Creative Child

Parenting: Why We Yell and How to Stop!

by Rebecca Eanes


How to Disarm Emotional Triggers
Most often, triggers are formed in us in our early years. For example, if whining triggers a strong emotional reaction, it is likely that you were shamed or scolded for whining when you were a child. It is helpful to identify your triggers by making a journal. Write down what triggers you and try to find out why it is a trigger. Usually, our triggers come with negative thought patterns. “My kid is such a crybaby! He cries over everything!” These negative thought patterns fuel frustration and build negative feelings. To disarm the trigger, get to know it. Understand it first, and then take the emotional charge out by reframing the thoughts that accompany the trigger. For example, instead of “My kid is such a crybaby,” try “My kid is having a hard time and needs my help.” If you are consistent with this, then, over time, the trigger will become deactivated. 

Embrace the Space
There is a small space in between every action and reaction. Typically it is small because we react quickly, but if you can learn to acknowledge that space and expand it, you will have a larger window in which to choose your response. Once you are in that space, try these tricks to calm your brain and body:

  • Repeat a mantra, such as “This is not an emergency. We are okay.”
  • Do something physical. Jog in place. Do some push-ups. Turn on music and dance.
  • If you really need to yell, give a loud “toot toot” noise while cupping your mouth with your hands. It's better to look silly than scary.
  • Doodle, draw, or write in a journal.

Sometimes, despite your best effort, you may end up yelling. You're human. Apologize to your child, tell them it wasn't their fault and that you made a mistake and then make an effort to reconnect and move on.

These tips are from my book, The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parenting.

 Want more Positive Parenting?

Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 


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