After a recent study came out that found yelling at your kids is just as damaging as hitting, Breezy Mama couldn’t help but think, gulp! Uh-oh… kidding… kind of. In fact, there’s a saying I once heard that I have to agree with: if you don’t ever yell at your kids, you aren’t spending enough time with them. Parenting can be frustrating! Does this mean you should go bonkers and yell every day? NO! This just means that, if, upon occasion, you do lose your cool, the last thing you need is something else to feel bad about (because that is definitely NOT Mom Code)! During those inevitable moments of frustration with your kids, here are 5 tips to keep in mind:
1. Zip it!
Your child lost their brand new pair of shoes and you can’t figure out for the life of you how that could have happened! No need to go on and on about how that was irresponsible, exasperating, etc.! You just lost your cool with them, they know they screwed up… now zip it! Address the matter again after you have cooled off.
2. “I” vs. “You”
Children (and adults!) are likely to tune out if they feel they are being blamed or accused. No need to say “YOU should have known better than to forget your homework!” Start with the “I”… for example, “I need you to find a way to remember to turn in your homework.” From there, work on a solution together.
3. Never Insult
In the heat of the moment, we have at one time or another made a statement we sure wish we could take back! Learn from that moment and never do it to your children by insulting them or labeling or degrading them. As the study mentioned above pointed out, the most damage was done when parents used terms such as “lazy” or “stupid”. Be mad at their action, but avoid insulting their character.
4. Have a Plan in Place
Now that we KNOW there is likely a time that we will lose it again, have your plan in place. Having a general consequence will help shift your anger from yelling to announcing the result. “I needed you to do the dishes, but I see you were on the computer instead. I will be taking the computer for a week.”
5. Go Cool Down
You are FUMING mad! Your child inexplicably drew permanent marker all over your walls and you are about to lose it… before saying a thing, walk away, lock your bedroom door behind you if need be and take a few breaths before you unleash havoc. When you are ready to address the topic in a calm manner, then come back out of your room… and let the child know they will be cleaning that mess!
Need more ideas? Be sure to visit Things to Do If You Lose Your Temper
Watch a short clip with Breezy Mama discussing the study on Fox 5 San Diego here: