You Just Yelled at Your Kid, Now What?


Yelling is the quintessence of reactive parenting and it scares our kids. Mom screams and it puts their brain in a state where they can’t learn. And it promotes disconnection, making it harder for us to parent because our kids are resisting our messages. Soon, you have kids screaming back and misbehaving children. These are the effects of fear based parenting. Parents yelling is an unskillful tactic, but we all yell from time to time…so what do we do when we yell? For how to be less reactive, click here


We need to remember that the best parenting is in modeling. So if you have parents who yell too much, you are going to find a kid yelling too. If we want to have peaceful kids, we need to practice peaceful parenting. Here I’ll share five steps to skillfully and compassionately repair your relationship after you yell. (And if your goal is to stop yelling, make sure you grab my free resources here.)

#1 Take a moment for mindfulness & self-compassion


You yelled because your nervous system was stressed and you felt threatened or overwhelmed. Go inward and feel the emotions and the physical sensations. Parenting is HARD. Offer yourself compassion: talk to yourself inwardly as you would talk to a dear friend. Let your temperature calm down. You are modeling as well as practicing self-regulation and compassion. This is an important part of how to be a better mom.

#2 Own your mistake with an honest apology


Take responsibility without berating yourself. “I yelled. I lost it and I’m sorry I yelled at you. I make mistakes too.” When you do this, you teach your child that mistakes aren’t the end of the world, we all make mistakes. This is actually one of the best parenting tools - you are teaching your child how to repair. Tell your child what you did to calm down and regain self-control. Apologies are pathways for how to be a better mother.

#3 Acknowledge what happened and what you’d like to change


“I yelled because I was frustrated. Yelling when angry was not very skillful of me. Next time I’m feeling upset like that, I’ll take some slow breaths or take a break to calm myself before I speak.” When you do this, your child learns that we can choose a different way to react when we get upset. When you acknowledge your slip-ups, you show them how accountability works and invite them to be vulnerable and grow. Honestly sharings like this are the kind of parenting talks that are effective parenting strategies... not the endless lectures that kids tune out.

#4 Connect with your child with empathy & steadiness


Your child may be feeling upset or scared—these are the effects of yelling at your child. Tune in and be curious about what your child is feeling. You might ask, “That was a hard moment. Do you want a hug?” You can offer a calming 3-Breath Hug to help you both down-regulate and reconnect. Your child may just need you to be nearby and say, “I’m here for you,” as you breathe like a calm mountain. To practice parenting without yelling, we need that loving connection to motivate our children to cooperate. 

#5 Try a do-over


“Can we have a do-over? This is what I would have liked to have said instead…” When you do this, you show your child that you can always begin anew. Practice your good parenting qualities—skillful, empathetic communication with your child. Express your feelings honestly and calmly. Remind your child, “I love you always.”


We all yell from time to time. For the peaceful parent, happy kids low down, specifically how to stop yelling at your kids, click this blog post here. 


Mindful Parenting helps parents from around the world calm their reactivity and communicate in positive ways with their children, changing harmful generational patterns. To learn more about Mindful Parenting, click this blog post here.

Do you want to go deeper? I've written a whole book about changing your own autopilot reactions and createing a relationship with your child based on love and mutual respect. It's called, "Raising Good Humans," an international best-seller, and you can find it here.