I’m off kilter can help me prevent a blow-up.

    Speaking softly: Like some of the other commenters, I’ve found that when I say things scary quiet, it’s been more effective. Especially if they’re used to you yelling, oh boy, they’ll be wondering what is going on.

    Picking my battles: There are so many things that I would prefer my kids to do. Hang up their coats, put away their shoes, share nicely, etc. But they’re kids, and they need me to cut them some slack. Saying no or giving them orders all the time didn’t work for us. I would focus on one thing at a time, for a few days or a week (let’s say picking up toys) and let everything else slide.

    Ignoring bad behavior/praising good: When my four-year-old starts to pitch a fit, I just walk away. I don’t repeat myself or try to reason with him. I just tell him no, a short reason why and leave. Whenever they do something good I go overboard with praise. Call grandma. Write a note to their teacher. Send an email to their father. Whatever. I also keep a stash of dollar store toys to bust out from time to time, just to keep the positive feelings flowing.

    Unless someone is in physical danger, I do not get involved with fights. If I am within the line of vision, I will intervene, but if they can’t see me, I pretend like it’s not happening, unless it sounds like someone is in real trouble. 95% of the time , they resolve it themselves.

    Oh my gosh, this is so long it’s practically a post. I’m sorry it’s so long, and I hope at least some of it is helpful. Best wishes! Good luck!
    Rivki Silver recently posted..The Perfect MarriageMy Profile

  23. Oh man. I wish I had an answer for you. I feel like I snap and yell a bit too much, too. It’s not that I MEAN to, but like you said, spanking doesn’t work (and I really don’t LIKE to spank my kid unless it’s something uber serious), time outs aren’t worth it because he usually ends up yelling and crying until the time out is over…so where is the relief in that? And taking toys away is pointless because he just finds something else to play with. Truthfully? I’ve found that the best way to get my sons attention and make him understand what he’s doing wrong is to get down on his level and talk to him calmly like he’s a grown up. I think it’s a respect thing. He feels like he’s being treated like a big boy, so he acts like one. Good luck!
    Courtney Kirkland recently posted..Thoughts on BreastfeedingMy Profile

  24. I took a love and logic class that addressed yelling and boy did I need it. I already knew that I had two strong willed children, but I didn’t know that I was making it worse by saying do this don’t do that. In the class we learned to reverse how we say things-and I’m not going to lie it’s really, really, really hard to change how you talk to your kids. For example I used to say (and still slip up and say) stop whining-instead of saying I’ll speak to you when you use a voice like mine. Or hurry up we’re late – instead of we are leaving the house in 5 minutes are you going to have your shoes on your feet or carry them to the car. Of course the trick is that you have to say something you’ll back up. I once snapped and said if you don’t stop fighting over that toy I’m going to throw it away. Oops, didn’t mean to say that so I had to throw it away when they didn’t stop fighting. You can check out their website for more info. It’s helped me cut back on my yelling. Now I just need a magic pill to alter my personality so I’ll stop all together. I envy the even tempered moms I know who never yell.
    Twingle Mommy recently posted..Unplanned Blogging BreakMy Profile

  25. Oh, how I get this, girl!

    I love the discussion and advice happening here, and your site looks fabulous!!
    Galit Breen recently posted..Joining the allParenting Team!My Profile

  26. I yell too but I found that just repeating over and over also works but is more annoying to do. Just keep repeating in a calm, firm voice. This is advice from when my kids were younger that they said their teacher did that worked for them. Calm Firm Voice. Sounds easy but it’s hard to pull off!
    PragmaticMom recently posted..Arthur Dove Abstract Art Project for KidsMy Profile

  27. sarah cavallaro says:

    Please know you are not alone! I have just finished reading a book called “parenting without power struggles” and I have to say that I have noticed a big difference already. Maybe you could give it a go? Written by a psychologist. X

  28. So much good advice! Different approaches work for different moms and different kids. I read voraciously when my kids were at that stage. Here’s a post about my favorite parenting books that helped, especially parenting with love and logic.
    http://www.eatlivelaughshop.com/2010/10/5-best-parenting-books.html

    Good luck!!
    Amy ~ Eat. Live. Laugh. Shop. recently posted..Twin differences.My Profile

  29. There are days when you just yell …
    My oldest was a cherub when using 1 2 3 Magic, my youngest used it to count to ten and scream Hooray! But there is a book called grace based parenting which makes you take a step back, look at yourself and approach slowly.
    The biggest of all is follow thro. Say what you mean, mean what you say and then take it where you said you were going to … did that even make sense?
    well, and wine … always wine xxxx
    Sisters from Another Mister recently posted..Fork in the roadMy Profile

  30. The thing that I have learned, from my amazing husband and our girlfriend who has trained horses for many years. Consistency, Consistency, Consistency. Before your yell take a deep breath and get the attention of the kid. Ask for their focus and then give short specific directions. If there is an argument give a min to listen, validate the argument but then give directions. If you threaten to do something…do it! take the toy away, send them to bed, put them in time out and if you choose to spank, spank them. If you do choose to spank do so with justice ie; keep it reasonable, short and to the point. We spank in my house but we only have to give one or two smacks and for the most part its the anticipation and follow through that is the worst part. You dont have to swing for the fences like some people think spankers do and you dont have to wack away. In fact out of control spanking is worse than controlled and reasonable spanking.

    Also only assign consequences to specific actions; ie spanking is reserved for out right intentional defiance, therefore it is a rare punishment. I like writing assignments for older kids and restricting TV or Video games for the younger set. The toddler is just redirection, not much else you can do because they cannot understand reasoning at this age and punishments are lost on them, even time outs or taking toys away.

    But I will tell you there was nothing more that I feared than my mom lowering her voice….

  31. I find myself yelling lately a lot more than I would like (or like to admit). And you’re right – it’s ineffective parenting. I know this, and yet I do it anyway. Maybe not yelling, per se, but definitely “speaking sharply,” which is just as ineffective. I don’t usually do it in public, but yesterday when I picked my daughter up from school, a friend wouldn’t share a toy with her and she started to melt down and I got irritable because OMG-the-whining-lately! and essentially snapped at her to stop using her whiny voice. And then her teacher called her over and sat her on her lap and quietly and gently had a talk with her about sharing and waiting your turn and how crying and whining doesn’t solve anything and doesn’t make her feel better. And I felt HORRIBLE. I know her teacher wasn’t trying to show me up or teach me a lesson (or at least I don’t THINK she was), but I still couldn’t help but think, “I’m doing this all wrong.”

    Basically, I know that quiet conversations at eye level are the best means of getting your point across to a child. I KNOW this… but it doesn’t always work out that way.
    Kristin @ What She Said recently posted..The Lying GameMy Profile

  32. Katie smith says:

    Omg as I’m reading this I’m yelling at my 2 year old AND husband. “Get your face outoftheipad I can’t see” “if your running low on tp then take a few in the bathroom” lol I wish I knew what to tell you because I am dealing with the same thing with my 2 year old.

  33. I don’t know how to stop yelling either. NOTHING works. I worry that my kids hate me. I hate it. :(

  34. Sometimes I feel like all I do is yell. I’m working on it.

    I try to take a deep breath before I say anything now and that helps with that gut reaction of yelling.
    Shell recently posted..The Official LEGO® ChannelMy Profile

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    memes ugly face recently posted..memes ugly faceMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. [...] often feel like that is all we do.  If this sounds like you, head over to Mommy of a Monster and give her some of your best stop yelling advice…or just let her know she isn’t alone, we all feel like that [...]

  2. [...] week, I wrote a post about YELLING that resonated with a lot of you. Stay tuned for the follow up post, which I’m working on [...]

  3. [...] couple of weeks ago, I told you how I was TIRED OF YELLING all the time. When I wrote it, I was venting – looking for a way to yell without yelling. I [...]

  4. [...] couple of weeks ago, I told you how I was TIRED OF YELLING all the time. When I wrote it, I was venting – looking for a way to yell without yelling. I had [...]

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