Asking intentional good questions when you’re in angry mode is usually my last parenting tool. However, after some time of meltdowns between the kids and I – my parenting approach needed a change. Incorporating good questions is the one skill that shifts a tense parenting situation into a moment of clarity and engagement for both you and your child. This parenting technique can help how to stop yelling at your kids. More importantly begin to change the narrative of this pattern.
Ever get to the point of yelling that it sounds like a demonic grizzly bear growl? Or maybe that’s just me after repeating myself 100+ times. Mom/dad I have been there. And let’s add storming out the room or crying later wishing I wasn’t such a terrible parent.
What’s really happening when we yell?
WebMD shares this insight in regards to the yelling cycle.
New research suggests that yelling at kids can be just as harmful as hitting them; in the two-year study, effects from harsh physical and verbal discipline were found to be frighteningly similar. A child who is yelled at is more likely to exhibit problem behavior, thereby eliciting more yelling. It’s a sad cycle.Jenn Sturiale
Can you relate to the cycle?
Truthfully even I get tired of yelling… it’s exhausting. However, it is so easy to fall into the cycle when it just creates bigger issues long-term. However how to stop yelling at your kids comes from acknowleding this is a challenge and the need to make a change.
Buying into the lie and even pattern that my kids only hear me when I yell – has left me more frustrated than feeling confident in motherhood. Until recently I realized there were several factors attributing to my default of yelling and anxiety was a major one.
Check-in with yourself before you explode
Do you explode most when:
- The house is overly messy
- You’re exhausted
- You don’t feel like your partner is really listening to you
- You don’t feel seen
- [Fill in your reason]
Discovering the impacts of my own anxiety in parenthood have drastically shifted how I engage my home. More often than not, I wasn’t checking in with myself and it was like a balloon ready to burst… at the worst time.
My pattern response of yelling at my kids I started to connect with other triggers for me. Not being able to take time alone or unfinished tasks are triggers. Take some time and these or more may also connect with you. The more we are triggered the higher your anxiety may be at surface level. Check-in with yourself.
Instead of exploding try this one thing…
Breathe and ask a good question.
You may be thinking, “That’s it?” I’m here to tell you absolutely, it’s the best place to start. Before you flip your lid, try and actually see what is going on in the situation. The crying, angry outbursts, meltdowns are usually symptoms to an issue. Yes this is intentional parenting we’re engaging now. If your reading this, you want more too. So stay with me.
Asking good questions can lead to dialogue rather than a power struggle. In fact it can diffuse a potential outburst or meltdown for you and your child.
Good questions can look like:
- What are you feeling right now?
- Did something happen today that I didn’t see?
- Is shouting letting me hear you?
- What do you want me to know right now?
Write these down. Screenshot this and save it. Asking good questions is a practice, no one does this well… me included.
What does asking good questions do?
When we ask good questions such as these it shifts the frustration and opens a discussion. Anxiety and yelling causes us to try and shut down a situation… when it actually does the opposite.
Taking this approach pours water on the situation and teaches self awareness for often you and your child. Don’t we encourage our kids to talk about their feelings? Well friend, you are the BEST person to talk to. If you can help your child start healthier ways to process what’s really happening it leads to healthier coping AND less meltdowns.
Not sure if that’s true? Just try it. I’ve watched my big feelings little one respond far better to this approach than anything else we’ve done. Why? Because he feels heard. I’m not trying to provide a quick fix…
Instead I’m helping him sort through what’s happening and walking alongside the process. Isn’t that parenting? Whether we like to or not. I’m sure with all the pressures happening lately it’s tough to how to stop yelling at your kids.
So when my kids have meltdowns I remember I want to hear them not shut them down. Asking questions can help me breathe through and still get to the point of redirection.
What are some good questions that let you hear your child when they’re having a rough day?