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Help Me Stop Yelling at my Children


I need help to stop yelling at my beautiful, precious, small children. Every morning I wake up and tell myself that today, I won't yell at them. But I have a busy life, little help from friends and family and my patience burns out quickly. I've tried counting, leaving the room, praying, reading books about parenting, and being open with family and friends about my struggles. But really, they just nod in agreement and don't have any help to offer. How can I stop?


It sounds like you love your children very much and that you already have a great deal of insight into your behavior. Many parents do not realize that they need to make changes. As you well know, children can be extremely trying at times, and you have been doing a great job trying to utilize self-control strategies such as prayer, counting and leaving the room. Remember that it’s normal and human to have moments when you lose your cool. However, yelling can make situations worse and teaches your children that it is okay to yell when they are upset. When you do yell, apologize to your children and tell them something like: "Mommy was frustrated, and I am sorry I yelled." Then, tell them what you're going to do differently next time. This models for your children what they should do when they make a mistake.   
Develop a “Staying Calm Plan.” Identify what makes you feel like yelling. Write down what your children do that causes you to lose your temper. Be specific. Include when and where the behavior occurs. Identify what happens to you before you yell so that you learn to recognize your warning signs and take steps to calm down before you begin yelling. Write down what you will do differently such as taking a deep breath, leaving the situation for five minutes or using positive self-talk. Staying calm is not easy, and you have to work at it. 
Make time to take care of yourself. Ask your husband or a family friend to watch your children for an hour every other day so that you can go for a walk or take a bath -- something that will help you relax and have a little time to yourself. Taking care of yourself helps you be the best mommy and wife you can be to your precious little ones and husband.

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