Why You Can’t Stop Yelling at Your Kids (Even When You Want To)

By: Kristin Martineau | October 10, 2018

Spoiler alert: It’s because you are trying to change what you are doing.

“Um duh, Kristin. I want to stop yelling at my kid. I’m going to stop doing that.
Next time he starts hitting someone, I’m going to keep my cool.”

How’d that go? You yelled again didn’t you? It’s ok. I still yell sometimes too.

Here’s where we go wrong: we are trying to change our actions. The problem is, what we do is motivated by what we feel. It’s really hard not to yell when you are boiling with anger.

What causes us to feel so angry? Our kid decking the neighbor kid?


What causes you to feel angry is your thinking: That little rascal did it again! I’ve told him a million times not to do that. He’s going to get arrested some day. Arg, the mother of that kid is going to come yell at me. She thinks I’m the worst parent ever.

Do those thoughts make you feel angry? Do they make you want to yell? Me too.

So if you want to stop yelling, you have to change what you are thinking. If you are thinking better thoughts you will feel better and therefore act better. See?

Let’s not pretend we are in fairy land though. You probably don’t want to think that it’s totally fine for your kid to beat up the neighbor kid.

What do you want to think when that is happening? What do you want to feel? What feelings will serve you better than anger?

These are the things you need to think about ahead of time. Your brain likes to be on default mode, so if you normally yell that’s what it will want to do. You have to interrupt this pattern by DECIDING ahead of time what you want to think and then practice those thoughts. You have to create a different neural pathway in your brain if you want a different result.

OK listen up friends

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