(Photo courtesy Flickr, David Goehring)
Confession time: I’m a yeller.
I admit – I do hold my tongue many times. But when I’m pushed into a corner or feel out of control, my blood pressure rises, my voice rises and I yell.
After two pretty intense yelling episodes on Monday alone, I decided to get serious and get help.
I started by praying for wisdom. I asked God to show me how to stop yelling and to change me. Sure, I could blame my behavior on my kids, the cats or circumstances, but the bottom line is that I control whether or not I yell. If there’s an ongoing trigger, a need for control or some other root issue that increases my proclivity for yelling, I want to know about it and know how to change it!
Then, I read Facebook. My cousin and a local parenting expert shared two articles that spoke to my heart.
Dayna at Lemon Lime Adventures shares how getting closer can reduce 90 percent of all yelling in a classroom and a home.
I tried that tip yesterday. As my kids grew louder and louder in the playroom, I walked to them instead of standing in the kitchen yelling for them to be quiet. I saw the problem for myself and was able to deescalate the situation with calmness. We all resumed our activities with peace and goodwill rather than anger and frustration.
How often can an escalating situation be diffused by getting closer? I plan to keep practicing this tool and test it out.
The second tool comes from Dr. Laura Markham at Aha Parenting. She says compassion is the key that turns off the yelling.
Too often, I expect myself to remain calm no matter what pressures I face, but that’s unloving and unrealistic. There’s only so much pressure a person can face before they pop.
When I begin to feel the pressure rise inside, I can take a breath and give myself permission to feel stressed, anxious or angry. Then, I’m able to step back and calm down before I burst.
Plus, I can apologize if I mess up. Admitting mistakes and asking for forgiveness are two essential skills I want my kids to learn, and I teach best when I model the behavior I want to see.
These two tools might not eradicate yelling from my home. However, they offer helpful steps I can take today as I strive to make my home a yell-free zone. What tools do you use to stop yelling in your home? I’d love to try them out!