My name is Lori Petro and I show you how to create teachable moments with your kids. Today’s question comes from Alex who told me how he is desperate to stop yelling at his kids. He doesn’t even
know how it got this bad but he feels like he yelled all day long and it’s really the only thing that works. He wakes up every morning promising himself that he won’t yell because he knows it’s causing his kids to scream when they want something but he doesn’t know what else to do. This is really harder than he thought it was going to be.
How can he stops the cycle of yelling ?
The first thing I want to say is congratulations on even knowing that this is a challenge for your and even recognizing it and wanting to change. Because I think that so many people don’t even realize the impact that their own reactions are having on their kids behavior so you should be proud of yourself for even taking that first step. I know how you feel because I myself come from a very long line of yellers. In fact, I have more than a few family members that who speak at a tone just a few decibels of a ear-splitting and the younger me was an honorary member of that Club for quite a few years. Then I am very familiar with it.
Yelling for me, it was also a challenge, it is for that reason I want to give you a couple of tips to stop the madness.
The first thing you want to do is start tracking when you yell. Each time you find yourself triggered in, where you want to go aheadand scream notice it and then go ahead and jot down. You can keep a notebook close by and write down the most important details about the event to remember. If you don’t have time to investigate in that moment, then just write down as much as you need to remember or call the significance of the event. Therefore you can do some root-cause investigation later. You can note who was present, what happened, how did you feel in that moment, what feelings were present for you and how did the experience affect you. What did you need was to be heard, to be understood, to be respected, to feel acknowledged.
Knowing why you get triggered into yelling is the first step to the investigation process because yelling is a sign that we’reoverwhelmed and we’re needing to self-regulate before we can open up our perspectives and see a new way out of our situation. We often avoid looking at our own motivations because when we lead with the left brain Rule Center focus we want to control and that usually means directing the external instead of investigating the internal.
How to find the root-cause?
To get to the root cause take that tracking sheet and start to notice what sets you off and when is there a pattern to your triggers ?
Is it a certain time of the day ? Is it the pressure maybe to get the day going or the exhaustion at the end of the day that triggers you ? Is there a memory that this trigger is linked which did you get yelled at when you were kid or feel like you weren’t able to safely express yourself when you were younger ?
It might be an explaination of when your kids don’t listen, you might be triggered into an emotional memory or maybe your body is craving the gas that it needs to go blood sugar or nutritional imbalances can easily affect your tolerance to stress and your ability to cope.
I had a client track her child’s triggers and she returned to class the next week to say that they now meet conflict with a hard-boiled eggs. She never would have known had she not investigated her child’s behaviors a little more deeply that those negative behaviors were actually linked to a protein deficiency. Now once you have awareness of your yelling and your habits and your patterns the next step is to give yourself the time to fall down and the space to breathe. It’s not easy you’re gonna yell you’re going to be overwhelmed and sometimes you may overextend yourself and to your breaking point so be kind to yourself when you fall off that yelling wagon. You won’t do any better if you punish yourself for messing up and at the same time, take some personal responsibility when you feel yourself getting triggered that is the time to stop and breathe
Just breathe, don’t talk as long as no one is in danger or getting hurt. I want you to just be a yogi master.
Shut your eyes breathing in the breath of ignite if you breathe through your first reaction to conflict will be less likely to lose control of your impulses which might lead you to want to scream and yell. You know it’s likely that your kids or even other people are going to give you practice yelling or being offended but if you’re willing to take some time to be conscious of your actions. You’re going to be able to create a new pattern and head it in that direction that you really want.
My final step is to know where you want to go what exactly do you want if you’re not going to yell anymore. You must have a plan when you feel like yelling. You don’t just try and talk to yourself out of it or look away or run away. You have to engage your senses breathe through and use some sensory tools and so your thinking brain comes back online and then decide what you want next. How do you want to feel and take some action steps to move towards that feeling meeting your own needs on your own terms instead of demanding that others change ?
You can feel better yelling.
It comes from powerfully intense feelings, perhaps connected to a need to be recognized, to be valued, to be heard, to be considered, to feel in control those powerful emotions.
It requires that you take an honest look at why you yell and how you would actually like to express yourself. What you really want to experience regardless of how you want other people to act on your behalf.
When we can take a look honestly and express what we would like without making others responsible for our emotions then they are more inclined to willingly contribute to our needs because we have shared without making it a threat to their own sense of purpose or dignity or to what they want.
Then Alex that was my teachable moment for you I hope that you feel encouraged to investigate a little deeper the root-cause of your own yelling and take control of the situation without feeling like you’re losing control.