Be honest: how many times during the day do you find yourself yelling, shouting, or just raising your voice at your kids? And when it happens, what do you feel like during, or afterward?
In this episode, I'm tackling an aspect of parenting that everybody knows, but most rarely talks about – should we never raise our voices at our kids? The answer might surprise you.
Subscribe and Review
Have you subscribed to my podcast? If not, please do so today. That way you’ll know that you’ll never miss an episode!
I would also be so grateful if you could leave me a review on Apple Podcasts! Those reviews and ratings help other people find this podcast, and more importantly – they can teach me a lot about what YOU want this show to be. Just click here, then select “Ratings and Reviews”, then click “Write a Review” and let me know what you think. Be honest! This helps me a lot, thanks!
Let Me Answer Your Questions on The Show
Want me to answer your questions about parenting on the podcast? Click here to submit your questions. I review every question and hopefully I could feature your question and answer it on The Dear Apparently Parent episodes.
[00:00:00] Does this sound any familiar? You ask your children to do something like putting on their socks or brush their teeth and they totally ignore you. Until you finally yell "Lorne! Michael! Start moving!" to get their attention. And while that did the trick, you later feel like the worst mum or dad in the world for resorting to yelling.
Or maybe this. Your 4 years old daughter loves the family dog. She loves her so much that You just has to keep hugging her hand dancing with her. So roughly pinching and pulling her until the dog is quite afraid of her.
And she never listens to your request to, to just put down the dog until you scream, leave her alone. And then you ask yourself, Where did all your positive parenting aspirations? How did they went out the window.
If this is familiar, stick around, because we're talking about parenting without yelling.
All right, everybody. Welcome to episode number 62 of the apparently parent podcast. I'm Eran Katz. I'm very happy that you are here with me today because you have joined me in one of the best topics that we can talk about, although it's not an easy one, but it's [00:02:00] very important. All the time or I see parents on social media ask.
And it goes like this. How can I stop yelling at my children all the time or they won't listen to me unless I shout, but I don't want to shout at my children. I just want to talk to them. What can I do?
Now I could probably talk for a long time about the ways to communicate better and how to ask your children to do things and actually get them to cooperate without resorting to punishment and screaming. In fact, check out episode number 58, to learn more about that. But today I want you to think about this question. Why do you want to stop yelling at your kids? Really yourself.
That might be a weird question. I realize that, but I think we should ask it because as one of my mentors say, the quality of your questions determines the quality of your life. And those types of questions can help you grow. Okay. So. When I asked myself why I want to stop yelling at my kids. It's actually really
I hate screaming.
I really, really do. I hate when people scream at me. Always have. And most importantly, kids deserve to live in as safe an environment as possible because they are human beings who deserve all the respect that we can get
ourselves. And as a parent who strives to be a 21st century parent, I really want to parent my children from a positive, respectful stance. One that will help them feel safe with me and grow up resilient, confident, and trusting in the world. This is [00:04:00] really what I stand for and it's the kind of change I want to see in the world. And I recognize that shouts can cause a fear response in their minds.
And I know that fear based parenting
is the worst kind of parenting. So I don't want to do that. That's why I don't want to yell and scream and shout at my children. However, I do think there's a problem with this aspiration to have a 100% shouting free parenting.
You see, whenever I'm talking with parents on this matter and I ask them how they feel about the fact that sometimes they scream scream at their kids, they tend to express a lot of guilt and a lot of shame. Which is quite a relatively new thing, because think about how parenting looked like in the previous centering the 20th century.
At least for the first 50 to 60 years, it was really not unheard of for parents to discipline their kids with shouting at them. To say the least, I'm not even talking about corporal punishment because that's a totally different issue, in my opinion. But in the last decades, parenting knowledge and methods made a wonderful shift into a more sensitive, gentle kind of communication. And I mean it. It's a wonderful, much needed shift. But I think that as these things go sometimes,
there are places where we might have taken things a little bit too far. And when a parent tells me in private practice, for example, that he feels like he ruined his kids future and personality because he had to shout at him, one evening or two evenings or whatever.
I really feel bad for him or her because they fell into a trap.
And I truly get that because everyone is telling you that you should not punish or yell. You should go down to the kids' eye level. You should put a hand on them. You should be gentle and understanding. And Hey, I'm one of those who teaches these things. [00:06:00] Yeah. But I also think that we should have a more nuanced conversation around how you should act with your children in, in discipline
moments. So I want you to try to remember the last time that you yelled at your kids. Maybe it was today. Maybe it was yesterday, maybe last week, whatever, whenever it happened, just try to bring that situation to mind. And I want you to try to answer this question.
Why. Why did you shout at your child? What triggered this behavior we called screaming? Did you try to prevent your child from doing something dangerous? Were you really stressed up, afraid you going to be late to work? Maybe you were totally tired and exhausted and you didn't have the stamina to withstand their ongoing shenanigans. There's always a reason. Okay. There's always a context and a reason. And if you want to learn more about context, listen to episode number 57. Where I talk about how context changes the way you parent
in each and every moment. So when I asked myself that question, What made me scream at my child for the last time I did that. I realized that I often yell at my children when I feel like I'm not heard. When they ignore me. When I asked them to put their shoes on or come to to, to the dinner table.
Or just ask them a question and they're so preoccupied and non-responsive it triggers me. So that's my trigger. What are your reasons for screaming? When you flesh out the different triggers that bring you to this place of being a screaming mommy or a shouty daddy, you'll notice that some reasons are actually more valid than others. And I really encourage you to pause the episode at this moment and take a couple of minutes to just write it [00:08:00] out.
Think of different moments in your life as a parent, when you scream at your children. And try to be non judgemental of yourself and flesh it out. Just describe what happened and try to examine what triggered this behavior of screaming. All right. And you will see that some reasons, may be more valid and, you know,
It's more okay to scream sometimes. You know, Have you ever seen a parent whose kids run down the street and they look like they're not going to stop before hitting the road. And they didn't scream "stop!"? I guess you haven't. Or how about when a couple of siblings enter a very tough fight, maybe being too roughly tumbly,
and not stopping when the parent asks them nicely to stop.
Look, expecting that your kids will comply and do what you wish, just because you are always a positive smiley, authoritative, cute, loving, caring parent is problematic. Because you assume that children's self regulation skills are better than how they usually are.
It's like thinking that if we cancel all the red lights, In the streets and replace them with a nice little sign asking people to stop, there won't be any accidents and all the drivers will be courteous to one another. It's not realistic.
So I hope you can see by now that when you expect yourself never, ever, ever, never, ever shout at your children, that's just not sustainable. I also hope that you see there's a range between different triggers for you. And here lies the solution to the guilt and the shame that many parents feel right after they scream at their kids. And,
I'm part of those parents as well. Sometimes I scream and then I feel bad about it. And I have to examine what happened and think about maybe it was called for. So [00:10:00] the solution is to understand and really feel the full spectrum of your raised voices. There are shouts of uncontrollable, anger, and rage.
Yeah. Parents have tantrums too. But then there are also shouts of, I need your attention now. And I'm sorry, those can be shouts and not only raised voices or outside voice. Okay. Let's be authentic. Sometimes we go a little too high. I don't believe that the 21st century parents are those who never get angry with their kids or never shout at their kids, or even never punish them.
Yeah, you can talk a lot about development and what punishment does to the child. And I don't believe that 21st parents are those who never go into those places. 21st century parents are those parents who strive to be as close as possible to their kids. Creating as safe a connection as possible, with as little of uncontrolled anger as possible.
But the most important thing, is that the 21st century parents are also those who respect their own humanity. With all its glorious flaws. Which means that sometimes they fuck up. And when they do, they assume responsibility and they fix it. That is what creates a secure attachment relationship between a child and his or her parent. Not the abstinence from anger and yells, but the ability of a parent to be aware
of and fix his or her mistakes. Owning them. Taking responsibility. And realizing that yes, sometimes they have to be more assertive, even if that means being more loud. We have to differentiate between aggressive screams of uncontrollable aggressive, anger, and assertive screams, if you will. Also you know that sometimes there is no other solution than to raise your voice because you can't expect your children [00:12:00] to be able to control themselves and respond
in a sensitive way you want them to respond all the time. Their brains are an ever developing organ and we have to respect the time they need to develop. And developing brains make mistakes, they lose control, and then they go back to harmony and we have to be there in this dance with them. Another thing is that we need to realize that even if you're going to be the most respectful authoritative, loving parent in the world, sooner or later, your children will have to face authoritarian figures. In school, in college, in their jobs, maybe in their romantic relationship. I dunno.
They're going to meet people who will be angry with them, demanding, screaming at them for some reason. Now, what do you prefer? Do you prefer a child who grows up in a positivity bubble and doesn't know how to handle his emotions when the world will eventually show its shouty ugly face? Or a child who knows that these things happen sometimes and develops a resilience towards it.
And please. Please don't get me wrong and think that, I mean that you have to toughen up your child by shouting and punishing and hitting them. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. That's the total opposite from what I mean. What I do mean is that we have to realize that we can't always keep our children in a, in a cotton candy kind of bubble and, and prevent them from ever feeling anything bad because by doing so, we kind of hurting their future prospects.
I can't even start to tell you how many clients I see in the thirties and the forties. Who break when someone is angry with them because they were never taught how to handle anger.
Sometimes we are angry for good reason. And sometimes we have to shout in order to get the attention of our children. It doesn't mean what we have to shout all the time. And [00:14:00] it definitely doesn't mean we have to lose our temper at them. But sometimes we have to raise our voices. We have to get their attention. We have to keep them safe.
And sometimes we lose our shit and we lose control, and then we take responsibility and fix it. That is what makes us good attachment figures. So, yeah, you can never leave screams and yells and anger, just like that laying around. If it happens, you must always find a time later to talk about what happened.
It's used to be said that you have to hit the iron while it's hot. So in parenting, it's wrong, you have to hit the iron while it's cold. So when things are heated up later, when things are cooler, Find your child, go to your child, talk with your child. It's your responsibility as the adult. Take care of what happened. Take responsibility.
Help your child take responsibility when they need to. And you can do so by doing a debrief. And a brief is a very easy, simple, thing that you can do. Okay. When you catch yourself losing your temper like that. So you first start by
toning the emotions down when, when you need to. So as soon as you catch yourself going too far, Try to take a pause. Okay. You can use a simple method I call the one, two, three method, which means you take one nice long breath. You plant your two feet into the ground. And feel the pressure of the ground holding you.
And then you shift your attention outside and look for three things in three different colors around you. You do that. And then you repeat that 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3. Until you feel your heartbeat lowers, and you feel calmer.
Then when things are cooler, you can move into talking about what happened with your child. It doesn't have to be in that moment. It can be later during the day. There are a few principles here I want you to remember. First, never be afraid to apologize. [00:16:00] Yeah. Sometimes you do things wrong.
It happens. So don't be afraid to apologize. That's a wonderful thing to teach your children. How to take responsibility. However, sometimes your children need to know that their behavior warranted you being more assertive, even if it means you shouted at them.
You can apologize for going too far. Sometimes you can apologize for if they felt bad about it. Okay. But don't be afraid to take responsibility for your actions. Explain what happened. You know, earlier today when I asked you to come to brush your teeth so we can go to school. You didn't listen to me. And I eventually
shouted at you very, very hard. Now, I'm sorry if it made you feel afraid or angry with me. But sometimes when you don't listen to me, I get very mad. So what can we do about it? Another thing you can do is to ask your child what did it feel like when I scream at you.
Remember my dear friend. You don't have to be perfect all the time. You, you, you really can't be perfect all the time. Parents who strive for perfection failed. It's inevitable. You will fail. The thing that makes you a good parent, a good enough parent,
is being able to rise, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes of your quote unquote failure. Take responsibility, because those are teaching moments. You teach your children how to handle situations. That's very, very important.
So. For example, when I noticed myself getting very angry with my children who is not listening to me and I, I I'm afraid I'm going to be late to work because I'm taking them to school and all that. Sometimes I notice my voice is rising a little bit too much. And then i do the 1, 2, 3 method. Couple of times. It helps me a little bit.
So I encourage you to try and do the same. Okay. If you listen to these podcasts, I know that you want to be a 21st century parents. You know, one that believes in positive parenting and acts in a positive, respectful manner towards your children. But if you succumb to the belief, [00:18:00] that shouts have no place in a relationship with your children, you're setting yourself up for frustration.
Or being trapped within your anger. And there's no way around it. Children will make you angry sometimes. Be aware of your triggers.
You will have more degrees of freedom. And if you do a mistake, you'll know how to fix it.
So in this episode, we talked about the issue of shouting in parenting. It started from that many parents are coming in asking me, how do I stop shouting at my kids, and my initial response for that is yes. I'm. I can help you with that, but first, why do you want to stop shouting on your kids? Do you need to stop shouting at your kids?
And the real question is when do you need to shout? And when you need to stop shouting? And it all goes down to the context, there are triggers that warrant scream, example, running down the street and hitting traffic. And are some situation that warrant assertiveness without screaming. And there are some situations that
it's really uncalled for. But you have to start by realizing that context matters. And you have to realize what your triggers are. Okay, so you can go back to episode 57, where I talked about the context and I talked about the star model, which helps you understand what triggers you by understanding the situation, the thought, the affect, you reaction.
And if you want to learn more about that, check out episode 57. And you can also download the star worksheet that I have made for you from there. And it will help you understand when you sometimes go too far with your voice and how you should maybe respond in a different way. However, I really want you to understand that sometimes it's inevitable.
Sometimes you need to raise your voice and scream and shout, and sometimes you don't have to, but you do so anyway, so the, the thing that matters most is not, is not that you did it and you hurt your children because, not how children work what matters most [00:20:00] is that you take care of that you fix the, the relationship rupture. If you will.
That is what makes an attachment secure enough. And helps your child feel safe with you, even if you sometimes get angry. You assumed the responsibility. You, you fix the situation by talking about it, but by being the responsible adult,
So this is it for this episode. It was a shorter one from the previous two about attachment parenting. So I know you maybe needed a little break. But I, it it's really an important topic and I hope you, you got some good ideas and, and find yourself , in this episode. If you have any questions or anything you want to say, you can reach me
In Instagram or on Tik TOK, apparently parent, or just visit apparently parent.com and, there's a contact page there where you can send me a message. And subscribe to the show on your favorite podcasting app, if you haven't done so already. So you will never miss an episode when they come out every Thursday. And without further ado I want to wish you a wonderful the rest of the week and have a wonderful, wonderful parenting journey. I will see you again next week.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.
The Apparently Parent Podcast
On this show, I share with you my perspectives and experience of parenting and psychology.
Enhance your understanding of the relationship with your child and yourself by learning about attachment, mindful and playful parenting mindset and techniques.
Listen to me sharing my knowledge and experience both as a parent and a therapist, as well as interviews with parenting experts from around the world.
Your Host – Eran Katz
I’m a clinical psychologist and parenting counselor specializing in attachment theory. I’m also the father of two children who are my best parenting teachers.
I believe that parenting is one of the most important jobs we ever do. This is why I created Apparently Parent and The Parenting MAP. My goal in life is to help as many parents as possible become 21st Century Parents, moving from chaos to harmony and building an enduring, meaningful relationship with their children.