No shouting!

How To Stop Shouting At Your Kids

Do you ever hear yourself shouting at your kids to ‘Stop shouting’?

The irony isn’t lost on me.

I am a recovering shout-aholic. When my boys were younger I’d have a sore throat from turbulent episodes of unleashed fury.

I knew I should be counting to ten and taking deep breaths, yet my explosions were so quick to rise that I never seemed to have time for that.

Things needed to change. I had to do something!

Here’s what finally worked:

1. Parenting skills classes

I took a 10 week course on Parenting Skills and never looked back. Once I got a better handle on discipline, created clear, written rules and felt more in control, there was simply a lot less to shout about. I became more like the parent I wanted to be. We grew a stronger connection, the boys behaved better. (Whew.)

2. Learn to apologise

This was a tough one for me. In my mind they’d caused me to get angry, so it wasn’t my fault I ended up shouting. I made a firm pact with myself that if I ever shouted I had to apologise, no matter what. I don’t like apologising, so I became much more mindful about not shouting.

3. Recognise stress triggers

It helped enormously to be aware of the situations and times of day I was likely to lose my rag. Getting out the door in the mornings, being ready and on time for swimming lessons… Also remembering that late in the day we’re all more cranky. Knowing this helped me prepare for times I was likely to be a mama on a short fuse.

4. Be in the present moment

I’m more prone to outburst when a deep train of thought is interrupted. To the kids it might have looked like I was just stirring the pasta sauce, but in my mind I was solving a big dilemma. Being asked when dinner would be ready was enough to trigger me to shout that it would be ready a lot faster if they’d stop interrupting me! (ouch) Keeping my mind in the ‘now’ and being fully present for my children truly helps. I do my deep thinking when they’re not around and solve my problems on paper.

5. Create a mantra

Mine is: ‘My child is not being a problem, my child is having a problem.’ This helps me reframe the situation and come at it from a better angle.

I’ve learned that being a peaceful parent isn’t just about learning to manage my emotions, it’s also about fostering a deep connection with my kids.

I’m now reading, ‘Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting’ by Dr. Laura Markham.

If only this book had been around in my crazy shouting days. Dr. Laura tells us that if we really want to stop yelling, it’s completely possible – no matter how ingrained it is. It’s not rocket science and takes about 3 months once you’ve made the commitment.

This is the best book I’ve ever read for helping me understand myself and my children better. (See how well-thumbed and sticky-noted my copy is already!)


Dr. Laura reminds us of the importance of honouring our own needs whilst also nurturing the needs of our child. I agree with her completely that to be a calmer parent, you need peace within.

Commit now to find ways to curb the shouting. It takes some determined effort, but it will pay off.

I still have my shouty moments, but I’ve come a long way baby.

I’m now a proud ambassador of the Parent Practice’s online course. Use this link and enter coupon code PROJECTME at checkout to get a lovely 20% discount.

I genuinely recommend The Parent Practice and I’m happy to answer any questions you have in the comments below – or you can email me: hello(at)myprojectme(dot)com.

Any other shout-aholics out there ready to give it up? Any former shouters willing to share your strategies for staying calm? Please leave your comments below.

photo credit: mag3737 via photopin cc

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  1. Karen on December 19, 2013 at 5:35 AM

    I love this. I read a book years ago that helped me to stop yelling, called “How to talk so your kids will listen, and listen so your kids will talk”.
    Very helpful.

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on December 19, 2013 at 8:46 AM

      Really glad you’ve found it helpful Karen. None of us want to yell at our kids, but it can be so hard to change our natural reaction. I truly am living proof that it’s possible once you genuinely put your mind to it. (I was REALLY bad.)

      Thanks so much for sharing the book that helped you! Authors like this know what they’re talking about, we just need to make the effort and take their advice!

      Keep up the great work. 🙂

      • Karen on December 19, 2013 at 6:33 PM

        Yes, In the past 10 years or so, I have only raised my voice to my kids MAYBE 5 times. So few times I can’t even think of an example. Our girls are 16 and 14 now and they are very polite, quiet and are able to handle conflict resolution with grace. We redirected them, talked to them, explained the result of their actions and how it effected others and from this everyone wins. No yelling and well behaved future adults. A lot of times parents forget that they are creating adults that need to function and behave correctly in our society. Yelling and hitting, only causes violence and aggression. Oh and yes now our house is referred to as “the quiet house”.

        • Kelly Pietrangeli on December 20, 2013 at 7:17 AM

          Karen, thanks so much for sharing your success story! 🙂

  2. Elizabeth Mhlanga Sibanda on December 19, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    Love it, I shout a lot at my children and I have learnt a lot. Apologizing and saying you are sorry is a great thing because I think your kids will also put more effort to make you not shout.

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on December 19, 2013 at 8:52 AM

      Yes Elizabeth – it’s a process. I didn’t just stop my bad shouting habit overnight. Self-awareness and a deep desire to change was necessary for me to begin the process – as well as a great deal of forgiveness for myself when I slipped up.

      You’ve taken a great step in the right direction by apologising to your children when you shout. Remember: you kids don’t ‘make’ you shout.

      If you haven’t read Dr. Laura Markham’s book I mention here, I can’t recommend it enough!!!(sorry for the exclamation marks – didn’t mean to shout at you.) 😉

  3. sonya on December 19, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    i read peaceful parent, happy child as well and found it a revelation. before i read that book i didn’t really know it was possible not to lose your temper. i just thought if you got pushed far enough then you lost your temper, that’s how my parents had always reacted and that’s what i did. for a period of time i really wanted to not lose my temper but did – it always felt like i’d be in control then within seconds i’d snap and it was completely out of my control. i found the mantra from peaceful parent ‘it’s not an emergency’ really helpful for putting the situation in perspective.

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on December 19, 2013 at 10:00 AM

      Sonya I agree and I wish I could get ‘Peaceful Parent, Happy Child’ into the hands of every new mother so they could learn this stuff right from day one!

      If only it had been published when I was just starting out on this motherhood journey. I’ve had a lot of unlearning to do – but I’m proof that it’s possible.

      I took Parenting Skills classes at The Parent Practice in London and it transformed my parenting. Ultimately I ended up working with them – which I never dreamed when I first signed up – in total desperation at how out of control my family life was becoming.

      Thanks for reminding me about the ‘it’s not an emergency’ mantra! That’s such a good one.

  4. Catia on December 19, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Thanks for sharing your story, I thought that I was the one of those bad mothers who don’t love enough their child. I was even trying to get psychological help! I apologise my daughter when sleeps I will start apologising when she’s awake from now on.

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on December 19, 2013 at 2:03 PM

      You’re welcome Catia and please know you are not alone.

      We hope you’ll sign up for our free Life Wheel Tool. We really believe it’ll help you look at all areas of your life and see that one area can have a knock on effect on the others. Once you pin point where in your life you are feeling very unhappy / stressed / unfulfilled – you can put on your Problem Solver hat and start getting to the bottom of it.

      Project Me is all about taking control of your own life, becoming self-aware and finding ways to improve things. Check out our Action Sheets where we have free printables to help you get things out of your head and onto paper. (Always the best way!)

      We hope to see more of you here from now on!

  5. Vicki on December 19, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    I haven’t read any of these books. Just so grateful reading these comments though. I thought there was something wrong with me that I kept shouting at my kids. Thought my patience was too short. Will have to get hold of these books. Thanks so much everyone for sharing your experiences. Being a mother is the toughest job.

  6. Kelly Pietrangeli on December 19, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Vicki there is certainly nothing wrong with you! 🙂

    Most mothers wish they could be more patient – and the good news is, you truly can learn it as a skill. It takes time (and patience – ha ha!), but when you put your mind to anything and decide you want it bad enough, you can do it!

    Starting in January our blogs will be focused on Goal Setting for Busy Mothers. Why don’t you set a goal for yourself to stop shouting in 2014? Wouldn’t it be amazing to look back a year from now and see a total transformation in this part of your life?

    Sign up for our Monday Motivational Newsletter and we’ll hold your hand along the way.

  7. Amanda Klausmeier // Paper & Crush on December 19, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    This is something most experienced moms in your life will NOT tell you or warn you about when you are pregnant but absolutely should! I remember feeling like the worst parent ever for shouting at them. Taking care of yourself and your other stress factors in life and not taking it out on the kids is so important. Whenever I find myself beginning to feel I might lash out, I always remind myself that I don’t want them to treat my grandchildren like that one day and if I continue they most likely will pick up those bad parenting habits.

    Thank you, Kelly for writing about a topic that isn’t talked about openly very often.

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on December 19, 2013 at 5:04 PM

      Thank you so much Amanda for reminding us how important it is to take care of ourselves. It’s SO hard to stay calm and patient when you’re exhausted, depleted or stressed.

      We talk a lot on Project Me about ways to look after yourself – it’s incredibly important.

  8. Jess on December 19, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    I’ve following the orange rhino blog and reading dr Laura’s book as well! I even started a page to chronicle our journey on facebook! . The support I find there is a great asset.

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on December 19, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      It’s a great idea to have a support group to help you towards your goal Jess 🙂

      I’ve just liked your FB page!

  9. Susan on December 19, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    I need this so badly. I finally lose it and start shouting when I’ve said the same thing a million times and hey look, she’s doing it AGAIN. Just like yesterday, and the day before. Very frustrated. And I always feel awful because she is truly a very good kid- it’s almost never what she did, it’s that I’ve had to repeat myself over and over that makes me lose my temper.

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on December 20, 2013 at 7:28 AM

      I hear you – constantly repeating myself used to be my biggest trigger for shouting. It gets to the sad point where our kids only take us seriously when we raise our voices and just tune us out until we do.

      As the adult, it’s up to US to break this pattern. We need to make some clear, written rules so everyone knows what’s expected – and we need to be consistent or we’re just starting over all the time.

      Please read my blog on how I finally mastered this:

      You can do this Susan! 🙂

  10. Karyn Gorman on December 22, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Wow, great tips. This has come at a perfect moment as I have a 2 1/2 year old running wild in Nicaragua. I guess I am just petrified he will get run over by a horse drawn buggie in the streets or touch another wild dog. The throat is indeed getting sore 🙂 Those might be hard to help but loosing my temper isn’t so I will work on that. Thanks again for the great advice Project Me!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on December 22, 2013 at 5:55 PM

      Sounds like a hairy situation Karyn! I think shouting to keep them from imminent danger is a whole different matter and is the reason we should keep shouting to a minimal in normal situations, so they’ll actually listen to us when we need to shout out to keep them out of harms way. Good luck x

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  17. Mariah on July 22, 2014 at 10:25 PM


    I love this… “My child is not being a problem, they’re having a problem.” I need to remember this the next time one of my children is getting to me.

    I’ve noticed they act up a lot more, when I’m working a lot (which is basically ALL the time). I’ve already started setting aside special time everyday for them, where I’m fully present and we do something fun.

    Thanks for the tips!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on July 23, 2014 at 10:15 PM

      Yes, that little mantra has stopped me from losing my rag many times. It’s a good one!

      That’s wonderful that you’ve recognised that your kids need that special time with you each day. It’s so easy to get absorbed in work and forget the importance of that. Well done Mariah xx

  18. […] boys’ inability to hear me. I got louder and louder until I’d morphed into a crazed chronic shoutaholic. Things got really out of […]

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