Three Reasons Why You’re Yelling at Your Kids, and How to Turn it Around.

Yelling – it’s a freaking epidemic, and we need to talk about it now.

Before we get started, you should know that I don’t believe in quick fixes. I know, we all want one, but if that’s what you came here for – I’m not your person. I believe that nothing changes unless we do. You don’t physically change just by listening or reading. You change when you listen and then follow through with the action.

As the founder of the “Mom is in Control” podcast, I talk to moms on the daily, and one of the most common questions I get is:  

“Why do I need to scream to get my child’s attention?”

When I ask them about why they’re yelling, the answer is almost always:

“Because they’re not listening to me” or “Because they’re disrespecting me.”

Parenting cracked me open to the possibility of this as a global issue: that women are constantly feeling out of control with their lives. Most of us have this “I can do it all” mentality and it honestly almost killed me.

My body was talking to me for a long time before I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer. It tried getting my attention to tell me to slow down. I never listened because I told myself I didn’t have enough time. What I was really saying was that I didn’t prioritize myself.

Our culture is always telling us to push harder, to go-go-go, to never sleep. Early bird catches the worm, right? I did what I was taught. I did what I knew. I did it, and I put myself on the bottom of my to-do list. And what do we know about the bottom of our to-do list? We never get to it.

We wear these martyr badges every day and think it’s funny and okay. We slap “mom juice” on wine cups and then wonder why our bodies aren’t functioning properly.

We’re living very unconsciously as a coping mechanism and as a biproduct, we’re lacking nourishment – for our souls and bodies.

Whatever your soul is craving, whatever you’ve been putting off, it can’t wait anymore. Stop waiting for permission!

Your soul cravings matter.

If you want to feel alive, there are no magic pills to get you there. It takes a mindset, a commitment, and the right support and accountability to achieve this. If you just show up every day, change will happen.

So, what have you been putting off, mom? When it comes to your own personal development, what have you been resisting? Resistance is going to come up as this hardcore beast in your life. It’s going to show up in funny ways, like fatigue, perfectionism, a stomach ache, drama, a migraine, or anger.

Your insides have been screaming at YOU for you to take control of your life. And maybe that’s why you’ve been screaming at others.

Here are the three main reasons you may be yelling at your kids:

1) You Haven’t Been Paying Attention

Remember those beginning excuses? “They’re not listening to me” or “They’re disrespecting me”? Let’s try reflecting those inwards.

I’m not listening to myself.

I’m not respecting myself.

This is personal development 101, people. We’re projecting.

Why isn’t your child listening to you? Because you’re not listening to yourself. Your body has been trying to get your attention for so long and your nervous system is so overreactive now. I used to yell all the time, and when I got sick, I couldn’t yell anymore. I had no energy. I spoke in a low toned voice and I realized that my kids were listening to me – finally! Why, all of a sudden, did I feel like I didn’t have to yell anymore? Because I finally felt full again. My power was back and with it, my energy. My life force was back in full swing, but I had to move past the B.S. and get real and raw with myself.

I had to ask myself some hard questions, like: What am I not listening to?

Take out your journals and ask yourself these two questions:

  1. What feels hard and chronically out of alinement in my life? What am I avoiding? What stories and excuses am I making?
  2. Are you respecting yourself? Are you listening to yourself?

Once we can understand the blocks in our way, we can break past them and grow into the people we want our children to become.

2) You Have Few to No Coping Strategies to Manage Stress

I’m an introverted extravert, so I have a really hard time coping with energy. I would hold onto others’ energy and I had no clue how to get rid of it without yelling.

One strategy I use with people is: Stop. Think. Breathe.

Catch yourself: “I want to yell at my kid because I’m in MY red zone. Why am I about to yell?”

You’re going to breathe instead, and you’re going to walk away. Then, you’re going to re-enter in your cool green zone.

This is a proactive strategy, rather than our usual reactive.

Think about how many people live reactive lifestyles. We do it with our health – instead of eating greens and working out to feel good, we do it for the quick fix of losing 10 lbs. for our nice summer bikini body. We have to bust through this societal myth and do what is sustainable for each of us individually.

One big game changer is mindfulness and meditation. You’re going to tell me you can’t do it, but I know you can. It only takes a few breaths to calm your nervous system down. You can do this with or without your child and become a good example for them either way.

If your kids see that you are using this as a coping strategy, you’ll notice them following. You’re their guide and coach, but how can you be if you’re constantly stressed and exhausted?

Take that journal back out, I have a few more questions for you to ask yourself:

  1. Where do I put myself on my priority list?
  2. When is the last time I did something for myself, even though I had pushback for doing it?
  3. How do I connect with myself on a daily basis?

If your lifestyle isn’t sustainable, you’re always going to make an excuse. Often when we make these big changes in our lives, people around us aren’t supportive. When we fear judgment, it’s hard to take action. We have to go within, do our meditation and mindfulness practice, and realize what we need to get out of the numb auto-pilot mode and to really start living.

3) The Woo-Woo Spiritual Reason Why Our Children Trigger You

This is a sign that good things are happening – if you’re up to the challenge.

All of our children come into our lives for a different reason, adopted or not, just like the people in our lives do. Just like those people, our children are going to bring our triggers out to test us. These triggers, when someone pisses us off, are always a reflection of a wound within us that needs to be healed. When they appear, we have two options: to show up to the challenge and grow or to regress and fall into old habits.  

Have you ever had a child call you by your first name and feel so disrespected? My son was outside the other day and called out “Heather!” And it was just his way of being funny. If we flash back a few short years ago and he had done this, I wouldn’t have found it to be very funny. I would have felt so angry and disrespected. But this time, I just responded normally to him: “Yeah, buddy?” Because I didn’t react, he continued our conversation by calling me mom.

It can be something as simple as this that can trigger you. Each person is different, and your kids will trigger you in their own unique way. My children have taught me that self-care and managing my energy is the number one thing I can do for them. If I’m falling off my rocker and not managing my energy, my kids will react to it.  

We don’t want to yell at our children, so what do we need to feel full?

For one, we need to stop taking these unconscious trips away from our lives. This is a big indication that something in your life needs to change, and you’re not alone in this.

Often times we like the idea of change but aren’t willing to do the work. There’s inspiration and then there’s transformation. I’m here to ask you if you’re ready to show up fully committed to do the work? Not just through words, but in practice too.

A lot of times I don’t want to do the work, especially in the beginning when it was so uncomfortable! But when you show up every day, you become addicted to this good feeling. Next thing you know, the momentum takes off and you’re getting everything your soul craves. You’re getting YOU back.  

But first, you need to know what YOU need.

What do YOU need to feel good in this life? What do YOU need to reclaim your control?

Trust me, it feels so good to finally stop yelling and to finally feel heard – by others, and by yourself.