Inside: 8 important steps to take after yelling at your child to make things right again.
Youâve done it and youâre not proud of yourself. As much as you tried not to yell at your child, you did. And now you feel guilty.Â You feel upset with him for getting you to this point, and you feel upset with yourself for letting him.
Iâm feeling guilty for yelling at my child. What do I do?
Maybe you want to go and hide under your covers for the rest of the day, and maybe you want to turn back time and take back what you said to your son.Â Maybe you feel frustrated, or maybe itâs guilt you feel. Either way, this doesnât feel good, and you know that after you’ve yelled you have to make it right.
Before you do or say anything, remember this.Â You may have made a mistake, but youâre not a terrible mother.Â Your kids still love you.
So here are the steps to take to clear the air between you and your child and make everyone involved feel better.
1. Calm Down Â
Calm yourself before doing or saying anything.Â If you try talking to your child now, you both may get even more upset.Â If you can, go to your room for a few minutes and lock the door. Then breathe deeply and slowly. Â
If your child is very upset after youâve yelled, calm down together.Â Console him while youâre calming yourself.Â Hug him and stroke his back while you take a few deep breaths.Â Here are some tips on helping your child to calm down.
Consider taking a walk outside. Itâs a great remedy for feeling upset. The fresh air will do you both some good.
2. Reconnect with your child
After youâre both calm, offer to reconnect with your child.Â Ask him if you can talk.Â If heâs not ready, donât force it.Â Ask him to let you know when he is.Â Give him some time and check in with him after a short while.
âIâm sorryâ is one of the hardest phrases to say, especially to your children.Â But itâs crucial in raising our kids.Â Not only does it validate the childâs feelings by emphasizing that he is worthy of an apology, but it is also a great modeling practice.
Tell him that everyone makes mistakes, including mommy. If youâve given out unreasonable consequences in your anger, discuss them.Â Tell your child that what you said was unreasonable.Â Come up with another solution.
4. Talk about how you both feel
Ask him how he feels.Â Prompt him with questions. Donât interrupt as he talks and really listen to what he is saying.
Then, tell him how you feel.Â Calmly, tell your child what youâre feeling and why you got upset.Â Avoid saying, âIf you didnât do this, I wouldnât have yelledâ, âIf you listened, I wouldnât have gotten upsetâ. What youâre doing here is youâre justifying your negative behavior, and your apology loses its meaning and purpose. Â
When explaining how you feel, say âIâ instead of âyouâ.Â
Example:Â Instead of saying, âYou didnât put away your shoes like Iâve asked you to, but you threw them into the living room.â Try, âI donât like shoes flying across the room. I would like things to be put back where they belong.âÂ This shifts the sentence from blaming him for what was done to simply highlighting the problem and what the ideal outcome might have been.
5. Problem-solve together
Ask, âNext time something like this happens, what can we do to avoid us both getting upset?âÂ Listen to his suggestions, and give a few of your own.Â
Example: Over the course of your conversation with your son youâve discovered that he didnât want to put his shoes on the shelf because he was in the middle of playing with his brother.Â He threw them across the room because mom kept interrupting their play by asking him to put up his shoes, so he got upset.Â Youâve both come up with possible solutions to shoes being in the wrong place:
- Mom puts them away herself. (childâs suggestion)
- Child puts them up as soon as he takes them off. (momâs suggestion)
- Child doesnât use shoes outside so he doesnât have to put them up. (childâs suggestion)
- Mom leaves a sticky note reminder on the door to help child remember to put up his shoes. (momâs suggestion)
- Child uses a drone to pick up his shoes and move them to their place. (childâs suggestion)
Now that you have a list of suggestions, pick one that works for both of you, and keep it in mind for next time.
6. Offer to start over
âLetâs have a do-overâ Is a phrase my kids thrive on.Â They usually accept my peace offering and we try again.
7.Â Minimize the chances of you yelling in the future
No mom likes the feeling of helplessness when your kids simply donât listen or do what youâve asked.Â Here are a few other resources to help you prevent frustration.
8. Forgive yourself
Just like you offered your child to start over, offer the same to yourself. Â Guilt doesnât build anyone up.Â Forgive yourself and try again.
It might be very tempting to skip a few steps outlined here.Â After all, if both you and your child are calm and everything seems back to normal, you can just let it go, right?Â Not really. You can let it go, but only after talking about what happened, apologizing, and discussing what you can do about it.Â Both you and your child need closure and a plan of action for next time.
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