Ep 43: How to Stop Yelling at Kids

Ep 43: How to Stop Yelling at Kids

Update: 2019-06-02


Click here for full show notes, exercises, and word-for-word scripts from this episode

Parents yelling at kids is nothing new. When you live under the same roof as another human being for so many years (especially an immature human being) you are going to get on each other's nerves. But it never feels good to fly off the handle and lose your cool. Yelling at kids is unsatisfying because it makes you feel bad about yourself and it damages your relationship with your child.

We all know this. Thousands of parents search Google for "how to stop yelling at kids" each month. It's not that we enjoy yelling or we think it's good for our family, we just can't help it. You kid does something that makes you furious and you lose it.

Your kids are pushing your buttons. And they are really good at it.

Parenting expert Bonnie Harris has been leading workshops with groups of parents for over 30 years. When she first started, she noticed something interesting. A few weeks into every class, parents would report that they were feeling worse than ever because now they knew what they were supposed to do but they still couldn't do it. They wanted to use the techniques Bonnie was teaching them but, instead, they were still yelling at kids and losing their cool.

That's when Bonnie had an epiphany. She realized that these parents were getting triggered by their kids. The kids were pushing the parents' buttons.

Inspired by this realization, Bonnie started researching the phenomenon. What, exactly, causes parents to lose it and start yelling at kids? She interviewed parents at her workshops and combined this knowledge with her psychology background and was able to map out exactly why our buttons get pushed and how to prevent it from happening.

And, of course, she field tested all of the techniques at home on her own daughter, Molly, who was a master button-pusher.

Bonnie's methods eventually became the basis for her bestselling book When Your Kids Push Your Buttons. She ultimately discovered 8 different types of buttons and she figured out exactly how kids push each one of them. Understanding your own buttons is the secret to stop yelling at kids.

Two Reasons for Yelling at Kids

Every time a parents loses it and starts yelling at kids, Bonnie discovered, there are two things happening below the surface. First, the parent has a Standard that has been violated by the child. Second, the parent begins to have negative assumptions about the child based on the violated Standard.

For example, you might have a Standard that a child should always speak respectfully to adults. Most likely, this Standard ties to your own childhood. Maybe you were raised in a home where you would never dare speak disrespectfully to your parents. When you hear kids talk to you disrespectfully, it violates your Standard, making you feel furious and start yelling at kids.

Assumptions are the thoughts you have about the kids as a result of the Standard being violated. Most of the time, parents don't even realize we are making these Assumptions, but these black-and-white thoughts about what the violation means are what really cause you to start yelling at kids. For instance, when kids speak disrespectfully to you, it violates your standard that kids should always respect adults. This might lead you to think to yourself, "these kids have no respect at all," and "they are spoiled, entitled, and arrogant."

And that's when you fly off the handle and start yelling at kids. Your button has just been pushed.

In this episode, Bonnie shares her incredible knowledge and walks through exactly what parents can do to uncover the psychology behind your own buttons and how they are getting pushed. Then she explains what you can do to stop yelling at kids and start responding to them with empathy and love.

Don't miss this superb advice from an international parenting expert.








Ep 43: How to Stop Yelling at Kids

Ep 43: How to Stop Yelling at Kids