21 Ways to Stop Yelling

Everyone always talks about the Terrible twos but no one talks about the Threes.  Three was absolutely full of insanity. Mason seemed to be testing my boundaries every single day. And then one day (or two or three) I lost it.

I screamed and screamed. I was so angry. Why can’t he just LISTEN?! JUST ONCE!?

But the truth is, he listens a lot. More than I seem to remember when he doesn’t listen and I’m upset. After I calmed down (which wasn’t easy) and tucked my sweet boy into bed and cried my eyes out I vowed to change. I couldn’t be that mom who is constantly yelling. Who doesn’t seem to be present in the moment and know what’s actually going on because I’m too busy focusing on MY emotions of frustration and anger.

It hasn’t been easy and I have my weak moments for sure but I have been able to see a change in myself. I’m not yelling as much as I used too instead I’m doing a lot more listening and a lot more hugging BEFORE things get ugly not after when I feel guilty.

So how am I making these changes? I came up with a list of ways to stop yelling and I use them. And most of all I except that I will have setbacks at times. But just because I have a setback, doesn’t mean I should stop trying. It takes 21 days to form a habit so my list has 21 Ways to Stop Yelling. If you use these ways to help you stop yelling every day for the next 21 days you’ll be well on your way to not yelling. Instead you’ll understand better what makes you yell in the first place, what isn’t worth yelling about and what may potentially make your children act in a way that makes you want to yell.


  1. Ask for Help–Talk to your kids and your spouse about what you want to do. Ask them to remind you not to yell when it seems like you’re about to start.
  2. Take Deep and Calculated Breathes–it seems simple but it helps you pause and take notice of what is about to happen.
  3. Close Your Eyes–In your mind scream all the things that you want to scream, throw a tantrum, do whatever it is you would normally have down in this situation or wish you could do. Once you get it out of your system open your eyes and address the situation, with no yelling!
  4. Leave it alone–Did the kids make a GIGANTIC mess? Usher the kids into another room and do something else, watch some tv, get lunch started. Do anything but clean up that mess. Get your mind off your initial anger and onto something more pleasant. Then once you’ve calmed down go with the kids and help clean up the mess.
  5. Bake Something–For me I love baking so if something happens that makes me angry, I try to focus on something that makes me happy. As a bonus Mason loves to help me bake so we get to bond over baking instead of a scream fest. The last thing we baked together was Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Muffins for quick after school snacks.
  6. Craft Something–you can do something with the kids, or without.
  7. Paint–Set the kids up with some paper and some paint and let them go to town!
  8. Read a Book–Get lost in another world. Instead of yelling, walk away and read a chapter or two of a favorite book or your latest read.
  9. Go to the Bathroom–and lock the door. Ignore the hands reaching under the door. Collect yourself. Then head back out.
  10. Scream into a Pillow–Head to your bedroom and SCREAM as loud as you want, into a pillow!
  11. Ask Questions–Instead of yelling ask your kids what’s going on. Do you want mommy to play with you? Are you hurt? Are you tired? Do you want snack? Get to the root of the problem.
  12. Put Yourself in Their Shoes–Refer to number 3. If someone was yelling out you, how would that make you feel?
  13. Leave the House–Pack up the kids and go somewhere, anywhere, the change of scenery will help everyone!
  14. Play with Them–A lot of times Mason gets frustrated when I’m not paying attention to him because I’m doing housework or working on the blog. This is often fixed quickly by just doing what they’re asking.
  15. Call a Friend–Vent to a friend. Talk it out with someone, commiserate 🙂
  16. Pretend You can Get Fired–Pretend your kids are your bosses (cause they kinda are). If you reacted with yelling end screaming at your boss, how would that turn out?
  17. Pretend you have an audience–If there were a bunch of people watching your interaction with your children how would you respond to them? What would the people watching think?
  18. Do some jumping jacks–This is two fold. 1) it gets out some of your energy through physical action instead of screaming. 2) Since it’ll be surprising it will most likely make the kids laugh and ease some tension.
  19. Write it down–Write out the way you’re feeling and why you felt that way, it will give you some time to reflect. It doesn’t have to be long. At the end of the day you can see what really upsets you though out the day and evaluate what you can do better.
  20. Dance Party–Instead of screaming start a dance party! Turn on a favorite song and dance, be silly and then address the issue in a calm way!
  21. Hug Them–Bring them close to you and soak them in!

You’ll notice that so many of these involve stepping away in some way shape or form. It’s about not making the snap decision to get angry and start screaming. Instead it’s about making a conscious effort to address the situation with a clear and calm mind.

This change isn’t going to happen overnight but it can happen. And just like anything else you will have set backs but if you keep trying I think you’ll be happy with the results you see in your family and with the relationship you have with your children.

This post was made possible due in part to my partnership with Kellogg’s and their #GreatStarts tips. Who want to remind you that it takes 21 days to form a habit and that goes for anything from not yelling to going on a daily walk!

For more Great Starts Tips visit here and be sure to check out Tip #3, Quick After School snacks here.



Kellogg’s® believes that From Great Starts Come Great Things®. So we’re helping Moms start every day with a tip from the top athletes of Team Kellogg’s™ and Team USA dietitians. The thirty days leading up to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will each feature fun pieces of advice to help families fuel just like the athletes of Team Kellogg’s. To see all 30 tips, visit Kelloggs.com/GreatStartsTips.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Kellogg’s via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kellogg’s

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  1. says

    These are great tips! I just caught myself yelling at the kids the other day and I can relate to feeling guilty after. So much better to take steps ahead of time to stop the yelling. Thanks for sharing your own struggles as it’s not easy to say it out loud!

  2. Donna says

    Great tips! I wish I could say I’ve never yelled at my son. Even as I type this it brings tears to my eyes thinking about it. I’m not typically a “yeller” (yep, it’s a word), but the few times it’s happened over the past 11 years, makes me ashamed at myself. I think these tips will help many, many parents!
    Donna recently posted..Puppy Apartments – Providing Puppies Their Own SpaceMy Profile

    • Christa says

      I agree! I always apologize if I get to yelling. I want them to knowing that yelling is something you should be sorry over!

  3. says

    A wonderful friend and school psychologist gave me the bathroom idea. Carl pointed out no one questions why you are going there so it doesn't accelerate the situation and it has helped me throught more situations than I can count over past 45 years.

  4. Sarah says

    Great tips, thanks for sharing! Adding this to my favourites and reading it everyday. Thanks for sharing the ’21 day’ fact, had no idea about it and honestly 21 days to form a habit does not seem that long at all. Well, at least until I try it out it doesn’t, so wish me luck. I hate to admit I am a yeller and vow everyday to stop. Wish me luck, tomorrow is a new day! 🙂

  5. Sarahlee says

    Thank you!
    I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to hear that I’m not the only one. My babies are my entire world being a stay at home mom.
    I think a lot of times what I feel like should happen in my mind vs what plays out during our days arnt the same and it builds rustration.

    • Christa Marie says

      Yes! I feel similarly but I also feel like that’s what makes us good moms. That we care, that we think about the ways we want to be better!

  6. Sandra De Hoogh says

    Suggestion 22: read ‘Keep your love on’ by Danny Silk. As a mum of 11, it’s one of the nest relational resources I’ve found yet over 24 years of mothering.

  7. Tanya Pitre says

    One thing I don't agree with….. My kid is NOT my boss. That would be the day. But there are some good tips here.

    • Christa Marie says

      Boss is a word that we like to avoid in our family. No family needs a boss, just lots of love, understanding and respect!

  8. says

    I like the (very hopeful!) idea that new behaviors establish, in order to become habits. When my kids were younger I found it very hard to “switch gears,” or to take a step back, as many of your ideas suggest. (I was too mad!)

    I would later feel horrid, ashamed, etc, of my behavior. Somewhere along the line, the lights went on “upstairs:”
    I “got” that I was having a good, old-fashioned tantrum of my own. With that awareness came and improved–but not perfect–ability to redirect my own behavior.

    Thanks for this post. You might have just inspired my next one!

    • Christa Marie says

      I’m glad you enjoyed it and you hit the nail on the head! It’s about switching gears, taking a step back and realizing that what you’re doing is no better than what they’re doing!

  9. Brandon says

    Aren’t some of these tips rewarding the kids for unwanted behavior. The reason I yell is because they are doing something they aren’t supposed to do. So if my kids have been asked 5 times to stop playing and clean up their rooms, when they keep disobeying instead of yelling I’m supposed to send them to another room to watch TV (reward), or let them paint (reward), or play with them (reward). If my four year old dumps out an entire box of cereal and I hand her the dustpan and hand broom and tell her she needs to clean it up and she refuses and throws a fit and I want to yell at her I’m supposed to have a dance party with her (reward), or go for a drive (reward), or get out the paints and let her paint (reward). So I’m supposed to spend a lot of energy distracting and distancing my kids from the thing they are about to get yelled at for. How long before your kids figure out, “If we smear hand lotion all over the couch, instead of yelling mom and dad are going to hide from us, or bake cookies with us, or take us to the park”, “We can throw our beads all over the room because instead of yelling, mom and dad are going to play with us and then we’ll all clean it up later, which really means mom and dad are going to do most of the work because if we just stand around while they are cleaning they aren’t going to yell at us.”

    Our children are in no way our bosses. We do what they need and what they ask because they are dependant on us, and we love them and we want to take good care of them. Not because they have any authority over us. The big picture of parenting isn’t having kids so we can be a family and enjoy all of the family things. The core of raising kids is to make sure they can survive without us in the future. We want them to survive without us in the future because we love them. 21 days to make a habit… so what kind of deep bad habits can be created in the first 10 years of life by this method of sterilizing our emotions for our kids and distancing the consequences of their behavior from the act. If yelling is always the first thing you do, then that might not be healthy. Yelling shouldn’t be the first thing you do, but your kids seeing you angry at something they have done isn’t wrong, it’s probably healthy. We are the parents, we are the authority. We put our foot down, we punish, we discipline, and we even yell because we love our kids and want the best for them, not just now but in the future also.

    • Christa Marie says

      A lot of times kids act out because they’re not getting the attention they deserve from their parents. For some parents yelling is the first thing they go too instead of exploring others options like what’s behind the behavior and trying to rectify it. You don’t have to choose something that is a reward but you do have to change the way you interact with your children. *Why* have you asked them 5 times to do something and *Why* haven’t they done it? What can you do so that it never gets to the point of asking 5 times? It doesn’t have to escalate to 5 times and then yelling, unless you let it.

      Everyone parents differently, for me, I don’t want yelling to be something my kids remember about me. I want them to understand me and respect me which means I have to do the same to them. I don’t know about you but when someone yells at me it doesn’t absolutely nothing to change my behavior, in fact I find it rude, condescending and disrespectful.

    • Kim says

      Well said, Bremaweb! My husband and I were reading this entire post and were appalled by the number of parents agreeing in the comments. We agree that the purpose of parenting is to prepare our children to be good adults. We have a loving relationship with our children and a lot of that is their gratitude for what we have taught them and what we will continue to teach them. It is disheartening to see so many children today have no accountability for their actions. This is why we seem to have an entire generation of spoiled, entitled children coming of age. I’ve seen mothers quietly “gathering themselves” in public with these types of tips. They end up buying their adorable little “bosses” a gift to get them to calm down, but they certainly succeeded at not yelling at them.

      • Christa Marie says

        My child is not my boss and they certainly do not get gifts for throwing a tantrum. It’s important to remember that a lot of the people who practice gentle parenting were raised by people who were not “gentle” and we feel the need for a change in the way we treat are children. They are humans and are subject to the same emotional ranges that adults can have. Yelling isn’t not the best way to go about disciplining your children. It is not productive or helpful. If your husband yells at you, is that helpful to you? I would be it isn’t. The same is said for our children.

  10. Ann says

    Some of these are great ideas, but we can’t treat our kids as our bosses. They’re not! It is doing them a disservice if we allow them to rin the house. We also need to teach them how to wait. Of course your child stops yelling and being annoying if you give him what he wants! We must stop doing this. With this method we are raising entitled adults that must have instant gratification now all the time! It’s the very thing many of us complain and wirry about in society. It’s ok, as long as everyone is safe, to let a child wait. Bottom line, they do not rin the house,YOU do!

    • Christa Marie says

      They’re not our bosses, that’s correct! This isn’t about letting them run the house, it’s about recognizing that our children are people. That they are allowed to have emotions just as we are. It’s about controlling our own emotions. Would you yell at another adult to get them to do what you want? Is that respectful? Is that appropriate? Why is it appropriate with your children? There are much better ways to communicate with our children. These are ways to break the tension, to stop the cycling of yelling so that you can properly address what’s going on with everyone in a calm manner. Listening and understanding happens when people are calm not when emotions are heightened.

  11. says

    Another thing I've found that helps me is to either pretend that I'm being recorded or that others can hear me. That makes me step outside of myself mentally and hear what I sound like (a raving lunatic probably!) and then I bite my tongue, calm down, and deal with the situation in a calmer way.


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