How do you stop yelling when diciplining your children?

Bobbie - posted on 08/12/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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Yelling seems natural to me but I feel awful after I yell at them and it is ineffective. Any suggestions?

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Alison - posted on 08/13/2010

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You need a time-out. :)
Tell yourself that yelling is never the answer. When you feel it is the only option, take a little breather (you can even tell your kids you are taking a time-out), then come back an look for a calmer way out.

You have three little ones and that can be really overwhelming. But once you start yelling, they will only respond to yelling ("if she really means it, she'll yell"), so it is a horrible vicious circle.

Personally, I love supernanny. You can even watch episodes online at http://www.watchseries.com. She always has a solution that does not involve yelling and she always gets results. It is fascinating!

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Debbie - posted on 05/02/2013

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Yelling is a last-ditch method of exhibiting frustration on our part. Most mothers are not equipped with the coping skills necessary for the anxiety and continuous anti-mom protests we get throughout the day. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming. I realized I not only yelled, but I would yell edicts that I knew I wouldn't do even if the children didn't follow instructions. For instance: If you do that one more time, I will ground you for a month! The child calls us on that 'one more time' and does 'it'. I would say, I'm serious, I'll give you one more chance....You know the drill. Not only was I teaching that I couldn't control my temper, but I was teaching that I lied, and couldn't be trusted to mean what I said. I had to find a way that gave me the power to mean what I said and stay in control as I was challenged. I read an interesting parenting book called From Combat Zone to Love at Home. It was about a mother who felt like I did and had developed a system called the happy face tokens. She described a simple program that can be adapted as the children grow, to be used throughout their teens. She said her children responded so well that by the third week they were asking her for ways to earn tokens and doing things she couldn't get them to do (even with money) before. They were calling her the best mom in the world and they were doing all the work! She also said that this token system seemed to come with a built in consistency factor that gave her control and ability to mean what she said; her yelling and frustration was at a mimimum and the whole home atmosphere had changed. I tried it and she was right! It was an amazing experience and it did indeed change my whole outlook on being a happy mom. Check it out at http://happyfacetokens.com
Even my strong willed child was willing to give compliance in ways I couldn't have imagined.

Ana - posted on 04/15/2011

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I am tryin out this new method with my son.. I assigned a Timeout chair. Now, I know it seems like a usual punishment, but the twist is instead of paying attention to them when they cry, scream, talk, yell. You ignore them. The only time you talk or make eye contact is to tell them to sit back in the chair. And the time you take them out is once they are quiet for what ever age they are. For example, my son is about to be 3 next month, so I wait until he is quiet for 3 straight minutes. But the hard part is you can't make eye contact or acknowledge what they say. He would be quiet for 2 minutes and then start crying, so I would get frustrated. The first day he was there for over an hour each time. The second day it was about an hour. Now he's at 30 minutes or so. It was hard at 1st, but it's been 3 days since I started doing this and I can already see an improvement. I know what you mean about the yelling, and it is pretty ineffective. The reason being is they shut down and don't listen. I notice my son listens to me more when I'm calmer and it's just me and him. But try the chair! I really think it works since you ignore all the "cries for attention" that we don't realize they do. And it helps them realize that acting that way won't get them what they want. Hope this helps!

Jessica - posted on 09/09/2010

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I have 2 childen from my first marriage I was much younger when I had them and remember when I used to have the same problem! I now have a 2 yr old and very rarely have to raise my voice. I just thought it was because I am older now and have so much more patience. Remember you are teaching them to "YELL" as you are doing it to them!

Lina - posted on 09/08/2010

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I just do not yell, the same as I do not yell at my other family members. You say it is not effective. Answer yourself a question, what it gives you. If nothing just an ease inside, go to the WC to scream insted of yelling at your kids.

Rebekah - posted on 09/04/2010

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My son is getting good at trying out new stunts too. I put him in his highchair and buckle it for time outs. Then I walk away and drink a glass of water to help myself cool down. Plus this takes about a minute, the max for time outs at this age, so when I return he is ready to be done. I give him his directions again and then we have a kiss and start again. Actually works suprisingly well for most situations.

The worst lately was that he totally can open any door and was playing peek-a-boo instead of sleeping (in toddler bed) I spent one afternoon yelling and then I bought some of those door thingies to keep him in his room at naptime. We are back to real naps and sleeping through the night now :)

My advice: Find a safe alternative to interacting with them while you are mad and take a time to cool down whenever reasonably possible. Things like the doorknob do-hickies are a really great way to reduce conflict and increase success at the same time :)

Cassee - posted on 08/27/2010

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OMG I am not the only one! I feel so bad, I get so frustrated it feels like she is pushing every button including the buttons I didnt even know I had and then I find myself yelling. afterwards I hate myself for it. "who yells at a two year old" is what I end up saying to myself. It never helps and just makes us both feel bad. How am I being a person for her to feel safe and comfortable with if I'm yelling at her? When I catch myself doing it lately I try to take a step back and reapproach the situation. I am just hoping to survive past two!

Alison - posted on 08/18/2010

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I am totally going to order that Emotional Intelligence book asap. Thanks Heather!

Dora - posted on 08/16/2010

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Take a deep breath right before you are about to yell at them. If they are doing something they are not supposed to be doing, tell them know and redirect them to something they are allowed to do. I used to yell and it got me know where.

Bobbie - posted on 08/14/2010

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Thank you Heather, I have been so intent on not yelling when I get frustrated at my kids that I am open to anything. Thank you so much for your adivce I will definatly look for that book.

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The awesomest parenting book EVER (and I've read many)- "Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child" by John Gottman - helped me to lower my voice and find other ways to teach and guide. I know exactly how you feel - it comes so natural to yell when the frustration hits, but is always followed by guilt. Read the book - I promise - it is so helpful.

Bobbie - posted on 08/13/2010

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Thank you Alison, I did some research yesterday also and looked at the Love and Logic site. They also have some great ideas! Thank you for taking the time to help! I appreciate it!

Amanda - posted on 08/12/2010

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oh my God I am having the same problem and I always feel HORRIBLE! I also have a 4 month old so I am a bit less patient than I used to be. I get caught up in the moment of being angry at whatever my 2 year old is doing and yell out of anger,and it only makes it worse. I keep telling myself I have to think about life from a 2 year old's eyes. She does seem to respond to time outs, so I try that when she tantrums or does something unacceptable. I could use suggestions too on how to manage my anger when she acts out!

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