To Yell or Not to Yell


Welcome to the January Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting resolutions!

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month we’re writing about how we want to parent differently — or the same — in the New Year. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.




You all know how I feel about resolutions. Even though I refuse to call something “my New Year’s Resolution”, I still have things I’d like to change about my parenting—change about my person as a whole.

I am a very emotional person. Beyond that, I am a very outspoken person (at least to the people I know). I frequently put my foot in my mouth and I’ve been working on thinking about what I say before I say it—now I need to work on how I say it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not full of rage, I just let out every little bit of rage I get. Quite often I get it out through yelling.

There have been times when Peanut Just. Won’t. Stop. Screaming. and I end up screaming with her. Though it makes me feel better in the immediate sense, it just makes her scream more and therefore me feel worse. We obviously haven’t gotten to the point that I would yell at her because she did something wrong—she’s only 9.5 months old—but I don’t want to become that parent.

I don’t want to be the parent screaming at their kid in the store.

I don’t want to be the parent with kids that are scared of them.

I don’t want to be the parent that other parents think is crazy.

I’ve been working on not screaming when she’s screaming, not yelling at my husband, not yelling at my dog. I’m not doing this for the new year because it’s a lifetime thing. I need to keep a hold of myself.

I will be the parent who explains to their children what’s wrong.

I will not yell “No!” at Peanut and expect her to just stop.

I will eliminate the unnecessary guilt associated with yelling.

I will keep repeating these things to myself until I don’t feel like yelling.


I will be a happier person for this new year and every year on.



Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(All the links should be active by noon on Jan. 12. Go to Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama for the most recently updated list.)

• To Yell or Not to YellThe Adventures of Lactating Girl
• It Is All About Empathy: Nurturing a Toddler’s Compassion PotentialBaby Dust Diaries
• To my babies: this year…BluebirdMama
• Mindfully Loving My ChildrenBreastfeeding Moms Unite!
• January Carnival of Natural Parenting: ResolutionsCode Name: Mama
• Imperfect MotherConsider Eden
• ResolutionsCraphead (aka Mommy)
• FC Mom’s Parenting Resolutions 2010FC Mom
• What’s in a Resolution?Happy Mothering
• January Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting resolutionsHobo Mama
• Natural Parenting ResolutionsLittle Green Blog
• This year, I will mostly…Look Left of the Pleiades
• Parenting ResolutionsThe Mahogany Way
• I Resolve to Breastfeed In Public More Oftenmama2mama tips
• Moving to Two KidsMegna the Destroyer
• Use LoveMomopoly
• My parenting resolutionsMusings of a Milk Maker
• Talkin’ ’bout My ResolutionsNavelgazing
• Parenting ResolutionsOne Starry Night
• Invitations, not resolutionsRaising My Boychick
• No more multitasking during kid timeThe Recovering Procrastinator
• I need to slow down, smell those roses AND the poopy diapersTales of a Kitchen Witch Momma
• Resolutely Parenting in 2010This Is Worthwhile


41 thoughts on “To Yell or Not to Yell

  1. Pingback: Invitations, Not Resolutions « Raising My Boychick

    • I can relate too. My parents were both yellers, so it’s one of those learned behaviors that I am having a hard time breaking.
      I think taking a moment before responding has been helpful for me. Also? It has helped me to see another mother yelling at her kids (isn’t that awful?). Just watching the kids shrink from her, seeing the rage in her face – it made it clear to me that is not who I want to be.
      If you find a magical solution, though, please let me know 🙂

      • I’ve mostly just been trying to think before I act. I also read somewhere to “say” the mean things in your head before responding nicely. That helps me even with my husband! lol

  2. This is a very good parenting resolution! I particularly like “I will not yell No and expect her to just stop.” Seems like our expectations can really get in our way and remembering that our kids are DRIVEN to do what ever they are doing can really help me calm down.

    • It amazes me how often people (including myself) just tell Peanut “NO!” and think she’ll just stop getting into the trash can or playing with the TV remote. She’s only 10 months old! I’ve been instead trying to get her out of the situation and explain why we don’t play with the dirty trash or why the TV remote is for adults. 😛

  3. I don’t want to be that mom either. I’ve been praying for moments of grace before I react (and more sleep!).

    Here’s to a more gentle 2010!

    • I’ve noticed that if I just take a moment to pause and think about the situation before I react that I’m always more graceful.

  4. Pingback: No more multitasking during kid time « The Recovering Procrastinator

  5. Pingback: January Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting resolutions! « Tales of a Kitchen Witch Momma

  6. Pingback: Craphead (aka Mommy) :: Resolutions :: January :: 2010

  7. Pingback: Mindfully Loving My Children | Breastfeeding Moms Unite

  8. Our babies are the same age, so I know the dilemma you’re dealing with. I feel like babyproofing has to fill the gap of these few months when their mobility is beyond what they know is safe… my baby loves electrical cords, and a “No, don’t chew on that,” is followed by a grin and a repeat of the behavior. Instead of saying no I try to lift him away and distract him. I don’t know if that’s good or no, but I do know that hearing my husband repeatedly saying “No, that’s the dog’s bed, no, no,” reminds me that I have GOT to stop doing that!
    Babies are not easy, that’s for sure, and they teach us about ourselves and teach us new ways of thinking!
    I’m reading “Discipline Without Distress” for my AP Book Club- I’ll let you know how I like it!

    • I’ll have to read that. I’m reading The Discipline Book by Dr. Sears.

      Isn’t it so difficult at this age where they can’t quite understand what you’re saying? Like when Peanut pulls my hair I say “Ouch! That hurts Mommy!” and she just thinks I’m being funny so she laughs.

  9. Ah yelling. I know it well. I had the patience of a saint for the first two years of my daughter’s life and then for some reason after that I stopped being patient and I have been trying to get it back ever since. It’s hard in the moment when you’re overwhelmed with that flooding of emotion though. Being more present as a mom and ensuring my daughters don’t need to cry and scream and act up will hopefully mean less yelling.

    • I loved your post about how all kids need their love to be shown in different ways. I’m trying to just make Peanut aware I’m still there every so often when she’s off playing by herself to see if she’ll have less tantrums when she realizes I’m not right next to her.

  10. Ooooo this is a good resolution. I am hoping that mine lead to less yelling! I know quite a few mamas who struggle with this.

  11. I just want to say what Kate Wicker said because that about sums it up.

    Melodie, I found it easier the first couple of years too. I think I’ve really only become a yeller since my 2nd was born. Being physically tied on the couch nursing a newborn and having a 3 year old who is in the depths of an ignoring phase STILL after 18 months. Gosh.

    Pause and think. Yup. That should be my mantra. Pause. And. Think.

  12. Yelling is one of those pitfalls I want to avoid as my son gets older. Currently most of my yelling is confined to the inner sanctuary of my car during road-ragey moments. Yeah, I probably need to work on that too.

    • I think for the most part Peanut doesn’t really care about my yelling, but over this next year is when she’s going to start understanding things like that and it’s something I’d rather take care of before it’s a bigger problem. I’m lucky to be a pretty calm driver because I don’t drive often, but when I’m super stressed (like when I’m running late or something) I tend to start yelling at my husband next to me. That’s definitely not something I want my daughter to be exposed to.

  13. Pingback: Nursing Bras Reviews – Post Pregnancy Body » Mindfully Loving My Children

  14. I grew up with a mom who yelled. I vowed I wouldn’t yell at my kids like that. I have done it though. I also find it is harder the older they get. My kids are 5 and 2.5yrs

    One thing that has really helped me stop yelling. Realizing that they aren’t doing these things to me. I’ve also been practicing deep breathing when I feel myself getting to that point.

    • I try to remember when Peanut pulls my hair or pinches my arms that she’s not doing it to be mean to me—she’s just trying to explore. It’s still difficult to not get upset though because it hurts!

  15. Boy, do I know what you mean. I haven’t yelled much “with” or “at” my son (8 months), but I have felt the strong urge to, but my husband has always rescued me by taking him somewhere else. I don’t want him to have to do that, though. I have a problem with yelling at my husband, and actually, I’ve just been a yeller all of my life. I am a bossy mess. Anyway, I’m working on it, and I salute you for making the change. Good work, momma! Oh, and great post, by the way!

  16. Ah yelling. I wasn’t too bad when Bertie was a baby, and crying, but now he’s a toddler and we have whining I do find myself yelling now and again and it’s not pretty. Know how you feel.

    • I don’t know if Peanut is technically a toddler, but she definitely whines. She doesn’t really cry any more, but the whining really gets to me.

  17. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately too. And I’m not a yeller. At all. But what does happen is that I tend to bottle things up and then inevitably an explosion of some kind happens, for something really small, that has absolutely nothing to do with whatever minor/not so minor aggravating thing that my toddler has gotten up to. And then her little face crumples into tears because I so rarely raise my voice. And I feel like the sheriff of crap town.

    I don’t want her to get used to it. I want to be able to reach down deep and find that extra bit of patience that’s going to see me through.

  18. I made less yelling one of my “resolutions,” too. My mom was a yeller and my dad was passive-aggressive. It was quite a combination! In hindsight, I can see that her yelling stemmed from her extreme frustration with my dad, with her lack of energy, and being overwhelmed by housework, a part-time job, and participating in school activities.

    But even so, I don’t want to be that mom, either. I don’t want to yell at all, but for now I’d settle for less yelling. I do find that counting to 5 helps when I can remember to do it. I need to remember to do that more often for sure.

    • I’ve never been a counting person sadly. I tried it in the past with my social anxiety, but it never really worked. I like saying the mean thing in my head though. That seems to help me. 😛

  19. I am totally with you on this, and I’m so glad you were open about it! My parents actually never yelled, and my husband doesn’t either, so where on earth did I get it from? I feel so horrible when I do it.

    I’ve been trying to tell myself: You can be angry later. Sounds stupid, but I know that if I can just get myself to pause, as you were saying, that I will be rational in the future and not want to be angry anymore then. Also, I need enough sleep. And food at the proper times. Or all bets are off! 🙂 Just, more than anything, I want to be more grown-up and mature than my 2-year-old!!

  20. Ugh. The screaming thing. There’s really nothing that I can do that makes me feel worse than when I scream. I guess it’s a good thing that it bothers us and we don’t want to do it anymore.

    Like a lot of your other commenters, I came from a family of screamers. UGH. Hated it! And I really, really don’t need or want to go there with my own.

  21. I’m not much of a yeller, so I don’t have any advice to help you with your resolution.

    But I will say as they start to get a little older and have more words, communication gets a little easier. I remember how hard it was before Zoe had any words.

    Hang in there and I’m sure you’ll do great!

    • That’s part of the reason we’re doing baby sign language. It’ll be nice when she can (at least somewhat) communicate to me.

  22. I try not to yell too and sometimes fail and notice my dog is hiding from me in the curtains. Sigh. At least I’m about a hundred times less yelly than my parents.

    • I feel so bad when I dog cowers away from me when I don’t even raise my voice. 😦

  23. Pingback: Good Goog » I’m Late, I’m Late for a Very Important Date

    • It shows up correctly on my iPhone. I didn’t do anything special to it. Just the regular WordPress mobile.

  24. Pingback: What’s in a Resolution?

  25. Pingback: Parenting Resolutions

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s