Yes, we’ve all been there and done that. Every parent among us is guilty of this offense and not just once but we do it again and again (I call it Yell-itis) … apparently we don’t learn from our mistakes but the guilt that comes after is enormous. Sometimes we feel powerless against the urge to just yell at the lil’ one rather than keeping our cool. I admit I’ve lost it many times too but today rather than just pointing out the problem I want to look for answers.
Yelling is like adults acting out!
It is our Instinct
It’s something we are born with, I guess, whenever the situation is not in our favor we get mad, in some situations we feel powerless and keep our emotions to ourselves (have you ever yelled at your boss or a cop or a person of authority? ) But where we feel we have some power or authority over the other person we show our emotions accordingly. Would you agree?
First thing to do to cure the Yell-itis is to find out the triggers … yes triggers! There’s always a reason behind our actions therefore we need to find out the source of the problem to try and cure it. Yelling can be triggered by both sides sometimes its us the grownups and sometimes the lil’ ones that are at the root of the problem. Below are some examples of triggers originated by either side which can unleash the hulk inside us.
When it’s you
- In the middle of something important
- Trying to concentrate on something
- Pressed for time
When it’s your kids
- Kids not listening to you
- Kids acting out
- Kids not stopping after you have told them repeatedly
Find your kid’s triggers to act out
As important as it is to identify our triggers we also need to identify what triggers our kids to act out. Some questions to ask ourselves and clues to look for in our kids are:
Are they sleepy or not feeling well? Are they hungry? Do they want your attention? Do they need you do something for them?
Trust me; this exercise helps a lot to put your kid and yourself at ease. You are a parent and you know your kids the best and I’m sure if you start looking for clues to their misbehavior, you’ll notice they are not hard to find.
Things to Work on:
1. Dealing with Rage
First and foremost thing is to calm yourself down, the world hasn’t come to end so just take a deep breath and relax your nerves. Once you are relaxed you’ll be able to handle the situation a little better.
2. Stop feeling Guilty
The first guilt that we face after yelling is that ‘we are not good parents’, ‘we’ve scared our kid for life’etc. Stop feeling guilty because every one of us does that (Yes, even the ‘holier than thou’ one’s too). The guilt is even worse after a public brawl with the kids, part of the reason is that we feel humiliated that our kids are not very well behaved. Again, the answer is: It happens with everyone; you are not alone and trust me kids’ acting out is not a reflection on your parenting.
Always try to listen to what kids are trying to say and if your kid is too mad to express his feelings then give him a hug, or hold him close let him pipe down and then ask them what was it that was bothering them? I’ve tried this technique with my 4 year old and have seen better results.
4. Being Firm is not Yelling
Do understand that kids are just kids they have a lot to learn as they grow and dealing with anger, frustration and disappointment are the emotions they have to learn. Sometimes they’ll be frustrated and upset after you’ve said ‘No’ to something they wanted. Learning to deal with their emotions is part of their emotional development. So next time your kids feels frustrated or angry let him deal with it on their own and don’t try to fix everything for them.You need to be firm when you want them to behave a certain way because as parents we are also responsible for teaching them the right stuff. You need to be approachable and authoritative at the same time.
5. Keep at it
Don’t let any bad behavior go unnoticed, this is only going to come back and haunt you. If the kids are not guided at the proper time they try the same strategy again, For example; if a kid figures out that his mom will give him candy when she is on phone just to quite him down, then you’ll see that the child will always try to ask for candy when you are on the phone, kids are not as naïve as we think they are, they can decode behavioral patterns and take advantage of the situation. Therefore, keep reinforcing your rules and don’t let your kids break it. It’s going to make your life easier and your kid’s life as well, because having rules provides a sense of security.