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How I Stopped Yelling at My Kids

Want to stop yelling at your kids? In this post, I share what has helped me to stop yelling at my kids and practical ways to love more and yell less.

How I Stopped Yelling at My Kids

How I Stopped Yelling at My Kids

I thought I was a patient person… then I had kids.

I said I’d never yell at my kids… and then I had kids.

I pictured myself as a sweet, loving, always-cheerful mom… then I had kids.

Motherhood has stretched me and humbled me. It’s brought out the best in me and the worst in me.

About five years ago, I found myself snapping at my kids more and more frequently, which only served to frustrate me. The more I snapped at my kids, the more frustrated I was at myself. And the more frustrated I was at myself, the more I’d snap at my kids.

It was a vicious cycle and I felt trapped.

One night, I was up late thinking of the kind of mom I’d been and feeling so ashamed of my behavior and the example I was setting before my kids. I started praying and asking God to help me to love my children, to help me have patience with them, and to stop getting so angry with them.

My 4-Week Commitment

As I was praying, an idea birthed in my head. I decided to make a commitment to my husband for the next 4 weeks.

I woke Jesse up to tell him my commitment (I have such a gracious husband — poor guy!). It was this: every time I was tempted to lash out at a child I would, instead, find a very practical way to love that child.

It was a BIG commitment, but he agreed that he thought I could do it and said he was willing to hold me accountable. I went to bed resolving that, by God’s grace, I was going to change the tone in our home.

It Was SO Hard

The first day was very, very hard. One child in particular was pushing all of my buttons and seeming to make a game of trying to see how much they could annoy me.

Well, the first few hours on that first day of my 4-week commitment, this child tried all their usual tactics. I didn’t get frustrated. I didn’t yell. I didn’t even raise my voice.

Oh, it was very hard. But I’m a stubborn person and I was determined to stick with my commitment to my husband.

Instead, of lashing out, I asked this child to come snuggle next to me. I poured love, love, and more love.

The Change Was Amazing!

Within a few hours, this child’s attitude had drastically changed. They were calm, happy, and asking what they could do to help me. I could not believe it!

And this only continued for the next few days. Until finally, I felt like I almost had a completely different child living in my home. It was amazing!

I decided my 4-week experiment was a smashing success. And I decided to extend it for another 40 years. Or something like that. 🙂

Five Years Later

I wrote most of the above five years ago and I wanted to give an update for those who may have read my original post on this. I can safely say that this one change in me has changed the tone in our whole home.

My children are more helpful and respectful. I am so much happier. Jesse is happier because we’re happier. And our home is much, much calmer.

All because I’m choosing to love instead of lash out.

Lean in and Love

Now, let me be honest: I haven’t always done it perfectly and I occasionally revert back to my old ways of getting frustrated.

But when I start to feel the frustration and anger rising, I remember my mantra, “Lean in and love.”

When I want to lash out, lean in and love.

When I want to express my frustration, lean in and love.

When that child is getting on my every last nerve, lean in and love.

Practical Ways to Love More Instead of Lashing Out

1. Invite your child to sit with you.

I’ve noticed that when my children are frustrated and acting out, it’s often because they are craving attention and affection.

Inviting a child to come sit next to me when they are getting on my every last nerve can be so hard for me to do. In fact, I usually want them to be as far away from me as possible. But distance is only going to make matters worse.

Lovingly and gently asking my child to come sit next to me and be with me helps to calm both of us. It helps me to communicate love for the child (even if I don’t feel all that loving at the time) and it causes the child to feel special and cared for.

Moms, we get so busy with life. The list is never ending. But the truth is: Our kids don't need our productivity. They need our presence.

2. Stop, look, and listen.

Moms, we can get so busy with life. We have places to go, things to do, messes to clean up, meals to fix… the list is never ending.

Our kids don’t need our productivity. They need our presence.

If a child is misbehaving, don’t shush them just so you can get back to what you were doing. Stop, look into their eyes, and gently ask them, “Is everything okay?” Or, “What’s wrong?” Really mean it. And then really listen to their answer.

Taking time to do this — even in the middle of a very busy day — has made a world of difference in our home.

9 Ways to Yell Less & Love More

3. Pray With Your Child

When Silas is struggling, I’ll often ask him if I can pray for him. He always says yes and then calms down while I pray with him asking God to help him be calm, obey, love his sisters, or whatever it is that he’s struggling with.

Usually, by the end of my prayer, he’s calmed down and in a much better mood. I think, for him, my willingness to take time to pray with him helps him to feel loved. It also communicates to him that we need God’s help in our everyday life — especially when we’re struggling.

Diana from My Humble Kitchen once shared me with that when she’s struggling to respond with kindness and gentleness to her children, she’ll ask them to gather around and pray for her. She said that it’s basically impossible to respond in anger after your children have gathered around you and prayed for you! I definitely plan to try this soon!

99 Practical Ways to Yell Less & Love More

4. Go Outside & Take a Walk Together

If you feel like things are about to explode inside the walls of your house, call everyone together and tell them you’re taking a walk in 5 minutes. (Or, make it a family bike ride if you have older children.)

Exercise and fresh air can do wonders when things are uptight! Plus, a fresh change of scenery can provide a better setting for talking through issues in a calmer manner.

Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses along the way, breathe in the fresh air, soak up the sunshine, and notice the beauty around you. This will boost your spirits for the tasks that lay ahead of you the rest of the day!

9 Ways to Yell Less & Love More

5. Share Three Things You’re Thankful For

As I often say, “There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.” But sometimes we can get bogged down by all the problems, stresses, and struggles that we forget to count our blessings.

In those moments when you want to yell and be frustrated with your kids, challenge yourself to stop, breathe, and call your children together and each share three things you’re thankful for. This might seem really difficult at first if everyone is at odds with everyone else, but force yourself to do this and it will most likely change the tone in your home.

Plus, it might help you step back and gain some perspective: in light of all you have to be grateful for, the small things that someone is doing to irritate you won’t seem so upsetting.

9 Practical Ways to Yell Less & Love More

 6. Do Something Fun

If you have young children, this can be especially helpful to do on a hard day. When things feel like they are falling apart, set aside your to-do list and plans for the afternoon or evening and have a tea party, a family game night, a family movie night, or go do something fun as a family.

Sit down, smile, and just enjoy your children. Take time to laugh together, read a story (or tell stories!), and maybe also talk to them about how they are feeling about life, things they are struggling with, or even some encouragement for them in some areas they need to improve in.

9 Practical Ways to Yell Less & Love More

7. Put Yourself In Your Child’s Shoes

It’s so easy for us to forget that our kids are often carrying heavy burdens, too. Sometimes, we can be so focused on our world and what we’re carrying that we lose sight of what they might be sad about or stressed about or upset about.

The other day, one of our kids was getting really irritated at everyone. I realized that something was bothering them so I asked them to go have a few minutes of quiet. I reassured them that they were not in trouble but that I thought something was upsetting them and I wanted to give them time to think about what they might be feeling upset about.

I told them I would come back in five minutes and they could tell me what they were feeling. When I did, they poured out all sorts of frustrations to me while I just listened.

This simple exercise seemed to make a world of difference AND allowed me to really have a better understanding of what this child was feeling and carrying.

9 Practical Ways to Yell Less & Love More

8. Play With Your Children

When was the last time you played with your kids?

I mean, really got down on the floor and engaged in their world or did something that your older kids think is fun? While I don’t think we need to entertain our kids 24/7, I think it’s important to regularly take time to spend time with our kids by doing things with them that they love to do.

If you’re having a bad day, here’s an antidote: Think of what your children love to do (playing outside, playing Legos, playing games, playing dress-up, hanging out, watching a movie, playing sports, playing video games,  etc.) and tell them you want to hang out with them for 30 minutes or an hour (or however much time you have).

Then just have fun together and give it your all for those 30 minutes. I bet you end up having as much fun as they will… and you’ll probably forget all about the bad day you were having!

Moms: Take a Time Out

9. Take Mommy Time Out

Moms: Taking time to replenish your supply is not selfish; it’s actually enabling you to be a better wife and mom. If you’re just pouring and pouring and pouring into your family and never taking time to replenish your supply, you’re going to feel burned out, exhausted… and this will often cause you to feel more irritable and frustrated.

What energizes you? What refills your tank? Carve out time in your schedule to make this a priority each week. Get a babysitter, trade baby-sitting with a friend, have dad watch the kids on the weekend or one evening a week… whatever it takes to make Mommy Time happen.

Making time for YOU — to breathe, to refuel, to feel energized again — will make you a calmer, happier mom. And a calmer, happier mom is one who is going yell less and love more.

What practical ideas would you add to my list to help you to yell less and love more? I’d love to hear!

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  • Megan C says:

    What a great post. Way to go! This is something I have been challenged with and praying about lately. I like the practical side of finding a way to love your child when you feel like lashing out at them. I will start applying that in my home. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this important and very real struggle. God’s help is also key!

  • Margie Lundy says:

    Kudos! I’ve been doing the Orange Rhino Challenge and I’m on day 345 of not yelling (which is completely impossible for me, I thought anyway)! The public commitment (to my family and I posted online) plus wearing an orange bracelet to remind me helped a ton. Love your bracelet more though!!

  • Shauna says:

    I NEEDED THIS TONIGHT! I have four children 9, 7, 5 and 3. Life has seemed a little bit frantic lately and I feel like I have just been hanging on. But it also seems that I have been having a hard being patient. This is a wonderful motivation for me to hear your success story. Thank you for sharing and encouraging us to be more. I am newly motivated!

  • Thank you for sharing part of your story and congratulations on the 4 weeks! I’ve been working on being more patient too and something that helps me is after I speak sharply to a child, I make myself say three nice things about that child’s character.

    It really helps, particularly when I’m REALLY annoyed and don’t want to have to think of nice stuff at that moment!

    And that’s a beautiful bracelet – I’m looking forward to reading your review!

  • Shelly says:

    I too have a little one that likes to push my buttons and test the limits all the time. There was a time I would often snap at the kids. I didn’t like it one bit.

    Like you I decided to make a change. Giving love and attention when needed and calm, quiet discipline when needed. Things have improved in our household too.

    There are times when things don’t go well and I will raise my voice, but I’m happy that those times are getting fewer and fewer.

    I hope your calm, days are many and the snappy days are few as you go through the next 40 years or so. 🙂

  • Megan says:

    I needed this post tonight…our two year old has once again been fighting me tooth and nail alllll day, especially tonight for bed. I try so hard to be calm, but with the addition of our son (2 months) things have been stressful. I’ve been lashing out more than I should be, as well as my husband. I need to get back to just loving! I’ve been praying hard about this, I believe this was Gods answer. Thank you again!

  • Thank you so much for opening up such a sensitive topic on here and sharing both your struggles, and how you are finding success in changing the tone of your home. Such a helpful post! While often snapping/frustration with children is easier to have happen in our home when we are under stress, it’s such an important reminder that choosing LOVE is the answer (not simply figuring out how to remove all stress). Loved this post!

  • Sara says:

    Thank you Crystal. I needed this tonight. My 6 year old has been helpful lately, but my deaf 2 year old with sensory processing disorder–well, let’s just say there’s no easy way to parent him and it really exhausts me to the core. I wake up tired and go to bed tired just trying to cope with his needs. He doesn’t seem to accept love in typical ways because of his issues (won’t cuddle, doesn’t want me close) so I’ll need to work on finding his love language. Thank you for reminding me that kids absorb my attitude, and a negative one from me will spur on a negative one from them (even if they’ve caused my bad attitude!) and vice versa.

    I’m going to commit to this too. Thank you!

  • Alisa says:

    Oh, my Goodness! This post could not have come at a better time! I have a 3 year-old who is super sweet one minute, and then tests the outer limits of my patience the next. I love him to bits, but sometimes it is sooo frustrating. I will definitely have to give this a try. Praying for the will power…

  • Katie A says:

    Thank you for posting this-it’s definitely what’s been on my heart lately (and what’s been in my prayers). My challenge is that I work nights and then I am the primary caregiver to my children during the day, so I am a little short on sleep…which unfortunately, makes me short on patience. I have come to see it as God stripping me of all of my resources so I learn to rely more completely on Him. Thank you for the inspiration. 🙂

  • Linda says:

    I loved reading your story. I’ve been up nights contemplating my negative interactions with my boys. I never thought I’d let the stress get to me either but it has and I’m not happy about it. A few weeks ago I saw Depak Chopra and his son, Gotham, on Dr. Oz. I could tell they had this loving bond but more than that; there was a peace between them. Depak stated he was consciously present around his children and never relayed his stress to them. I found his statement refreshing. This, along with your story, really has influenced my presence around my children. Thank you!

  • Anne Marie says:

    This one resonates with me today. Had a horrible day with my 3-year-old. I don’t *think* I typically yell, but today I was screaming at the poor child. He has molars coming in, and he’s getting over a cold. I don’t think he was feeling very well today, and his behavior was atrocious. My moment of realizing I needed to seriously calm down was when we were driving home from my doctor’s appointment an hour away, and I nearly wrecked. He’d been ripping off his glasses and messing with them, and this time I heard crunching from the backseat. He was bending his glasses! No place to pull over, and I was screaming at him to give me his glasses while reaching a hand behind me. I swerved and nearly hit the car in the next lane. That was my wake up that I needed to calm down. Ultimately, they’re just glasses. (Granted, quite expensive to replace if he breaks them, but there’s also a one-year warranty, so again, I need to calm down.) He did bend them a bit out of shape. We’ll visit the eyeglass shop in the morning to have them readjusted. No big deal.

    I wish I could say that was the last of the yelling today, but I found myself freaking out on him when I was trying to prepare dinner, and he entered the kitchen with a LONG stream of toilet paper trailing behind him and a cat pouncing on the other end. *sigh* He was just getting into everything. It did help to redirect him by having him help with the parts of dinner prep that he could safely do. He loves getting to dump ingredients in a bowl and stir.

    Anyway, good reminder. When I put him to bed, I told him we’d both try to have a better day tomorrow. Bless his heart, when his daddy was praying with him before bed, he couldn’t think of anything he was thankful for today. Clearly, I need to make some changes tomorrow.

  • Autumn Beach says:

    I really appreciate your transparency, Crystal. I bet this issue hits home with a lot of moms, as I know it does with me! I hate going to bed with that awful guilt and all of my worst moments of the day on replay in my mind. 🙁 What a great commitment to make. Thanks for your honesty and a helpful, realistic approach. Instead of just trying harder tomorrow!

  • Su says:

    I appreciate it when you share real life…so I know I am not the only one who snaps, etc. It is a daily struggle for me. I am very patient when the kids are at school, though. lol

    Can you make this a challenge for us, too? I’d like to do it. Please pray for me. thx

  • Kristin says:

    Thank you for this as we are struggling with the tone of our family as I yell far too much (and always said I wouldn’t yell!) I love this idea! I have tried it before but quickly fell off the wagon. Now I am going to try again with more determination.
    We recently also took away all electronics except for a rainy day movie or sick days and I agree it makes a HUGE difference in their behavior!

  • Regina Sentell says:

    What a GREAT discovery that the button pushing was a “love me” button. How wise of you to find a way to make a change. You are changing your children’s legacy.

  • Megan says:

    This is wonderful.

  • Lynn says:

    There is an old saying that children need your love the most when they deserve it the least (I think it was Erma Bombeck who said it?). Most of the time – because nobody is perfect, right? – I remember that saying when my children are testing my limits and I immediately stop what I am doing and just go over and hug that child. When my 8yo says, “What are you doing?” my standard reply is “Loving you like I always will”. It sound a little corny I know, but it usually provides a little reset for the situation and we can then talk about what is happening. Physical contact has been proven to have all sorts of benefits, but in this case I think it calms me down as much as it does the child!

  • Kim says:

    Thank you for this post Crystal! You are always such an inspiration to me! All 4 of my kids know how to push my buttons and they love to push them all at the same time! I’m going to make the same commitment to my husband for the month of November.

  • Anonymous says:

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time. I was praying last night for help to be a better mom. I am a single mom of 5 and I never get a break. I am so burned out and stressed out that I feel like I’m a horrible mom lately. I really needed to read this today. Thank you.

  • Kim says:

    WOW! I needed this! My husband and I were discussing last night how to help me with just this issue!!! Three adorable kiddos have sent me over the edge and I hate that my “go to” has been screaming. I have been so hard on myself too about it as I kept thinking I can’t stop my own horrible behavior either. To see that I am not the only one, and that others have managed it, makes me feel soooooo hopeful!!! I will be starting this TODAY and cant wait!

  • You rock, Crystal. I like how you recognized that you were in control of your reactions. Very inspirational!!

  • Heather says:

    I SO feel your pain! I’m not very patient. I go through the same cycle of yelling and then feeling horrible. I may have to try this out. Actually having a physical reminder to not yell, but to love. I want to so bad. I just loose my cool. Thank you for sharing this and being honest with us.

  • Rachel says:

    It’s never too late! Don’t give up! Teens can understand the fact that God is still working in your life and showing you new things that need to be changed. Even if they don’t like it. The time to make changes are when you become aware of them, it’s not the time to just wring your hands and wish you would have thought of it sooner!

    Keep on, you won’t regret it!

  • Stephanie says:

    OMG!!!! I can relate to this. I have 3 boys ages 8 and 7 yr old twind….and my oldest does EVERYTHING plus to work my last nerve. Then when I’m finally at my wits end…I hear “mom” “Mommy” repeatedly from each one…I realize some days more then others i lash out a lot more then i would like. I am going to try this! It will be a challenge no doubt because my three love ti see mommy loose it (at least it seems they do) Thanks for the story!

  • Sarah says:

    Thank you for your honesty. I admire you so much and it is encouraging to hear you struggle with the same things I do. I am implementing this idea today!

  • Cheryl says:

    Wow, very timely! Yesterday I hear Kevin Lehman (sp?) talking about his new book “Have A New Family By Friday” and he was talking about this too. He was explaining as parents to focus on how we respond vs. how we react. Respond first with love, caring, instead of a reaction first which we may regret. I’m on day 2 of this and it is working great. I have a 10 year old boy and 12 year old girl. Also, we follow, no electronics during the school week or on Sunday. They can use them on Fri/Sat. Thanks again Crystal!

  • PamAlabam says:

    Two of my kids are grown, one is away at college, and I have one, a senior, still at home. If there was one thing I could choose to do over in my parenting journey, it would be to not yell. My two older ones didn’t enter our lives until they were bigger kids. They had some emotional baggage with them. Their teenage years were very stressful. It seems that they challenged our parental authority multiple times a day. One could have won a gold medal for button pushing, lol.

    Oh how I wish I hadn’t yelled at them as much as I did. It truly did not change a thing in the end. I did figure out in their later teens that all I was doing was adding turmoil to our home.

    WARNING: Our younger two have different personalities and are much calmer and much, much easier to parent. In my effort to not only refrain from yelling, but not have any conflict at all, I tended to overlook little issues rather than nag (for lack of a better word) them about some habits and such. I’ve had to apologize to them for that and say, “Look, this thing that you are doing (or not doing) is something you should correct because____________. I’m sorry I didn’t address this when you were younger but in the interest of having a peaceful home I just chose to ignore it and I shouldn’t have.”

    This is not to say that they have issues–they are generally happy and moral young men and seem to be on the path to success. Still, there are little things like some manners and the way they deal with challenges and obstacles that I wish were different.

    All of this is to say: yes–yelling is not good. But, please don’t avoid addressing issues that need to be corrected. This may cause conflict but conflict doesn’t have to be yelling.

    • LookUP says:

      Thankz yu., PamAlabam. So true. Similar situation only older two were ours! just went thru a lot of struggles, because of wild friends. So in order to have peace in the home and comfort the younger ones, we didn’t address, or properly train, about a lot of things. Not to mention, we were entirely burned out. And our confidence in parenting was out the window!! Find i need to ask The Spirit of help, and guidance, more consistantly.

  • Su says:

    Oh yeah, I have that, too. It’s hard I know!

  • Joy Prevatte says:

    THANK YOU for being so honest. Just the encouragement I needed this morning.

  • Kelly says:

    Thank you for this post! It came at the perfect time for me, as I have been struggling with the exact same problem. I was a first grade teacher and could calmy handle 26 little ones, but my two push me over the edge daily. I grew up with my dad screaming at me, which I obviouly didn’t enjoy. When I snap at my kids, I feel awful and then am more grumpy. I’ve been praying about it daily, but never thought to give myself a challenge such as yours. I will be beginning my own “4 weeks of loving” challenge right now- well, as soon as I dry my hair. : ). Thanks for your honesty and for sharing the idea God gave you. It will surely help many families!

  • Lavon Coupons says:

    I needed this post very badly today. I have a loving 8 year old and 10 year old. I also feel bad for yelling at my kids and I ask God to give me patience with them. I am deifinitely going to try this approach believing it will work.

  • Kelli says:

    “I will squeeze them and love them and then make them run laps around the yard. :)” <<–I think this will be my goal for me with my boys. 🙂

    I also found the link below recently, and thought it might be helpful for some practical ways for us to help reset the day when things are going poorly. Hope it helps someone else as well!

  • Jena says:

    I needed this post this morning! Thank you for being a little answer to prayer in my home. I find that God often uses mothers to inspire other mothers, and you have done that for me today. Thanks!
    Reminded me of this inspiring youtube video:

  • Lana says:

    Forty years could be right! I have a 35 year old who pushes my buttons and it is really hard to love him when he should have stopped it a long time ago. My husband says that he knows where I keep my goat tied up!

  • Mary says:

    Very similar to where I currently am in my parenting journey. 🙂 A great resource that has helped me with this type of parenting is: They have a free e-book on their site, among other very helpful parenting advice.

  • Mrs. W says:

    Here is a great book that might encourage you that you can find on

    Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More than Peers

    Hopefully it will help give you ideas to help your teens to want to spend time with you!

  • Kristie says:

    This post reminds me of a book I’m reading right now, “Free to Parent” (Schuknecht & MacPherson). My favorite quote so far is, “It’s time for us to prioritize connection more than control, faith more than fear, discipleship more than discipline.” I have been encouraged to show more love to my kids., especially at the times they are struggling the most.

  • Randi says:

    I LOVE this and I am going to start my 4-week commitment TODAY! You have SO inspired me! I am a full time working mom with a wonderful 2.5 yo little boy…he really is the light in my life, but he’s also 2.5! And I get home tired, and worn out, and get easily frustrated with him. So today I commit to LOVING my son, giving grace, and being a mom I am proud of!!

    Thank you Crystal!

    • 2.5yrs is hard. That’s my daughter’s age. Just old enough to push my buttons and be naughty on purpose. I try not to yell/get aggravated but my goodness is it hard sometimes. 🙂

      I love this idea of loving on them instead of yelling at them. I’ve tried (and failed) in the past. Might be time to try again. 🙂

    • Diana says:

      This has open my eyes, sometimes I wonder why my kids were being so rough to each other and unkind and I would get even more frustrated. We are their models and they mimic what we do,if we lash out they will do the same to each other, what hurts more to a mom then seeing her babies fight? I just had a moment of revelation. I’ll not try, but do my best !!! I need that type of mentallity. My daughters are 10 and 7 they don’t usually like the same stuff but I think if we do craft, even using the Proverbs 15:1 posting it as a display on our wall as a reminder for me lol ! … And maybe have a spa night they would love it

  • awesome! when our newest addition (5 months) fights sleep at night i make it a point to just hold her and whipser…”i love you.” it makes a big difference in my attitude. i think i’ll carry it along to our other three, thanks for the inspiration!

      • Emily says:

        I have 5 boys at home full time ages three, four, five, nine and ten and 3 step children ages eight, ten and twelve. I basically do nothing but scream all day every day and go to bed feeling sick at myself and extreme amounts of guilt every single night. I’m going to try this but what do I do with the extremely defiant ones that refuse to listen to authority and do everything in their powers to get me to scream? How do I handle the bad mouths and behaviors without screaming after calmly trying over and over? I’m begging for help..

    • Crystin morris says:

      I have a major sleep fighter who is also an extremely difficult baby all around. I have literally been bawling for hours because I’m just so exhausted, but you have just inspired me to change my attitude and be more grateful for my children and for exactly who they are! I’m a good mom, and I love on my babies, but I also get frustrated easily, stay stressed out most of the time, and am not very patient sometimes. I’m going to be better, starting today.

  • Leah says:

    Have you read any books by Karen Purvis? She is a fabulous proponate of parenting with love and compassion. I am awful at it! But boy am I working on it. Karen mainly works with foster/adopt children but her methods are important for every child!
    I needed your post this morning as a reminder that this type of parenting, no matter how hard, is what God wants from me!

  • Kelli says:

    I have this question too. Usually if I’m yelling, it’s because my kids are not behaving. Obviously you must deal with the misbehavior, or you are essentially giving them a reward (of praise, attention, etc..) for what they are doing wrong which seems counterintuitive! I am all for ending the yelling, but I’d like to know more about the approach and how it works with a discipline component.

    • heather says:

      Me three! My yelling usually happens when the first few requests don’t work and its not always situations where you can discipline right away (ie nursing the baby, in the car). Looking forward to her response

  • Natasha says:

    I recently made a change also and it had gotten so bad that I was yelling at every little thing so I went to my Bible and looked up the word soft and I found Proverbs 15:1. It says “A SOFT answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.” Now when I see myself getting to that point of being upset with the kids at something I just quickly say that verse either in my head or out loud and then I will turn to my child (ages 2 and 1) and correct them with politeness (is this even a word). It has helped with our household too and my husband has noticed a difference.

    • Rose says:

      Thank you for this verse! It is so true with my kids! I’m going to write it out right now and put it where I can see it often!

    • Deborah says:

      Thank you for this verse. I will put it in action immediately. I have a 6.5 year old and when I tell her not to do something she does it. I get so upset I yell at her. I feel so bad afterwards. Seem like every time I just say anything to her she jumps out of her skin. I see that and I know it has to change. It has gotten that bad. I know I am in the wrong, I will follow suit with this article and change things now.

  • happy momma says:

    Stopping the yelling was the best thing I did for our family too. It was not easy. When we got the urge to yell or found ourselves yelling we would stop, take a deep breath, and repeat one of two phrases. “yelling is not how we communicate” was the one I used the most. In the beginning it seemed like a constant effort. I found myself repeating the phrase almost endlessly, seriously it felt like 10,000 times a day I was repeating the phrase. I felt like the old days when they were punished and they would write on the chalkboard over and over again. But I remember several months into the process when I realized I had gone a whole day without having to repeat the phrase. I did a happy dance. It was working, my efforts had paid off. Our family is much better now that we talk to each other rather then yell. We still have moments, but it much easier because we created better habits.

  • Megan says:

    Love this! We’ve been doing something similar too. One of the phrases I try to remember when dealing with a button-pusher is “The kid who is least lovable needs the most love.” Sometimes they need discipline but sometimes they just need a hug and some lap time with Mama! I am totally accepting this challenge! When my husband deployed recently the Scripture God gave me was “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in your weakness” and I have clung to that! I fully admit my weakness so it’s not hard to acknowledge God’s strength shining through when I smile and change tactics instead of snap at a kid! Like Dr. Dobson said, “Someone has to be the adult!” It’s SO hard sometimes but I love the idea of pouring on the love rather than the loud!

  • Tracy says:

    I am so glad you wrote this. Lately I have become a mom and daughter I do not like. I have been lashing out so much. My son I noticed just the other day is repeating what I am saying and it is not helping him or me at all. I had no idea how to stop this awful cycle, my Mother was this way with me growing up.

    Also I would love to hear how you managed to remove electronics as well. I am at my wits end with that.

  • Great question! Since he’s my accountability partner in this, he would probably gently remind me if I start to get frustrated: “Love, don’t lash out” etc. By the grace of God, he hasn’t even had to do that… but just knowing I’ve committed to him has been so effective for me, along with wearing the bracelet and telling my children that Mommy is wearing this bracelet as a reminder to show love and speak with calmness.

  • Lana says:

    My Mom used to make us clean windows on opposite sides. By the time we finished we were laughing!

  • I needed this today. I’ve found myself yelling more than I like. I love how you chose to replace the yelling with loving. I’d also love to hear about your no electronics decision. We limit our kids’ use of electronics, but since our 6th was born in August they’ve been watching more shows than usual.

  • Melissa says:

    I was wondering this as well. I agree with trying to stay calm and not yell, but if a child is misbehaving it seems like a hug or other positive attention, at that moment, is rewarding the misbehavior.

  • Kelly Smith says:

    We have just started this at our house, too. The girls had bad attitudes when anything took time away from electronics (homework, errands, chores). Removing them has helped with the attitudes. I can’t wait to read more!

  • cassandra says:

    I love this. Thanks for sharing your struggles, I would love to hear what other practical (and simple) ways you choose to exercise love. When you said “I asked my child to come snuggle with me.” it like a light bulb came on for me. It was so simple yet effective, but at the same time when I am frustrated those ideas can completely elude me.

  • Tracy says:

    This post has come at the perfect time! Still need to read through all the comments but I wanted to comment and say thank you before I get sucked into reading and forget.

    My 3 1/2 year old is really excelling at pressing my buttons lately. She had always been a high needs baby/toddler, but these past few months have been so much more trying than we’ve experienced before with her. We also have a teething 9-month-old who needs to be held non-stop right now, and my husband is gone from the time the kids wake up until they go to bed most days of the week. My house is a wreck. I am exhausted and totally out of patience, and some days just want to lock myself in the bathroom and cry. It is so so so SO hard to keep it together when my three year old starts up again when I’m already at my breaking point.

    But yelling never solves the problem. Not that I never try it anyway (oh, I certainly do sometimes), but it has never ended well. Yelling just sends her over the edge too, and her behavior ends up even worse than before. Every time.

    TV does seem to make it worse. Right now she watches a show while I get the baby down for his naps, which is taking forever currently, so she’s watching much more than I’d like. We keep the tv off on the days my husband is home, and then she has at least one meltdown a day over not being able to watch something. I really think I need to come up with another way to keep her quietly occupied when I need to get the baby to sleep. “Special” toys or quiet boxes have been a bust… she gets excited and plays for 5 minutes by herself, then comes and interrupts me (she has a really hard time being alone), thus waking the baby up and causing me to yell… sigh.

  • Tracy says:

    We use this. My daughter has a complete meltdown when we hit 3. I have to carry her to her room while she is trying to kick, hit, scratch. Then I have to hold her door shut while she beats on it with her fists or whatever other object she has handy. Timeout brings out a rage in her like no other. This isn’t a matter of getting used to it either, like he says in the book. It’s been six months of consistency! I really think we need to abandon time outs. I know that so many others have had success with this method, though.

    • Kate says:

      Holy cow! The method doesn’t work for everyone, that’s for sure. I have many friends who do a time-in rather than a time-out. I personally think that time outs can be damaging rather than healing, depending on the way they are used–some kids really have a problem with the idea of being “abandoned”. My daughter seems to need the time and space in her room to gather herself, but my friend’s kid needs to snuggle when she gets to 3, and another friend removes a toy/privilege instead of using time out. To me, the basic message is that you stay emotionally level while you’re counting, and then you actually DO something when you get to three. Lots of parents fail at that part.

      • Tracy says:

        I will read about time in…thank you. I do think she feels abandoned, but sometimes I *need* to be separated from her to keep from losing my cool! The response from her is the same even when i try to go in the bathroom/bedroom by myself for a couple seconds to just take a few deep breaths before handling the situation… She just does not want to be separated from me when she is upset. It is rare that we get to “three” these days so it’s not like we’re going through this on a daily basis, luckily.

  • Kathy says:

    Your story rang so true with me. My previous job was terribly stressful with long hours and I found myself yelling at this precious child that God had given me. I got laid off from a large company and ironically ended up working at the company in another area as a contractor in a job that was much less stressful. It was amazing with the reduced stress that I have been able to greatly reduce the amount of yelling I do. I still have my moments but they are fewer now. I also keep in the back of my mind the bible verse above (Proverbs 15:1) about a soft answer turning away wrath and constantly remind myself of this truth. We also reduced my son’s computer time so he can only play on weekends and only if he minds his manners. He knows it is not guaranteed and he has to earn it. The other thing we did a couple of years ago was we were told about the program 1-2-3 Magic by Thomas Phelan by my son’s doctor and started implementing it at home and at school and it really helped. My son was 5 at the time and when we started counting he knew what was coming. It was very effective. Our doctor gave us a CD of Dr. Phelan doing a session on it and it was very funny – especially if have a strong willed child. It was also wonderful hearing his story and how he implemented this with principle with his children. The school loved the idea because it gave them a technique to use with the whole class and other classes at the school. I had to listened to it over and over when I was alone while working and would catch nuggets that I missed before. If anyone is interested in this technique, he has written some books on it and some libraries carry them.

  • Sarah says:

    Let me just say I love you and that is just what I needed to read right now! Ok the I love you is weird, but I do feel like we seem to go through a lot of the same things. Everything you said could have come out of my mouth. I have thought and felt the same things. Thank you for being so candid.
    I have actually contemplated quitting homeschooling because of these issues. I have wanted to reach out to friends but haven’t because I don’t want to seem whiny. I don’t even feel my husband understands. So I appreciate your willingness to be candid with us and share what you have done to help those out like me who are too chicken to ask for help ourselves.

  • What a wonderful story, Crystal! Thanks for sharing it with us 🙂

    I just thought that I would add that I too notice a difference in my children’s behavior when they do not watch television or play video games. They are so much more kind and loving!

  • Thank you so much for your sweet encouragement to give myself grace… I need to be reminded of that often!

  • Bridget says:

    This is so great! Just what I needed to hear. Is this when your children have done something wrong, or when they are driving you crazy in general? I have a three year old, and we give her time out or take away privileges when she is disobedient, dishonest or disrespectful. I can easily lose my cool with her and am definitely going to take the challenge!

  • Kymberlee says:

    Im a mother of 4 amazing kids ages 9, 6 Stepson, 3 and 18 months and every since their dad past away 2 yrs ago I seem to yell a whole lot! I have tried to tell myself that I’m not going to do it anymore, but still fall back into same habit. My 3 yr old is my handful and yelling doesn’t get thru to them anyways. After I yell I fell horrible. I never wanted to be the” scary” mom I always wanted to be the fun loving mom and here recently I realized I’m not as good as I could be I’m going to try this thanks so much.

  • Jenn says:

    I really needed this today. I’m still recovering from major shoulder surgery (2 years in a row), and many other stresses, but mostly I am overwhelmed with homeschooling an 8 and 12 year old. Seems they think all of a sudden that being home means they can do what they want, and I’ve blown it with yelling at them. But I can and should do better! I need to show love more with His strength. I didn’t pull them out of public school for this. Thanks for being honest and for the encouragement! I am really going to work on this!!

  • Mary says:

    I’ve always been one who wasn’t much for yelling. I do have one child (age 6) who is very stubborn and who loves to push my buttons, mostly through deliberate disobedience, generally when asked to pick up toys, help me accomplish a household task, or with home school work.
    My question is this: When the child pushes the buttons and you return with love, love, love, do you release the child from the request that was made or responsibility and hope that with enough love they’ll come around on their own? Or do you love love love but still encourage them to pick up those toys, do that math page, or whatever is expected, and find gentle ways to discipline if they continue to push you?

  • Suzanne says:

    I SO needed to read this! Thank you for sharing. I yell at my children and feel bad about it every night before falling asleep. I have stopped a lot but now finding myself back at yelling. I thought maybe I was alone on this and a terrible person. But I now see that we all struggle and is wonderful to see other mommies helping one another. I have also prayed every night about my anger issues. I do need to bring back out my bible though and start reading it with my children again (I have also stopped doing this)and I think it has a lot of being the way I am. Thank you for sharing and reminding us that we are not alone and it’s possible to turn it all around and be better.

  • Andrea k says:

    This really convicted me. I always said I would never yell at my kids because my Mom yelled at me and I hated it. Lately though I realized that my oldest child has been snapping at her siblings. My sweet husband gently helped me see that she is imitating me. I’m going to commit to this and pray for God to change me and the tone I have set for our family.

  • This post about brought tears to my eyes because it’s right where I’m at. Or at least the “I thought I was a patient person” part.

    I had all these grand visions of the kind of mother I’d be, but the reality is much harder than I expected. Totally worth it, but harder. Thank you so much for this challenge. I’m going to join you!

    (Oh, and I love that you got your answer on your knees. One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced so far didn’t seem to have an answer in *any* of the parenting books I read. Totally overwhelmed, I was about ready to give up on the issue. Then, while praying, the simplest of answers came to mind…and it worked!)

  • Andrea says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this!!! I have three little boys, they are 5,4,and 2. It is hard not to gett frustrated with them and tell. I am going to start my 4 week commitment. I have been praying to God that I gain the patience I need to help me from yelling. This is my answer to that prayer.

  • Rachel says:

    Listening to Steve Green’s “Hide em in your heart” 2 disc cd set (it is probably on itunes too) has made a HUGE difference in my life and my kids too. His songs are verses straight out of the Bible and definately convict me during the day. My kids love the songs and I love listening to scripture verses all day. It greatly improved my attitude.

  • Renee says:

    I feel as though you were sent to me!! I am a Grandma raising my 8 yr old granddaughter. We have been blessed with her for almost 7 years now. But I am getting older and my patience thinner. I am making my commitment today, and God bless you for reminding me of something so important!!

  • MIchelle says:

    I love what you did. And I must say, that’s a very tough thing to do. Especially when you have a headache. I’m a young mom and I’m trying soooo hard not to lash out on my kid (by the way, he’s 4.5) everytime he does things that gets on my nerves. This little confession of yours is very inspiring. I just hope I could do the same with my son. Any tips or advice, perhaps fellow moms? Two thumbs up on mission accomplished!

  • Cassie says:

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time! I have never been a patient person, nor a kid person. And I loved being a mom until my son turned 3, now he just really gets on my nerves. And I know much of it is him testing me to see when I’ll break and I always do. I’m going to start this tomorrow. We are getting ready to downsize our living situation by 3/4 and that means getting rid of a lot and packing and I just know it’ll be stressful in and of itself. But I don’t want my children to remember me as being strawed and angry. I want to be fun and loving.

  • susan says:

    When I was a very young mom with a niece also to care for I soon started babysitting for my Aunts children.I ranted at them getting red in the face with anger.One day I was so frustrated I began to cry.A very old lady I helped alot came up to me and said “Sugar,you are trying too hard!Let up on these babies and yourself.When they act up use a calm voice and hug them often!It worked but after all the years,3 more daughters and 2 grandkids I was back to yelling as a source of getting them to pay attention.One day as my 2 year old grandson was standing in the middle of the room with red fruit drink spilled all over the floor I started to explode until I saw the fear and anguish on his face..I said It’s ok baby you can help me clean it up and the look on his face was worth a million bucks…I was not instantly better but over the next year I stopped all my fury over the small stuff and learned to talk calmly and hug often.I now have 10 grandkids and 4 great grandkids and to say they can be a challenge is an understatement.I pray often,hug lots and keep the mops,vacuum and steam cleaner busy during thier visits!!LOL its nice when they visit and now I’m telling thier moms stay calm and breathe they are little for such a short time and hugs/love is better than yelling/crying.The plus is your face is alot prettier with a smile.

  • This is a good challenge. I don’t want to yell, but sometimes it’s necessary and sometimes…welll…lol! I’m glad it works for you though! I do like the idea of being gadget free. We have to move in that direction.

  • I absolutely love this post, and the challenge that you created. It actually reminded me of a few days ago when God used my children to get under my skin. I guess I will have to write about my personal experience with this. I think it will blow your mind!

  • Rebecca Schultz says:

    I don’t have kids yet, but I want to share the same committment to my husband. I have a really busy schedule, and I am not very patient. My anger and frustration rarely involve things between us, but rather work, college, or home stuff.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Thank you so much. I need a reminder as well to show more love. My sons are 2.5 and 4.5. The oldest loves to get the youngest in trouble. So I find myself telling at both if them. I try not to but by mid afternoon I find myself exhausted and frustrated. Then my husband gets upset too. Bad cycle. I will try this now! Thank you.

  • Connie says:

    All I can say is thank you. I really needed to read that! That is going to be my new focus in my house

  • Jennifer says:

    Thank you for this. I too thought of myself as a total loving, nurturing mother….until I had kids. I now am a stay at home mom of 6 and we homeschool. I find myself yelling quite frequently and feeling terrible every night, vowing to stop the yelling. I am making this same commitment to God and my husband beginning today. Lord, help me! 🙂

  • Katie says:

    I needed this! I always try to take a deep breath and say a prayer when i am tempted to yell at my children. And oh, do they tempt me.
    I am glad it is going well for you! I like the idea of no television during the week also!

  • Awesome post! I really struggled with this when my boys were little… as I had grown up in a “yelling” family. It was definitely a hard habit to break! Now that my boys are older, we don’t usually have this issue… except when they’re doing their math. Then, all bets are off! LOL

  • Anne Ricci says:

    Hi Crystal, congratulations! I often hug my 4-year old instead of getting upset, and it works very well. I love this story, it’s very inspiring and I’ll follow your example.

  • Cindy says:

    I love this. I’ve been thinking along these same lines. I will definitely be on the lookout for the electronics post. I’ve been experimenting with removal as well.

  • Kimberly says:

    Thanks for this. Your intro described me. Please pray for me as we do this. I actually have spent the whole day prior to reading this in prayer for something to help with my anger management.

  • Susanne says:

    Omg thismade ne cry. Im feeling the exact same way. My 4 yo oh my goodness does she know how to push my buttons! And i hate myself everytime she doesnt listeb to me and i get angry and act like a stubborn rude kid myself . Oh my I need a necklace of those beads to keep me calm

    • Emily says:

      You are not alone. I have a 4 yr old daughter who I love dearly, but she is in her own world most of the time and can’t seem to concentrate on the task at hand. So, after telling her to do something a couple of times, I resort to yelling to get my point across. All this does is cause all of us to be in terrible moods and she may or may not get the task done. I would love to be one of those patient, calm moms, but she drives me crazy sometimes! We all need to pray for all other moms out there! I will definitely attempt to put the points of this article to use in my life!

      • Rebecca says:

        I have one that can’t concentrate too. She’s 11 now, but have caused my husband and I so much grief. I feel like i’m finally able to separate my emotion and response from her behavior. I so hear you. One thing that has been enormously helpful for me is “triple talk.” Have her repeat the instruction three times while clapping. Also, preparing for the previous day and going over expectations for EVERY activity/ portion of the day. It gets old, especially with a middle school child, but, it is worth it.

    • Steph says:

      Me too. I’m so ashamed and feel so much guilt, but God is a God of forgiveness. I don’t deserve it but in His mercy He gives it. Praying for all you other mothers, and lift me up while you’re at it 😉 i need it big time.

  • Sarah Ann says:

    This is a fabulous idea and I vow to commit to this! My parenting situation is quite special, just like the babies I was blessed with through adoption. My daughter has Autism and my son, although not officially diagnosed, probably has ADHD and is quite the wild child. I find myself slipping into yelling without realizing it and it saddens me that I am not the mom I thought I would be. But I am thankful God’s grace is new every morning and with this commitment, I can love them a little more like Him. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Lisa says:

    Thank you for sharing with us. I have just this year been widowed, with 5 children to care for. I have struggled so much in this area. Love your idea and will use it. Looking forward to a calm home, filled with laughter and love

  • Heidi says:

    Thank you so much for this! I am not a mother, but still live at home with my parents. I have four young siblings (1 1/2, 3, 5, 7) and it’s been on my heart lately try to stop getting angry, especially when I am babysitting. I think you have some amazing insights here! I usually deal with anger and frustration by removing myself from the situation, but that is not always possible if you are the one in charge!

    I also love the bracelet idea! I recently got a ring that says ‘hope’ on it. It’s been a real help for me as I have CFS/ME. Sometimes it is very difficult to keep hope that I will get well, so to see this ring all the time is a special reminder.

  • chrystal says:

    Awesome. Isn’t it funny how the Bible is always right! I don’t know why we fight against it sometimes. I’m am going to do this – with the bracelet too!

    You Gotta tell us about the electronics experiment. I’ve been trying to do this – worth no avail.

  • Mary says:

    So timely…I am a homeschool mom with 5 kids. I have regularly been losing my patience and am glad to know that it’s not just me and am going to use your advice to help me! Thank you so much for all of your wonderful advice and great example.

  • Cheyenne says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve been in the same cycle and praying for help, and your post came as part of an answer to prayer for me. I’ve followed many blogs, but I must say that yours is always #1 for me. If I only have time to look at email briefly, of any blog emails I open, yours is always it. It’s so inspirational, practical, motivating, helpful in a whole-life-and-it’s-many
    -parts-management way. THANK YOU for taking on this work that gifts so many mothers like me!!

  • Sally says:

    Yep, the child that is hardest to love is the one that needs it the most! Once at my wits’ end, I took my one horrid child on my knee and held her while she struggled. When she finally stopped, I told her, “Sweetheart, you could not EVER be bad enough to make me stop loving you.” I had to remind her of that once a few years later, but it has made all the difference in the world. ♥

  • Jackie says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I will make the commitment and take the challenge and I know my husband will too . Love the bracelet idea.

  • Jenny says:

    Hi! For some reason I keep finding myself at your blog. First it was organization strategies (I still use your weekly house cleaning printouts) and now this post! I was in the same situation as you several years ago and went to the public library, completely at my wit’s end, to look for a parenting book to help me (none of the other 100 or so I had read was helping me) when I came across “How to Talk so Kids will Listen, How to Listen so Kids will Talk” by Faber and Mazlish- BEST BOOK EVER!!! If you have never read it you should definitely see if your local library has a copy. It has been around A LONG time, but I had never heard of it. It completely changed the way I parent. : )

  • Dana says:

    Your posts are always encouraging. We just moved with our sons (1&4) from michigan to Kansas and I have thought about your journey a lot. Moving is tough and high stress on everyone… I am actually having the hardest time adjusting though it’s getting better. I’ll look for your tips for not yelling to help in my frustration. Conscious discipline has been a recent discovery also of mine. Thank you crystal – you help many of us

  • Jessica says:

    Thank you for this post! It’s the encouragement I need to get out of a rut with this! Also could you please post a link to the post about going electronic free? I would love to know how that went.

  • marjanna says:

    So needed this. It has been really bad in this house for several months but it keeps getting worse. I’m sure it’s my attitude. Pregnancy hormones don’t help wither. Going to start this right now. It also gives me an excuse to buy myself a bracelet;) my kids are 5, 3 and 2 and I’m 38+ weeks pregnant. It is a very trying time for me as a mother dealing with the attitudes of these ages. We will also be getting on a routine too so I know that will help. Thank you for this post!!!!

  • yessica says:

    Hi, thanks for writing about it. Am having that same problem and I am going crazy, I even thought it was depression. Is a small change but is worth it.


  • Di H. says:

    Here is a suggestion that I found helpful. When you talk to them, start out by facing them and have them look you in the eye. Sometimes touching them on the shoulder to get their attention is helpful too. Once you have their complete attention, make your request (Will you please take out the trash.) & have them acknowledge you by repeating it back to you. (Yes mom I will take out the trash.) Then insist that they obey right away to keep from “forgetting”.
    Even for myself as a kid (and even now if I am watching TV, reading a book, doing the bills, etc) I can get into a zone and completely tune out the world. I usually hear and see nothing else. It frequently takes physical contact to get me out of that zone. My mom would even ask me to do something but unless I put my book down to hear what she said I couldn’t tell you what she said.

    Instead of constantly telling them to do stuff, create a written version of what needs to be done and put the responsibility back on them.

    1. Instilling a new habit to go along with an old habit
    Perhaps make your bed (new) before coming to breakfast (old). If they have to help with breakfast dishes, then a rule might be that they must be cleared from the table immediately after breakfast (new) before leaving the kitchen.(old)

    2. Maybe make a chore chart that they can check off and giving them a time frame for when things need to be done.
    Here are 5 chores and they must be completed by 3pm or before going to a friend’s house

    3. Another option might be to make a schedule to follow:
    7:00-7:30 Get up, dressed, & make bed
    7:30-8:00 Breakfast
    8:00-8:30 Help clean up breakfast
    8:30- 9:30 household chores
    9:30-11:30 Free time

    You can even mix and match. Have a strict schedule M-F and a list of things on Saturday or vice versa

  • Dawn says:

    My wild and crazy boys are 6 and 10 now and for years I have been letting them ‘pick their punishment’. When this all started out we reviewed our Family Rules then listed everything from a time out to major grounding. When someone does something wrong I sit alone with the child and discuss heir behavior and ask what they think we should do about it. I was surprised that they are often much harder on themselves than I am so I get to dial back the grounding they suggested to something less severe such as simply returning the toy they stole from their brother. And of course a real apology is mandatory followed by a hug (once I know they won’t kill eachother if they get too close) lol. It’s not perfect but since we have been doing it for so long they know the consequences of their actions and know that they can choose to behave to avoid punishment. It makes them stop and think before they act.

  • Melissa says:

    I am glad I read this. My husband and I recently separated because he says he is tired of my yelling. I have been praying about it but nothing seems to help. I am going to try this. I hope it works. I hate the fact that I yell at my loved ones and really hate that u have pushed my husband away because of it! Maybe if I can fix it like you did, he ad my children will be happier and he will come back home where he belongs and my heart will not hurt anymore.

  • Katrina says:

    Thank you for sharing this. We just put our home on the market and I have been a complete nightmare to all around me. I will be starting this challenge today. Blessings to you and yours!!! <3

  • Anne says:

    Unbelievable! This post is an answer to my prayers! Just TODAY I was consumed with the thought of this exact issue! One of my children has really been getting on my last nerve and I HATE that I let that happen! I’m the adult! I should handle it better! After reading your advice/tips and the other comments from folks who are in my shoes, it’s good to know that I am not alone. I feel selfish for letting it get to this point! So, tomorrow is a new day; I just need to decide what bracelet to wear 😉
    THANK YOU!!! God bless you all!

  • Alicia says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I needed this blog so much! I have a now 10 month old who is into everything and although he is too young to understand me telling him no 150 times a day it is starting to wear at me some days and I feel myself getting short with him when he doesn’t deserve it. I always told myself I didn’t want to be the mom that yells at her kids but I felt myself headed in that direction and I didn’t know how to change. This blog gave me new perspectives, new strategies and hope! I can and will be the mother that my kids love by turning to God and finding patience and love. Thanks for reminding me of that!

  • Misa says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this..I myself have been struggling for years having a hard time disciplining my two boys without yelling and freaking out at times..i know im hurting them inside and its hurting me too..i will definitely do the same things that you did..i will ask for guidance and i know i can do this..again thank you and God bless you and your family.. ?

  • Mary says:

    Thanks for the wonderful message. Yelling make it difficult to understand certain things about the child. Blessings to my family.

  • Amanda says:

    This post came right in the nick of time! It breaks my heart when I yell at my children. I feel awful that I do exactly what I try my best to teach them NOT to do. Thanks for the post 🙂

  • Kerry says:

    This is a great article! I’m 33 weeks pregnant with a 2.5 year old daughter at home. She is a great kid, but still very much a toddler, testing her limits and my patience at times. I really like this approach and am excited to try it – being pregnant and working full time has severely limited my patience! Any advice on how to use this approach if they actually need to be disciplined or misbehaving?

  • Melissa says:

    You have no idea how bad I needed this. I have been struggling these last months. I have a 12 yo boy and an 11 yo girl. My little one has special needs and things have been difficult. My son adores his sister and when she gets sick he acts out. This has been such a rough couple of months and schedule changes and I have felt very alone, despite having an amazing husband and family. Reading this made me feel uplifted. I am so happy to hear I am not alone. I will be trying to take your advice. Thank you so much.

  • Tia says:

    As I am reading this article tears are beginning to form. Because this is me. I feel there is no other way to get my point across to my 4year old daughter. As of today I have made a commitment to no longer be a “yelling mom”.

  • Amy M. says:

    What a great, practical and inspiring post! Thank you for your honesty and sharing your story with us.

  • Danielle Spears says:

    I love this. It’s been something I’ve been working on with my kids. It definitely works with my 9 and 11 year old. I have difficulty with my 14 year old autistic son. He loves to be alone, doesn’t like to listen, likes to escape, ect. I’m so tired. I don’t know how to not yell, I don’t know how to get him to listen, I don’t know how to get him to stop acting out, I don’t know who to get him to stop punching himself in his head of hitting others. he has behavior specialists, therapist, special schools but they just can’t help. Sorry needed to vent.

    • Anees says:

      My heart reaches out to you. I have a special needs child too. He has a lot of similar issues (and a bunch others). It is so tough to see your kid hit themselves. I don’t have any advice, just…. you are not alone . I’m in the struggle too…. and it’s so very hard.

  • Momma L says:

    When I was a young mom and military wife, I felt the same way. I read a book called When You Feel Like Screaming, and it changed how I reacted. I learned that fewer words were better, and being proactive helped tremendously. We would hold family meetings to brainstorm solutions, write checklists for things (i.e. Morning Checklist), and all I’d have to ask is, “checklist?”, and they would know to go and look at the list to see if their morning routine was done before we left for school. So much good advice, I referred to that wisdom all through their childhood.

  • Jennifer says:

    P. S. — works on husbands, too! 🙂

  • Beth says:

    My son and I just had a talk last night…Although he is a very kind hearted, helpful, and loving child, he struggles with listening and I struggle with yelling. I apologized and asked his forgiveness, but now we’re looking for new tools. I was great with patience when he was a preschooler and young elementary school child (when you first wrote this post five years ago!), but I have really struggled with this as he has gotten into middle school. This post is a good reminder that while the sing-songy stuff might go away, continuing with many of the strategies is still appropriate. Crystal, if you have specific tips for the older group, especially related to age appropriate listening and paying attention rather than disobedience or acting-out, I’d love to hear that too!

  • Megan Lanzone says:

    I read this post when you originally wrote it 5 years ago. Although I’ve never been a yeller, I struggled with getting angry with one of my kids in particular. He didn’t respond to a lot of discipline back then, and I would get very frustrated with him. This post really resonated with me, and I decided back then to be more intentional about “choosing love” when dealing with him (I even bought the bracelet you had). Although I implemented the idea slightly differently than you did, it was amazing how impactful it was. Looking back five years later, I can honestly say that it was a major turning point in my relationship with that kid. Now, five years later, we have a sweet relationship, and he accepts discipline so much better (usually). And the bracelet is still my favorite! Thank you for your transparency all these years. You have been an encouragement to so many!

  • Deb says:

    Wow. What a great example you are setting for your family and all of us reading.
    Thank you and keep it up!

  • Tracy says:

    So when you child is trying u or being disrespectful its hard for me not to yell, hos anxiety takes over alot and makes something small so so big but i want to learn not to yell. Its like once i start yellin i camt stop no matter how much i want to.

  • HeatherB says:

    Thank you. I really needed this today…you five years ago exactly describes me last night. I needed this encouragement and practical steps to change the thermostat in my home.

  • Kimberly says:

    WOW–I can’t thank you enough!!!!!!! Going to try these in our home!!!!!!

  • Tara says:

    I love this. And thank you for offering ideas on what to do instead, especially since my one child who pushes my buttons is not a touchy feely type (so asking to snuggle would not be ideal), the other ideas are so helpful!

  • Alyssa says:

    I just wanted to reach out, all these years after this original post and say THANK YOU. I remember reading this post when my son was about 2, just getting into the time frame where he was testing boundaries and I was finding myself snapping and then feeling guilty. I knew there had to be another way and I didn’t want to over-use the word “no”. I’m not against it by any means, boundaries are there for a reason, but I knew that by saying it too much, it would lose it’s purpose and effectiveness.
    I read this article back then and began consciously trying these ideas (when I remembered).
    RECENTLY, with the world being what it is today and being home trying to work for half the work week and going into the office for longer days the rest of the week, I found my patience has been lacking. I try to remind myself that the world is scary for ME right now, never mind my 4 year old who suddenly can’t go to daycare, can’t see his friends, can’t see his family, and can’t hug people (he’s a big hugger).
    I will say that when I have remembered to use these techniques, like when he is acting out or just clearly asking for attention, I will ask him to sit with me and snuggle for a minute, and the difference in his demeanor is astounding. Or, just last week when we were on a walk and he got so angry that we had to go home, he started yelling and telling me all the reasons he wanted to stay out, he was also starting to get choke up, I kneeled down to hug him and he just melted into me.
    So with me realizing that I recently have lost or forgotten some of your advice, I googled, and luckily found this article yet again. I re-read it and thought, “riiiiigghhtt, this is what I started doing and parts of it have slowly fallen by the wayside.” I vow to start again.
    Thank you from the mom who tries so hard, yet sometimes feels like I’m failing.

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