Last month when you screamed at your kids you swore you would never do it again. Your throat was dry and irritated after. The shame you felt lasted ALL DAY LONG.
You don’t want to yell. You hate that part of yourself as a parent. But no matter how much you say, “I won’t scream next time,” when next time comes, there you are yelling at that beautiful little kiddo of yours.
The reason you haven’t been able to stop screaming has nothing to do with being a “bad” or “good” parent. You simply haven’t had the right plan.
Here is where I can help. I used to scream, but it’s so rare that I reach that point anymore. Here is what has worked for me and what can work for you too.
Tool #1: Stop, Drop, and Breathe
Remember in grade school when we would practice how to Stop, Drop, and Roll in case of a fire?! You need just as solid of a plan for the next time you feel like screaming.
It isn’t enough to just hope that you won’t scream again. You need a strategy in place for the next time you feel like you are about to open your mouth and explode with anger.
Will you walk away and cool down in the bathroom?
If you are driving, will you pull the car over and wait until the anger subsides?
Can you keep a calming book in your bag to read until you are grounded again?
Is there a funny term you can tell your children so they know you are angry and the special code means mommy or daddy need a break? Have fun with this one! Maybe the code is “flying squirrel” or “naked mole rat”?!
Can you Stop, Drop, and Breathe?
Create your Stop Screaming Plan now!
Tool #2: Plan Talk Time
Oh man, I wanted to scold my kids for not picking up their toys when I had asked them FIVE MILLION TIMES.
Instead of yelling though, I went over to the white board where I keep Family Meeting Topics and wrote down the problem, “not picking up toys.”
I knew that I would later have a chance to talk to my kids about the problem and that during that family meeting, we would brainstorm solutions to solve this problem. I didn’t need to yell because because I knew that we would have a constructive conversation later.
Remember, not everything has to be done right now.
Tool #3: Dig Down Deep
Maybe you didn’t feel heard as a child, so now when your child doesn’t listen, you feel like screaming?
Maybe you aren’t aware of what is developmentally appropriate for the age of your and by better understanding normal child behavior, you will feel less reactive to your child?
Maybe your need for perfectionism is coming out onto your child and you are projecting perfectionism on them?
Or maybe you are so passive that your child is simply running wild in your home?
As the saying goes, “it takes two to tango.” By looking at our own part (sometimes with the help of a professional), we can defuse many power struggles.
And, above all else, keep working on your own sense of worthiness. You are enough. You are worthy. You are loved. The happier you are inside, the less screaming you will want to do.
If you are taking the time to read this post, Congratulations. You are obviously a thoughtful parent that wants to make some positive changes. Be easy on yourself. It takes time to form new habits.
Make your plan now and print it out. Carry your Stop Screaming Plan with you everywhere you go and reference it the next time you feel like yelling?
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