Whether we like it or not there’s no denying that as a parent or a nanny we’ve all yelled at our kids at some point. And most likely felt self aware and slightly guilty for losing our temper afterwards. Sometimes yelling is necessary; safety! Like that time when my son ran through a parking lot and almost didn’t see the car backing up, or when my fearless daughter climbed to the top of the park’s monkey bars and ready to drop into my go go gadget arms. It shocked them enough to realize that they needed to wait for me to help them.
Yelling isn’t a great way to communicate with your children. Not only do you not want to lower their self-esteem as they get older, but you also want them to be able to trust you, and also know that you are teaching the value of patience. You don’t want to bring up children that explode every time something doesn’t go their way.
A good start for change is to be mindful.
If you can have control over your emotions, you can still discipline your children but doing so in a calm way. It will teach assertiveness rather than bullying behaviour and will allow your children to listen. When children are yelled at or intimidated, stress hormones are released and they shut down. It is much more effective to use a firm tone rather than shout, or speak too softly. Here are a few techniques to try when you feel yourself becoming angry and ready to yell:
1. Slow down, and try not to react.
2. Bring your awareness into your breathing. It will instantly calm you.
3. Walk away from the situation and come back when you feel less reactive.
4. Notice your emotions and how your body is feeling and try to calm yourself.
6. Show compassion to yourself and you children. Show kindness.
7. Put yourself in your children’s shoes. Did you leave something out that perhaps you shouldn’t have, are the children simply being curious and do realise the dangers etc.
We can’t be perfect and it is also important to show children that we mess up. When we do make mistakes and lose control of our emotions we can repair the situation by acknowledging it, apologising to your child and moving on. It helps them to understand that we don’t hold grudges!
Written by Lisa : Lisa Bruce is a mother first and foremost to her 2 wonderful kids, wife, and Placement Manager at Nannies on Call.