How parents can stop the cycle of yelling

Laura Markham, PhD Psychologist & Author, shares advice for parents the best methods for stopping the cycle of yelling between you and your child
How to Stop Yelling At Your Child
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How parents can stop the cycle of yelling

Do you want to stop yelling at your child? It’s possible. It may seem like you couldn’t possibly do it. Maybe you’ve been yelling for a long time. Maybe you were yelled at growing up. Maybe you’ve even come from a long line of yellers. But I’ve seen hundreds of parents do it. It’s completely possible. It’s like playing the piano. You start with a simple tune today and in a year, you can actually play a sonata. So here’s how you do it. You start by making a commitment to your family that you’re not going to yell anymore. Your children are really the only ones that know if you’re yelling at them, so they’re the ones you make the commitment to. You take a vow of “yellibacy”, and you create a star chart for yourself. If you need to, to get a star, to have enough opportunities to get a star, separate into morning and afternoon and then at least maybe you’ll find one morning that week that you don’t yell, and you can say to yourself, “Okay, one morning I didn’t yell.” And the next week, maybe it’s two mornings. And over time, you’ll be able to notice, as you’re yelling at your kids, and you’ll be able to stop yourself right in mid-sentence. It’s really hard. Stop. Drop whatever you’re worried about at that moment. It’s not an emergency. It may feel like it, but it’s not an emergency. Just drop it. Take a deep breath. The minute you bring some consciousness to it, you’re not in the grip of your rage anymore, and you actually have a choice about what to do. You can turn away and simply calm yourself down. It’s a great anger management example for your children. You’re modeling for them about how a mature person deals with anger. Everyone gets angry. How do you deal with it? And you’ll notice over time that you’re able to stop yourself sooner and sooner, even before you start yelling. And you’ll look back in a few months and you’ll realize, “Wow, it’s been weeks, and then eventually months, since I’ve yelled.”

Laura Markham, PhD Psychologist & Author, shares advice for parents the best methods for stopping the cycle of yelling between you and your child


Expert Bio

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Laura Markham, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Laura Markham is the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. She earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University and has worked as a parenting coach with countless parents across the English-speaking world, both in person and via phone. You can find Dr. Laura online at, the website of Aha! Moments for parents of kids from birth through the teen years, where you can sign up for her free daily inspiration email.  Dr. Laura lives in New York with her husband and her kids, who are now 17 and 21.

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