Why you yell (and how to stop)

woman yelling

So the other day, I was helping my stepson get ready for his day. 


I asked him to make his breakfast, and then go sit down and eat. 


And out of nowhere, he started raising his voice at me. 


I got so mad and just yelled right back and said: Don’t you ever talk to me that way again! 


In hindsight, I was like wow, Kristin. You can’t ask your stepson not to yell when you are doing the same thing! 


But the thing is…. yelling at children actually WORKS {more on this later}. 


My stepson immediately became quiet and sat down at the table. 


The reason yelling works is simply because it makes the child afraid. 


So in the short term, it’s very effective. 


But in the long term, as you can imagine, it genuinely hurts relationships. 


Yelling doesn’t build connections or create trust. It simply inspires fear. 


NOTE: If you ARE yelling…do NOT beat yourself up about this. Every parent yells at some point, no matter how amazing they are. 


You are yelling because it works, and perhaps that’s how you learned to discipline growing up.


But if you want to stop yelling when your stepkids are difficult, the technique is simple – 


  • Notice your anger or frustration, and use that as a cue to pause before responding.  

  • Before you respond, take some slow deep breaths in through your nose {if you’re really worked up, excuse yourself to the restroom and give yourself some more time.} 

  • When you feel calmer, then address the behavior accordingly. 


Now, the reason pausing and nasal breathing actually works is because it deactivates the ‘yelling’ region of your brain and activates the ‘insightful, calm, curious’ region of your brain. 


And, when you deal with difficult behavior calmly, you are a more effective parent, and you are building more trusting and supportive relationships in the process. 


So you might be thinking….Ok. Kristin….does this approach takes effort? 


Yes – of course! 


Is it worth it? 


100% – being more in control of yourself is one the of best gifts you can give to yourself and your relationships.


Will you sometimes still yell? 


Yes – of course, you’re a human – and that’s why we have apologies! 


With a little practice, however, you can make yelling or lashing out at your stepkiddos a rare event rather than a normal occurrence. 


You’ve got this. 

P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.

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