What to do after yelling at your child

No parent ever intends to yell at their children. When they do, parents feel awful about it. But because no parent will ever escape their childhood or adolescence without losing their temper once or twice, developing a system to repair the damage caused by yelling is essential to keeping the relationship intact and healthy. And that’s why, when yelling at kids happens, what the parents do after that is what matters.

Often when parents yell at kids, it’s not necessarily because of the specific thing the kids did at the time. It’s the culmination of stress, having to repeat and ask for a task to be done many times, constant fighting between siblings and much more. Maybe that’s why parents instantly feel guilty for yelling once they’ve had a chance to think about the situation. As such, they want to do whatever is necessary to get the relationship with their children back on track.

RELATED: How Constant Screaming Affects A Child’s Mental Health

Yelling at the kids happens. It’s what the parents do after that’s what counts.

Calm down before talking to children

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by Pexels/Monstera

When emotions run high, it’s when things are said that aren’t intentional. So, before parents take the opportunity to talk to kids after yelling at them, they should take the time they need to legitimately calm down and think clearly about what they want to say.

According to Psychology today When parents are angry, anything they say in that state will only be anger. Therefore, to really have a conversation with children about the reason for the screaming, parents need to make sure they are calm enough to talk and listen while rebuilding the relationship with the children.

Tell the kids you love them after they’ve been yelled at

Once the parents have calmed down, taking a moment to tell the kids they are loved will go a long way. This is because children may start to feel less “valued”. And when that happens, that self-esteem needs to be restored.

According to Parents, one of the fastest ways to make kids feel “inadequate” and have no “worth” is to yell at them. Therefore, after yelling at children, it is imperative to tell them that they are loved so that they no longer feel like the “enemy” at home. Instead, they can understand that yelling was wrong and not an appropriate way to communicate with anyone, especially children.

Show children they are loved

via Pexels/Ketut Subiyanto

Telling children they are loved is one thing, but they also need to feel love. For this reason, affection or knowing what children like about language will reinforce how much they are loved.

According to Family education, there are five different types of love language. They are:

  • Words of affirmation
  • Gifts
  • quality time
  • Acts of service
  • physical touch

When parents know their child’s love language, it’s easy to show them love. Whether through hugs or cuddles, taking one-on-one time to read or play, reassuring that they are loved, and more, if any of these can be applied and shown to children after shouting, they will understand that they are truly loved. And if the yelling is one-off rather than constant, any damage done to the relationship can be repaired quickly.

Apologize for yelling

Just because the love was shown after the screaming happened doesn’t cover the apology. Even if the parents were right to be frustrated that something wasn’t being done after repeatedly asking, being ignored or whatever, the delivery of that frustration was bad. And that should be excused.

According to Positive Parenting Solutions, it is important that parents “own their feelings”. It shows kids that it’s okay to have whatever feelings they have, but how they’re conveyed needs to be done appropriately. And because yelling isn’t an appropriate way to show those feelings, an apology is warranted, letting kids know they shouldn’t imitate the behavior they’ve seen either.

Leaving issues unresolved after discussing them

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As the discussion of the screaming takes place, this is an opportunity to discuss the feelings that led up to the screaming. This does not mean putting the blame on the feet of the children. After all, the parents made their own decision to scream. However, talking about why children should do what is asked of them in a timely manner is something that can be discussed. And once it is discussed, the matter should be dropped.

According to Mayo Clinic, holding a grudge maintains bitterness in a relationship. Instead, letting go of the issue as soon as it’s been discussed makes for healthier relationships, reduces hostility, and offers a range of physical benefits as well.

Therefore, moving on can be difficult, depending on the cause of the screaming, but it’s best for everyone to get it done.

Develop strategies to use when it feels like yelling is going to happen

Often the shouting happens because the same issue keeps coming up in the discussion. Therefore, if parents have a strategy in place to deal with their feelings when they feel like they are going to yell, they are less likely to do so.

According to child mind institute, if parents can “identify the issues” that cause feelings where parents want to scream, they can potentially find ways to fix the problem before it happens. If this is not possible, then by recognizing whether there are behavioral patterns in children at certain times of the day that make crying more likely to occur, for example when children are tired or hungry, parents can also be less likely to scream.

Parents don’t want to yell at their children. As such, finding ways to express emotions in healthy ways not only benefits parents, but children as well.

Source: Psychology Today, Parents, Family Education, Positive Parenting Solutions, Mayo Clinic, Child Mind Institute

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