Yelling at Our Kids is Not the Answer

Once upon a time, years age, I had (just) 3 young boys (3, 7, 11).  The youngest by far was my wild, rambunctious, and sometimes fierce child.  After a particularly rough morning of having to rush out the door, this youngest son proceeded to have a full on screaming, kicking tantrum in the back of my car.  As I’m cruising down our country road, having had enough, I slammed on my brakes, turned to the back seat, and proceeded to scream “That is enough!!!!”.  Said young boy could care less that I was screaming at him; however, the look on my 7 yr old’s face and the distraught feeling I had created for him totally made me pause… and deep in my heart I knew I could not be a screaming mad mom.

Seriously.  Why did I think it was OK to scream at my child?  Like I expected that to add angry actions towards my already frustrated child would calm him down?  Like screaming teaches self control?  Like screaming is suppose to fix ill behavior when screaming is ill behavior in itself?

No.  Yelling at our kids just is not the answer.

It doesn’t teach self-discipline, or communication, or (in my Christian conviction) it most definitely doesn’t teach how to treat others the way you would want to be treated (Matthew 7:12).  It doesn’t teach life skills, because really, do we (or should we) scream at other people?  A boss?  A spouse?  A cashier?  A stranger?  Better yet, how effective is it if someone screamed in our faces?  Would our emotions feel validated?  Would it resolve conflict?

No. Yelling at our kids just is not the answer.

A gentle answer deflects anger,
but harsh words make tempers flare.
Proverbs 15:1

This isn’t about mom guilt but more about facing reality of our actions.  I’ve heard (and used myself) common statements such as “they know better”, “they deserve it”, “if they would just listen to me”.  This is not about being a pedestal mom, nor about striving for some unreal standard of perfection.  Lets face it, all moms have yelled at their kids at one point or another.  We are human; we get overwhelmed, angry even.   But there is a difference of yelling “Hey, get away from the road” or “quit teasing your sister” from the kitchen toward the living room, which is quick corrections that need to be followed up on.  What I am referring to is that moment that we lose our sh…, er, when we snap.  Where we blindly hurl harsh, cruel, and angry words at our child.  I get it.  Moments can be maddening, but if this type of reaction has become a frequent scene, I sincerely suggest a review of motives.

Lets be proactive, not reactive.

Let’s be their voice of reason.
Let’s be their safe environment.
Let’s be their calm to so many chaotic emotions.
Let’s show their worth by treating them invaluably.
Let’s teach them self-control by being in control ourselves.

So my story has a happily ever after ending, as 18 years later I am reaping the rewards of kind parenting.  I rarely yell, and never scream towards any of my kids, and you wanna know the best reward of that?  Because I quite screaming at and began talking to my kids, the teen years were amazingly easy.  The communications skills were developed through treating them exactly how I wanted to be treated.  ~by God’s grace only.  Praise Jesus.


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