The Important Thing About Yelling

the important thing about yelling #handsfreemama
I cherish the notes I receive from my children—whether they are scribbled with a Sharpie on a yellow sticky note or written in perfect penmanship on lined paper. But the Mother’s Day poem I received from my 9-year-old daughter was especially meaningful. In fact, the first line of the poem caused my breath to catch as warm tears slid down my face.

“The important thing about my mom is … she’s always there for me, even when I get in trouble.”

You see, it hasn’t always been this way.

In the midst of my highly distracted life, I started a new practice that was quite different from the way I behaved up until that point. I became a yeller. It wasn’t often, but it was extreme—like an overloaded balloon that suddenly pops and makes everyone in earshot startle with fear.

So what was it about my then 3-year-old and 6-year-old children that caused me to lose it? Was it how she insisted on running off to get three more beaded necklaces and her favorite pink sunglasses when we were already late? Was it that she tried to pour her own cereal and dumped the entire box on the kitchen counter? Was it that she dropped and shattered my special glass angel on the hardwood floor after being told not to touch it? Was it that she fought sleep like a prizefighter when I needed peace and quiet the most? Was it that the two of them fought over ridiculous things like who would be first out of the car or who got the biggest dip of ice cream?

Yes, it was those things—normal mishaps and typical kid issues and attitudes that irritated me to the point of losing control.

That is not an easy sentence to write. Nor is this an easy time in my life to relive because truth be told, I hated myself in those moments. What had become of me that I needed to scream at two precious little people who I loved more than life?

Let me tell you what had become of me.

My distractions

Excessive phone use, commitment overload, multiple page to-do lists, and the pursuit of perfection consumed me. And yelling at the people I loved was a direct result of the loss of control I was feeling in my life.

Inevitably, I had to fall apart somewhere. So I fell apart behind closed doors in the company of the people who meant the most to me.

Until one fateful day.

My older daughter had gotten on a stool and was reaching for something in the pantry when she accidently dumped an entire bag of rice on the floor. As a million tiny grains pelleted the floor like rain, my child’s eyes welled up with tears. And that’s when I saw it—the fear in her eyes as she braced herself for her mother’s tirade.

She’s scared of me, I thought with the most painful realization imaginable. My six-year-old child is scared of my reaction to her innocent mistake.

With deep sorrow, I realized that was not the mother I wanted my children to grow up with, nor was it how I wanted to live the rest of my life.

Within a few weeks of that episode, I had my Breakdown-Breakthrough—my moment of painful awareness that propelled me on a Hands Free journey to let go of distraction and grasp what really mattered. That was two and a half years ago—two and half years of scaling back slowly on the excess and electronic distraction in my life … two and half years of releasing myself from the unachievable standard of perfection and societal pressure to “do it all.” As I let go of my internal and external distractions, the anger and stress pent up inside me slowly dissipated. With a lighten load, I was able to react to my children’s mistakes and wrongdoings in a more calm, compassionate, and reasonable manner.

I said things like, “It’s just chocolate syrup. You can wipe it up, and the counter will be as good as new.”

(Instead of expelling an exasperated sigh and an eye roll for good measure.)

I offered to hold the broom while she swept up a sea of Cheerios that covered the floor.

(Instead of standing over her with a look of disapproval and utter annoyance.)

I helped her think through where she might have set down her glasses.

(Instead of shaming her for being so irresponsible.)

And in the moments when sheer exhaustion and incessant whining were about to get the best of me, I walked into the bathroom, shut the door, and gave myself a moment to exhale and remind myself they are children, and children make mistakes. Just like me.

And over time, the fear that once flared in my children’s eyes when they were in trouble disappeared. And thank goodness, I became a haven in their times of trouble—instead of the enemy from which to run and hide.

I am not sure I would have thought to write about this profound transformation had it not been for the incident that happened last Monday afternoon. In that moment, I got a taste of life overwhelmed and the urge to yell was on the tip of my tongue. I was nearing the final chapters of the book I am currently writing and my computer froze up. Suddenly the edits of three entire chapters disappeared in front of my eyes. I spent several minutes frantically trying to revert to the most recent version of the manuscript. When that failed to work, I consulted the time machine backup, only to find that it, too, had experienced an error. When I realized I would never recover the work I did on those three chapters, I wanted to cry—but even more so, I wanted to rage.

But I couldn’t because it was time to pick up the children from school and take them to swim team practice. With great restraint, I calmly shut my laptop and reminded myself there could be much, much worse problems than re-writing these chapters. Then I told myself there was absolutely nothing I could do about this problem right now.

When my children got in the car, they immediately knew something was wrong. “What’s wrong, Mama?” they asked in unison after taking one glimpse of my ashen face.

I felt like yelling, “I lost three days worth of work on my book!”

I felt like hitting the steering wheel with my fist because sitting in the car was the last place I wanted to be in that moment. I wanted to go home and fix my book—not shuttle kids to swim team, wring out wet bathing suits, comb through tangled hair, make dinner, wash dishes, and do the nightly tuck in.

But instead I calmly said, “I’m having a little trouble talking right now. I lost part of my book. And I don’t want to talk because I feel very frustrated.”

“We’re sorry,” the oldest one said for the both of them. And then, as if they knew I needed space, they were quiet all the way to the pool. The children and I went about our day and although I was more quiet than usual, I didn’t yell and I tried my best to refrain from thinking about the book issue.

Finally, the day was almost done. I had tucked my youngest child in bed and was laying beside my oldest daughter for nightly Talk Time.

“Do you think you will get your chapters back?” my daughter asked quietly.

And that’s when I started to cry – not so much about the three chapters, I knew they could be rewritten – my heartbreak was more of a release due to the exhaustion and frustration involved in writing and editing a book. I had been so close to the end. To have it suddenly ripped away was incredibly disappointing.

To my surprise, my child reached out and stroked my hair softly. She said reassuring words like, “Computers can be so frustrating,” and “I could take a look at the time machine to see if I can fix the backup.” And then finally, “Mama, you can do this. You’re the best writer I know,” and “I’ll help you however I can.”

In my time of “trouble,” there she was, a patient and compassionate encourager who wouldn’t think of kicking me when I was already down.

My child would not have learned this empathetic response if I had remained a yeller. Because yelling shuts down the communication; it severs the bond; it causes people to separate—instead of come closer.

“The important thing is … my mom is always there for me, even when I get in trouble.” My child wrote that about me, the woman who went through a difficult period that she’s not proud of, but she learned from. And in my daughter’s words, I see hope for others.

a poem written by by daughter #handsfreemama
The important thing is … it’s not too late to stop yelling.

The important thing is … children forgive–especially if they see the person they love trying to change.

The important thing is … life is too short to get upset over spilled cereal and misplaced shoes.

The important thing is … no matter what happened yesterday, today is a new day.

Today we can choose a peaceful response.

And in doing so, we can teach our children that peace builds bridges—bridges that can carry us over in times of trouble.
manager 4 HFM

If you are looking for additional inspiration and practical strategies for choosing peace and connection with your loved ones, please check out Hand Free Mama, my New York Times bestseller, which chronicles my journey from distraction, perfection, and stress to connection, love, and presence. My newly released book, HANDS FREE LIFE, outlines 9 practical habits that will transform a hurried home, a frenzied soul, and a critical voice. Stop managing life & start living it with HANDS FREE LIFE currently $7.99 on Amazon with an additional 30% off using the code: HOLIDAY30. (Offer good on December 1, 2015)

* For a wearable reminder to be kind to yourself and those you love, check out the ONLY LOVE TODAY bracelets available in leather and non-leather options.

Thank you so much for being part of The Hands Free Revolution!

Books by Rachel Macy Stafford



  1. 1

    Taylor says

    Such a beautiful and inspiring post today. I teared up knowing that I have a little bit of a yeller in me. As of today, no more!

    • 2


      Taylor, I am so touched. I must say, it was difficult to publish this post today. Thank you for letting me know you are here, walking beside me on this journey. Some days are harder than others, but each day we try to do better. And that matters, doesn’t it? Thanks for leaving the first comment. It means so much.

      • 3

        Lindsay says

        Hey, nice post. I am not a parent, but I’ve worked in the camping industry for years, we are not allowed to yell (unless its part of a song) but I wouldn’t anyway. My mom was and still is a yeller. I am a grown adult and still get skittish around her when I know shes stressed because I don’t like being yelled at. I can say from experiance and from listening to the kids I’ve worked with. There is no faster way to break a child’s spirit by yelling at them. Most of the time I would have prefered being hit than being yelled at. So thank you for publishing this and showing just how detrimental this commonly used parenting tactic is. I promise you, it is making a difference

        • 4

          Maggie Patel says

          My mother was also a yeller and this writing really stuck with me as I know exactly that feeling when the rice spilled out onto the floor. As a mom now, I try incredibly hard not to yell but sometimes mess up especially when being yelled at by my two year old when we are stuck in traffic. IT’S TOUGH. Thanks for this piece.

          • 5

            JR says

            So true. I grew up with an angry father. I was so sensitive to his moods and tried to avoid him wherever possible so as I didn’t do anything wrong. As a parent myself now, I have to work doubly hard to mind my own reactions with my kids, especially when I am tired or stressed. Sometimes, my first instinct is to anger – as that is what I grew up with. I manage to choose a better way to respond – most of the time anyway!

        • 6

          Elizabeth says

          I am sitting here in my living room balling my eyes out b/c this is who I know I am…..My wonderful amazing gift from GOD is my joy and I yell when I get frustrated (which is often) and I absolutely hate myself, finding myself apologizing and asking my 6 almost 7 year old for forgiveness……and he always says, “mama I forgive”. God has trusted me with this special child and he has taught me what real forgiveness is:) Thank you Rachel for this inspirational story that is my story…..Mama of Jedidiah (JED)

        • 7


          I just started to read this blog and got alot out of it.. Although my husband and I have no children at home, both our parents were yellers, which in turn made us yellers at our own children.. I am so ashamed now thinking back to those times.. and you’re so right.. I would rather be hit then be yelled at by my husband… words can be more painful than a slap, although I do not recommend any kind of physical contact between a man and woman, ever.. just saying a feeling… thank you for writing this… My husband and i just had a big fight and I just went in and kissed him and told him we all go down , but if we go down, lets do it together and help each other back up again.. with dignity and the true love we have for each other.. and all over a stupid little argument over nothing in particular, that’s the worst part.. it was over NOTHING.. so now , hopefully we can go forward and be as loving as we once were to each other when we first fell in love and married 26 yrs ago… Love to you all.. and Peace be with you anger is worth the loss of any kind of loving moment.. Kathi

          • 8

            Jennifer says

            Kathi, I’m in the same boat. This blog and your message hit home with me. Best of luck to you, friend.

      • 10

        C L says

        I teared up as well reading your post because I’m also guilty of being a yeller after having 2 kids (now 4 and 5.5). Thank you for the inspiration and I’ll try my best to stop yelling and let go of the feeling of being overwhelmed by other things that are less important than my kids.

      • 11

        sally says

        Hi Rachel, I don’t know from where i can begin! But really i need someone advice. I have only one daughter,she’s 7yrs old. As much as i yell to her i bring her everything she wants before she asked for games,toys, clothes, money anything but suddenly from a week ago i realize that she doesn’t care about anything she doesn’t have something special. she doesn’t care if i punished her by taking a toy from her even her activities- I stopped for her the horsing lesson & she didn’t care then her gymnastic also she didn’t cry or tell me please i’ll be good even last night i told her i won’t read for you bedtime story- this is a very imp. part of the day since she was a baby- and this part shocked me because for the first time we didn’t do it!? yesterday i yelled to her because she always lost her stuff in school i don’t know what’s wrong with her she also doesn’t want to eat any meal and ofcourse i yell too much about this please tell me what am I suppose to do !!

        • 12


          I am an RN. I honestly think your daughter needs a check up by her medical doctor; perhaps you also could use one. Just to be sure nothing medically is wrong. Then I would ask for a referral for a psychiiatrist to have her or him, but with a female child, I’ld prefer the female psych. Get a thorogh check up there and then follow all the instructions you have received from both sources. I wish you all the success in the world with this problem. Because it IS a problem, just what type we don’t know yet. So please, find out and let people help you and your daughter treat the problem. I wish I could help you myself, but it is too dangerous to try to diagnosis and treat over the net. Please let us know how you are doing. I care.

        • 13

          Faye says

          As an outside observer it sounds a little like your child might be showing early symptoms of depression or trauma, but of course I’m not in the situation and there are many, many things that could cause a child to become apathetic about various things. Try to talk to her about these things that concern you. “I’ve noticed that you aren’t eating very much. Aren’t you hungry?” or even “What happened at school today?” can go a long way for finding out if something is out of the ordinary. The more you guys talk about stuff the easier it’ll be to figure out if something needs to be done. Understand that some things, like disorganization or lack of hunger, may be something she can’t help so yelling at her will cause her to resent you and herself, not improve.

          I came here as someone who doesn’t have kids, but wants to – but also someone who has both been a yeller in my relationships and yelled AT as a child – and I can tell you that the gaps in communication when I got a little older — and my family was GOOD about it mostly — allowed me to keep a lot of secrets just by not saying anything, I think it’s key to a family relationship.

        • 14

          m says

          I was like that as a kid, and my mom never got it (and we’re still not close today). I’ll tell you what’s wrong: she doesn’t like your game and she’s not going to play any more. The more you threaten to take from her, the less she will have any attachment to it–or you. You are making yourself seem untrustworthy.
          Stop yelling and threatening to take things away.
          Stop filling up her life with so much stuff in the first place.
          Show her that you take her opinion into consideration, especially when she expresses it civilly, even though you can’t always give her her way. Ask yourself what she really wants out of childhood. It’s probably not gymnastics classes or the latest game. It might be conflict-free time with you. It might be something else. But she might not be willing to tell you right now, because if she admits that she really wants something, you will take it from her any time you aren’t happy with her.

          • 15


            I’m very agree with you!!! Sally dear, please stop taking important things from your daughter and yelling at her, you are hurting her and yourself in a huge way. I’m glad you came asking for help, that shows you are worry and really care, yelling and punishing just show your child what power abuse is, nothing else. Please don’t forget that over all, you are a model for her, she is learning from what you do, not what you say. Usually we don’t get the right parenting tools from our parents, so we make the same mistakes they made with us, but we can break the circle of abuse when we realize we are hurting who we love the most!! Children are so forgiving, as soon as you start making it better, she will do it too. I really wish you the best. Be the mom you want your daughter to be one day. Be the mom you wanted to have.

          • 17

            Vicki in Costa Rica says

            I SOOOOO AGREE with “M”!! YOUR credibility/trustworthiness is shot!

            I have NEVER met a “bad child” – just VERY HURT•WOUNDED children because of things their parents have done/said to them – which most likely are things THEIR parents did/said to them & on & on down the generations.

            You’re at least aware of part of the challenge – now YOU can start working on it as she is JUST reacting to YOU!!!

            Do you want her to be treated badly when she grows up? Statistics are REALLY GOOD that she WILL go from bad relationship to bad relationship – bad friendships/work environments where people treat her badly if you BOTH don’t work on healing what’s going on. But YOU MUST do so FIRST – on your own!! Do NOT make her feel that something is wrong with HER. It’s YOUR issue she’s responding/reacting to!!!

            Could she not be sharing with you what’s going on because she FEARS YOUR REACTION?? This is a VERY COMMON mistake MANY females/mothers do – they demand that you tell them the truth – & then they flip out when they don’t like what they’re hearing – reacting!!

        • 18

          Deborah says

          It sounds like your daughter needs some medical intervention. It may be that something has triggered an episode of depression. make sure she gets a complete physical workup to rule out any physical illness and get a referral to see a Psychologist. Don’t wait. I’ve been there with one of my children. Do not put it off. early intervention is critical.

          • 19

            Vicki in Costa Rica says

            PLEASE be VERY CAREFUL with medical & psychiatric visits as they tend to want to blame something going on with the child instead of getting to the ROOT CAUSE of the problem (YOU & her reaction to you) & they automatically want to fill her with poisonish prescription drugs that beat her Spirit down & tell her something is wrong with HER!!!

        • 20

          Nasrine says

          Sally, I feel like you are building a wall between you and your daughter by just taking everything away. I feel like bedtime rituals like reading should not be broken. It’s a time that she feels safe and you can use this time to connect with her. Also, taking away things like horse riding lessons, gymnastics, that are really good for her physically and mentally is not a good idea, in my humble opinion (I know I don’t know all the details); you don’t want her to find other means of escape that are not healthy. My 7 year old is a lot different than my 5 year old. I can take away things I know matter to her, but like me, she is sensitive, stubborn and has a lot of pride and would rather die than show you she cares. Also, like me, she has ADD and loses, forgets things all the time and probably already gets mad at herself and then knows you will punish her. She is not doing it on purpose but needs “tools” to her her with this and many other things. My mom yelled so much and also nagged 24/7. After a while, you block it out and also get depressed.

          • 21

            Nasrine says

            sorry..continuing. Parenting is not easy. I am a yeller and nag now too, sadly and am trying to change. We should all be required to have parenting classes before and during children. We need to learn so much and also UNlearn the dysfunctional ways of our parents. I know you are doing your best. As Oprah says, “When we know better, we do better” 🙂

        • 23

          holly says

          Sally, I notice you say you give her everything before she asks for it. Why? She needs to want something before it is important enough to lose. Strike up a conversation about your schedules, activities, what does SHE want and like to do. Sometimes we give our kids all the things we wanted and don’t ask what they want. Wait for it. It will be more meaningful. And yes, get in touch with a mental health professional for her and you. I hope things improve.

        • 24

          lulu says

          Sally, my daughter was very much the same and I have been at my wits end, ready to throw in the towel many times. I recently had her tested (at 14…I regret waiting so long now) and it turns out she has ADHD-inattentive/impulsive type as well as a learning disorder. Since finding this out, things have improved vastly in our house. It is not so much the daughter learning new ways of doing thing but her parents learning to parent differently. As a result, her behavior has altered too. I’m not saying this is the answer for you but if you are already spending a fortune on stuff, it may as well go toward testing and therapy. Good luck. Remember that your daughter deserves for you to fight for her when she cant do it for herself.

        • 25

          Elizabeth says

          I am 18 now. I do not have any children yet. I am not close to either one of my parents sadly. My father was and still is a yeller, whenever he comes around. My mother has no back bone so growing up I felt that I couldn’t really trust her to be there in my time of need. I remember on my 13th birthday, I think, my parents got in an argument. Both were completely wasted beyond any peaceful night. I had a couple of friends over and I started crying because not only was I embarrassed, I was also scared. I have always been sensitive when it came to people arguing. I am so glad my grandmother was living with us at that time. She went downstairs to tell my parents to knock it off. The next morning I couldn’t look at either one of them. I didn’t look them in the eye because I didn’t want them to see the resentment and fear I held in my eyes. Nearly a year later my parents split up the night of my All City Choir Concert. It broke my heart to see that my father wasn’t mature enough to act like a normal family and watch my performance. My mom saw a tear rolling down my face and so she started crying too. They both took what I thought was what I wanted more than anything in life, for them to be together and for us all to live as a normal family. My father, the yeller, was also an alcoholic. One day after I got ungrounded I asked for the computer password. He didn’t know what they were because my mom set them up. He told me he would ask her for them when she got home. I was trying to be nice because I know it is easy to become distracted and forget, so I started writing a note on the dry-erase board. He came in and asked what I was doing and then yelled at me for trying to help out. Being as sensitive as I am, I went upstairs and cried. I explained to my grandmother the situation. I know it was a silly thing to cry over, but it still hurt nonetheless. So my dad asks me what was wrong when he sees that I have been crying. I say “You yelled at me”. I was hoping he would get the clue, but instead he yells again. He says “You are too sensitive, just like your mother”. This of course brought on new tears. I have been fearful of getting yelled at and disappointing others ever since. At times I still become leery when I see that he isn’t in the best mood. When I was in the sixth grade what was left of our broken relationship became nothing. He had made a very horrible decision and almost died. Even though I was terrified of him, I still loved him. I took the long way around to tell you that, it is important to develop a civil relationship with your daughter. It won’t be easy, but later in life if you don’t you will regret it. You daughter does love you and I know you love her. Remember, you set the example of how she will most likely raise her future children. If you do not want to see your grandchildren cower in fear or seem defiant to the bone, the change starts with you. You can tell it like it is and still maintain a calm voice. As you get better each day your daughter will see that you are trying to change and the relationship will become strong again. It won’t be perfect by any means but it ill get better. I hope my rant helped a little. I was kind of late in responding.

        • 27

          CLewis says

          You wrote this a while back, so hopefully life with your daughter has gotten better. This post brought back memories of me and my mother. Your daughter is retreating. Take her somewhere beautiful and quiet…beach, park, outdoors. And tell her you want to start fresh with her. Tell her you’re sorry for all the yelling and that you would love it if she would try harder too (use something specific here, so she knows what to do). Also, ask her if there anything else she is upset about with you and you won’t get mad or bring it up later (and you really can’t or she’ll never trust you again). In turn, tell her something that is upsetting you about her (don’t go overboard!). Then, have weekly follow up outings to voice each others grievances and what made each of you happy over the last week (this could also be personal things that happened- not concerning your relationship). I think if my mother and I could have had a formula like this, it would have helped our relationship. Showing vulnerability is a powerful tool. I’m 38 now, and we barely talk. Don’t let that be you two. God Bless you guys.

        • 28


          Hi Sally – I’m saddened to read your comment above. I don’t believe any 7 year old would be shutting down the way she is under normal circumstances and her behavior is certainly very concerning. I don’t know what kind of relationship you have with your daughter, but along with seeking help for her (and yourself), I also recommend learning more about her “love language.” Work together to determine what her love language is ( and start “speaking” it to her, as often as possible, whether it is quality time with you she desires that is peaceful and enjoyable, or whether you are encouraging her with words of affirmation, or gestures that are as simple as a hug or a gentle kiss. Your daughter needs to know that you love her. I am praying for you and your daughter.

          • 29


            Hi Sally – I’m saddened to read your comment above. I don’t believe any 7 year old would be shutting down the way she is under normal circumstances and her behavior is certainly very concerning. I don’t know what kind of relationship you have with your daughter, but along with seeking help for her (and yourself), I also recommend learning more about her “love language.” Work together to determine what her love language is ( and start “speaking” it to her, as often as possible, whether it is quality time with you she desires that is peaceful and enjoyable, or whether you are encouraging her with words of affirmation, or gestures that are as simple as a hug or a gentle kiss. Your daughter needs to know that you love her. I am praying for you and your daughter.

            With that said, I read this post thanks to a friend of mine that shared it on FB and I was very grateful. For one, I feel somewhat normal because I now realize I am not the only parent that is struggling with this issue. On the other hand, I also know that this is not a behavior I am proud of or want to continue. I am a stay at home mom to a 6, 3, and 2 year old and while it doesn’t give me permission to yell, I do become frustrated and overwhelmed (our two sons also have a language delay, making communication with each other more challenging). I am trying hard to work at this and praying for supernatural patience as it is not something I am proud of and worry about the long term effects of it if it continues.

            Thank you, Rachel, for being so transparent with your audience. It was very moving and very inspiring to me personally. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us.

            – Jenny Cantu

        • 30

          Ruth Deaton says

          It sounds as though your daughter needs ownership to be empowered. You’ve only mentioned taking away things–how about building her up,defining for her clear consequences to her actions, but also helping her to love something. Teach empathy, understanding, and forgiveness. Do you take dates together, or spend some good time just talking. It’s easy to get busy and caught up in routine, so maybe take some time to get to know your daughter and what makes her tick, especially before you see a doctor.

      • 31

        Billy Gibson says

        Rachel, I noticed that there were only a handful of men that had responded to your post but I am going to be one of them. I am a yeller also. I am not proud of it but at least can admit it. It’s funny as I write this how I actually feel about that admission. I would love to stop and just communicate with my 14 year-old as a normal relationship would allow you to. He is an ADHD kid and at times hard to deal with. I am going to try to do better after reading these other posts and use them as encouragenent in my quest to be a better parent.

      • 32


        oh dear, I teared up so much remembering the day I close my Facebook account and my home phone because I realized they distracted me so much, that sometimes I was not listening to my girl and I was always thinking about what to write and not about my family. I have never been a yeller, but I used to do all of the other things (rolling eyes, tone of voice, sigh, etc.) I’m still working on my behavior when she spills painting on the carpet (I live in carpeted apartment) but I’m getting better at thinking “I’ll wash it when she turns 10, maybe)
        Thanks you for your words, thank you for sharing, thanks you for remind me where I am and where I want to be.
        Love Jessica

      • 33

        Deborah says

        Hi Rachel
        I loved what you had to say. it struck home for me. I was terrified of my parents and I never shared anything that was important with them and did not trust them to be there for me at all. My father passed away a few years ago and I’ve tried to mend the relationship with my mother for the sake of my children but I think they feel the tension no matter how hard I try not to let it show. I want my kids to have a healthy relationship so that their kids will have a healthy relationship and so on .
        It is so wonderful that you recognized what yelling was doing with to your kids and found ways to nurture your kids to be caring loving individuals.
        Although I never yelled at my kids I recognize that I still had that look of disapproval and annoyance and I’m sure that it affected my kids perhaps the same way that yelling would.
        It is said that we will raise our children the way we were raised but I like to think that we can change…its recognizing what needs to be changed and acting on it that will make the difference for our kids, grandkids and so on.
        I hope that a lot of people will get an opportunity to read this heartwarming and honest journal that I think will open the eyes of many parents and parents to be.
        Thankyou for sharing

      • 34

        Nasrine says

        One last comment addressed to you, Rachel. My friend in Dubai posted this on her FB wall. As soon as I read it I was also moved to tears. This came to me at the perfect time. You have inspired me and have given me the profound sense of urgency to take steps towards change. Thank you!!

      • 35

        Ali says

        Thank you so much for sharing. Such a beautiful story and inspiration to me to be a better & more understanding Mother to my 5 year old daughter. As I read your story, I felt like it was myself I was reading about. Very touching. Thank you.

      • 36

        Susan says

        Knowing I am not alone in my failures as a parent just helped me breath a little deeper. Thank you for your courage to post. Each day I wake hoping it’s a little quieter. Hoping she won’t remember these days of “yell”. Loving loudly my cousin says…I still strive to find our peace together. Thanks for being out there sharing this with me and all others struggling with our amazing children.

      • 37

        ami says

        I have read this post again n again as I tend to become a yeller mom intermittently. I am so grateful to you for sharing this so beautifully and its really no surprise that you are so successful. You are one of god’s angels who is being there for His children when he can’t be everytime. God bless you and your family. Love Always.

    • 38

      Annette Small says

      THANK YOU! My heart breaks for you because I know EXACTLY how you feel, and yet you weren’t afraid to put it in black & white. Well done, you! We have 2 new businesses so I let go of perfection a long time ago. But the constant feeling of being overwhelmed can push me to the point of exploding, and usually at the people I love the most, and deserve it the least. It’s something I’ve been working on, but stumbling across this was a lifesaver for me today. Could feel the tension building as soon as I opened my eyes this morning, going into one of the busiest weekends of the year for us. I WILL remember to hug my kids, remind them how much I love them, and try to step back, take a breath, and remind myself it could ALWAYS be worse. Just look around and you’ll see many who have much bigger problems than yours but somehow manage to smile. I’m going to make every effort to be a hugger, not a “yeller” from now on. Again. THANK YOU!

    • 40

      Kathleen says

      I started this same journey during lent this past year. I gave up yelling for lent. Some days were harder than others. I was doing much better, but I find myself reverting. You have given me new hope that I can still change my ways.

    • 46

      Emily says

      Reading this was very emotional for me and rang very true for both my husband and I. Thank you so much for your well written words of wisdom.

    • 47

      Gordana says

      me too!! so perfectly put..Im going to give it a try!! thanks for just what I needed, such words of wisdom!

    • 48

      Joan Boulet says

      Thankyou for this post… it brought up a whole bunch of things for me. I remember when my daughters were young, and how i over reacted .
      I was trying to be perfect with everything i did. the stress of it all ways went back to my family … Im a different women now, I’ve had a great deal of time to look at my life.. My daughters see me different now. I love my daughters a great deal. I hope i did not damage them…

    • 49

      Jennifer Hugill says

      You’re post brought me to tears. Like you I have 2 young children. I have been sick for 4 years. Trying to be a super mom despite my limitations is my downfall. I have been on terrible medications that alter mood and increase anxiety. Thanks to a few surgeries those meds are no longer needed. Unfortunately I still have many limitations that leave me tired and make the simplest of tasks seem overwhelming. I’ve always known yelling was wrong and ineffective. I’ve tried very hard to stop and have gotten better, but today is when it ends!

      Mine as well as all children are far to precious to be treated this way. If we want them to have the tools to succeed in times of extreme stress or difficulty we need to show them!

      Thank you for this letter. Thank you for reinforcing what I already knew to be wrong but most importantly for letting me know I’m not alone! I will not yell, I will be a hands free Mom and calm all the extra noise (tv, radio, loud toys, iPads) during stressful times or moments. One thing I have noticed is when the kids are fighting or crying, it’s much easier to be calm and parent effectively when the only thing you need to contend with is the children. Not the noise from all other devices. It helps to calm me and focus on the task at hand. The important ones, my children.

      Thank you,

    • 50

      Christie says

      Thank you for this post and especially for the ‘Six Words You Should Say Today
      ‘ post (which i only came across today). As a proud mom of a 3 yr old boy and another bundle of joy to join my family in a few weeks, I can honestly say you are already changing my life for the better. Thank you!

    • 51

      Cindy says

      After being a yeller to my three first children, God gave me another chance. I had two more precious baby girls. I started to think about the important things in life. I started to think that one day they will be grown and right now this is our life. Cheerios on the floor, lost shoes, and getting a late start. That was many years ago, they are all grown, and we survived.

    • 52

      Michelle says

      Wow, thank you so much for sharing your personal story. As I read this, I felt the shame and guilt rise up in me because I have become a yeller. I do not want my kids to see me in that manner, ever!! And starting today, I want to be a mother who is compassionate, understanding and loving. I need to remember that their childhood goes so fast, and if I need a moment to calm down, to do so and then come back to them with love and compassion in my eyes, rather than rage.

    • 53

      Mandy says

      Guilty! I have an almost 4 yr old. I am conscious of it most times and can stop myself, but there are those times when I am trying to do too many things at once and then he does something (like a child does) and I take that frustration out on him and yell. I need to stop. I am going to work on stopping that behavior..I don’t want to be a yeller.. I want him to know when I mean business, but that just sends the wrong message and I couldnt imagine it getting to the point when he is welling up just by fearing me, oh no.. don’t want to see that day.

    • 54

      Nicole says

      Thank you so much for this post! I am not a mama yet, but I was an only child raised by an internally conflicted mother, who wanted to be loving and nurturing but allowed her rage to dictate the way she raised me. I remember clearly being seven years old and watching through tear-filled eyes as she scoffed and rolled her eyes when I tried to explain that her yelling made me afraid. Today, we have a push me-pull you relationship, and it frustrates her that we are not closer. Thank you for graciously accepting the ways that your yelling was injuring your children and affirmatively changing yourself for their best interest!

    • 55

      Jen says

      Thank you so much for sharing! I think as mothers, we all are trying so hard. I feel inadequate constantly! But, because of honest posts, like this one, I know I’m ok! I know that I am trying, and doing the best I can, and that’s what matters! Thanks again! Much love!

      • 56


        Thank you, Jen! This really means a lot to me. We are all trying, aren’t we? Sometimes we stumble, but we get back up & keep trying. I’d say that matters–it matters a lot. So glad you left this comment.

    • 57

      Eric Romero says

      Very touching and meaningful post. My wife and I were just talking about this exact subject last night while we lay in bed.We have a 5 year old boy and a 6 month old boy. We are doing all the same missteps and are willing to change to give our boys a more loving childhood. I cant tell you how much I needed this…its like in my time of worry and feelings of failure as a parent this post shows up on my page and completely broke me down ,but inlightend me on how much I and we will strive to be that rock for our kids.

    • 58

      Angie says

      I can not begin to thank you enough for this post…it has touched me and inspired me in more ways than you can imagine. I sincerely appreciate your raw honesty with this topic and it has definitely encouraged me to make some major changes in my life! So THANK YOU!

    • 59

      Ladygodzilla says

      Check the thyroid levels. All the patience and hard work you do balancing your energy and dialing down your rage will all be null if your thyroid is out of balance. I was blessed with having had the amazing experience of living through a period of extreme hyperthyroidism (high thyroid) followed by a period of extreme hypothyroidism (low thyroid). Not only was the fluctuation in hormones enough to send me over the edge, but it also instructed me on the nature of thyroidism and how it can make you feel at different levels. There were times when, despite my best efforts at positive thought and positive energy, I was not able to contain my emotions. This was not because I was a bad person or not taking enough time for myself or my family, I felt that way because my body’s hormones were so out of whack that it was driving me crazy. It was really driven home to me during my last period of hyperthyroidism, (it only happened because of a drug interaction with my thyroid replacement medication). I was only slightly hyper, just barely over the line. But it was enough to really effect my mood and behavior. I realized that all those years I spent working on healing myself and failing was because of the mighty power of that teeny little gland. The thyroid can have a profound effect on the mood and has really caused me to question exactly what it is that makes me the person I am, because depending on the level of thyroid hormone in my body, I really am different people. I know the thyroid is not the cause of all mental illness or rage or depression. But I know it is a powerful factor and one that needs to be looked at more in depth. I still have arguments with my doctors about this. But I lived this and witnessed this first hand. When I had a malfunctioning thyroid with a hot nodule, I was totally crazy. Now I don’t have a thyroid and I have no symptoms of being crazy, even when I am super stressed, because my thyroid levels are tightly controlled through medication. I thought that meditation and good diet would heal my screwed up mind and body, and although they did help manage symptoms, they were not the cure. The cure was leveling out the thyroid levels.

    • 60

      R2Mommy says

      I can hardly type through the tears. I was looking up info for why my son might suddenly be craving ice so much and eating little, drinking lots…(fear of diabetes) and nothing I needed popped up and as I scrolled down I saw your link. This could not have come at a better time. It’s the everyday junk we let cloud our emotions and take over our focus that causes us to be blinded at the jewels in front of us…the innocent children that they are. Innocent, naive, curious and so eager to please. How it pains me to think I could ever damage their sense of self and like you said…have them fear me. That cringe I have seen and literally dropped me hard to my knees on a tile floor. It stopped there. And when it attempts to rare its ugly head I just have to rub my knees and remember that look.. Bottom line.. They are first. We choose to create these beautiful additions to our family and that choice isn’t to be taken lightly. I appreciate you sharing what has been such a burden of guilt for me. I know I’m not alone in feeling this at times but it doesn’t seem to make me “feel ” better or released, but it gives me hope for the mommy I pray to be.

    • 61


      I commend you on your ability to see the need for change. For myself i had not been aware of how my outbursts were affecting my kids. My son has a more forgiving heart but my daughter the oldest of the two, not so much. I’m told she’ll come back around, give her time. Not sure if it maybe too late for me as far as my relationship with her? We use to be pretty close, but my divorce from her dad seem to stir up underlying issues she had with me.
      My children are now in their twenties, so they harbored alot with in for many years . I pray that the changes I’m still in the midst of making do make a difference in time, and Im not too late to salvage my relationship with my daughter!

  2. 62

    Stella says

    I have to say that having two sets of twins in three years turned me into a shell of myself – someone who does things I never thought I would do – chief among them, yelling – a lot. My 4 kids are now almost 8 and 5 and you have given me the inspiration to know that it is never too late to change into the person you want to be and should be. A kinder gentler more patient version of myself. Thank you.

    • 63


      Stella, your message is powerful and inspiring. I know many of us can relate to your description of being a “shell of myself.” I am grateful you found inspiration in my message and hope I can continue to support and encourage you. Please keep me posted. I am here if you need support.

    • 64


      I so needed to read this. I have 8, 2.5, 2.5 year olds and a 10 month old and It’s not so much trying to do it all, it’s trying to get what is needed done! The 2.5 year olds are into everything and seem to defy all childproofing I do, my 8 year old just provokes them causing more conflict. I just get so frustrated!

    • 65

      SHerri says

      I also have twins. They just turned 4 and I have two older children ages 11 and 12. I also am a yeller and I hate myself for it. I am swamped with owning my own business, I am swamped with my husband’s own business, I am swamped with emails and phone calls and ….sometimes the stress of it all overwhelms me and I just want to run away. This simple post has made me want to be a better person, a better mother, a better wife.

    • 66

      Jamie says

      I never was a “yeller” until I had my twins (#4 & #5 of our 5 children) I do not like that I yell now & this blog post spoke right to me. The times I do yell is when I am over committed or having a deadline(needing to get somewhere on time).

    • 67

      sophia says

      yup, twin boys here who just turned 3 and a 19m old who thinks she’s 3 too. challenging times and situations. thought provoking and encouraging words today. thank you!

      • 68

        Maureen says

        I started yelling with the appearance of twins too. I see a theme developing here!

        I made a conscious effort to stop when a comment my 10-year-old made stopped me in my tracks. We had been joking around with a group of his friends, and I revealed to them that he sings in the shower. I thought it was no big deal, but my son was embarrassed to the point of tears. On our ride home he would not speak to me, despite me apologizing over and over. After a few minutes, he said, “How would you like it if I revealed something about you? Like how you are constantly screaming at us! What if everyone knew about how crazy you are? How would you feel?” It was a punch in the gut: I realized that my yelling at the twins was taking its toll on him, and on everyone in our family. I have mostly stopped yelling, and when the urge gets to be too much, I enter a room, close the door and punch a few pillows. As a result, my kids are happy little guys and I feel much less depressed than I did before.

        • 69

          Jennifer says

          Thank you for that I am a compulsive yeller I fill so horribly bad about yelling at my girls they are 6 but I just always snap 1st then fill terrible after my girls have had serious medical issues which has stressed me out to the end but I have also let them have and do anything they wanted this post is really what i needed I hate the yelling imbecile I am! I feel a little relief im not the only one that freaks on their kids for the littlest thing and I have to admit my girls run from me and cry or hide when they know I am going to freak out and it just devastates my heart to be so mean to 2 little Angles meant for me to protect and love! I promise my self to stop, think and breath. Your post is helping me wake up Thank You!

          • 70

            Claire says

            One suggestion I have for you, Jennifer. The first step I see for you is to start thinking and speaking positively about yourself. You are valuable and have many good qualities. I know this because God made you. We need to love ourselves before we can truly love another they way we are meant to. As you begin to believe positive things about yourself, you will win in your battle over yelling at your children.

    • 71

      kelly says

      i am with you. my second set of twins are 9 weeks and the others are 3 1/2, along with a 7 and 1o year old. Nobody who hasnt walked this road can understand the degree of stress and the amount of work involved. the joy is incredible but yes,yelling occurs. i am not saying that i am happy about it, but our situation is FAR different than someone with two kids several years apart. i know that i am doing the very best i can.

  3. 72

    kat says

    Thank you so much. This was a beautiful post and so important to me and probably many others. Thank you for sharing.

  4. 73

    Nancy says

    I too was a yeller, out of sheer desperation when my son developed some bad habits. I still can’t quite forgive myself, but every day that there is no yelling in our house I feel a little bit of healing. Thanks for writing this out so eloquently. Together, we can all be better parents and have better relationships with our wonderful kiddos.

    • 74

      Katie says

      I love that Nancy “every day that there is no yelling in our house I feel a little bit of healing.” Thankyou I will keep these words in my head.

    • 76

      Maggie says

      I grew up in a house that had at least one parent with some very regrettable behaviors. However, when I was 13 there was a huge behavior change. And what I remember now (that I’m a mom myself) is NOT the “bad” behaviors and pain and confusion as much as the CHANGE and how extraordinary it was. And what a difference it made in my life. THAT is my impression of my childhood. So forgive yourself. Your kids already have.

        • 78

          Patricia says

          Reading all these comments are so beautiful and so easy to relate to all of them. I have to say that from the moment I read your post Rachel, I can’t hold back the tears. With four under the age of 6, owner of two businesses, and the normal constant household jobs….things make me a bit crazy! I have never had a short fuse until recently and I can’t tell how bad I feel about the frustrating feelings I have because I can’t get it all done anymore…and I know I am squandering away so many little moments of my precious children’s childhoods, trying to accomplish a zillion things. Thank you to all of you for your courage to admit your faults and the strength to know that we can all achieve change. This post came at the perfect time. 🙂

      • 79

        Tammy Niles says

        Thank you for posting this. I am a yeller and find myself crying late at night when they are all in bed because the guilt I feel. I am a very good loving mother that gives all my attention to them, but can’t seem to not yell when I get really upset. I was not brought up in a yelling family, so why am I like that. I feel terrible for the children when seeing other parents yelling at them. I am so happy I found this Site. Thank you

      • 80

        Julie says

        Forgiving yourself for mistakes you made as a parent is VERY hard to do. Articles like this bring up a feeling of hope that you can change and a feeling of guilt that you didn’t change sooner. FB internet and social media are a mixed blessing. Without them there are few resources to help parents change with them parents are distracted and stressed….C.S. Lewis said “everything in moderation” I don’t think yelling is on that list but activities, social media, obligations etx definitely are….I pray all the time that my mistakes… the holes I put in my kids hearts….because of poor parenting skills and poor coping choices are healed by God. I also apologize and make an effort to communicate differently with my kids today. All I can do…..forgiving self is the hardest….living with the regret and the distance is horrible probably not as horrible as the scars and the pain causeed by yelling but horrible nonethe less. Yelling hurts everyone.

  5. 81

    Dayna Baldwin says

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have been a yeller and am starting to quit and change. It is hard. I really appreciate you sharing this. I have so many of the same feelings you do. I cried reading this. This is me. I really needed this.

    • 82

      Kim says

      Thank you all for sharing and be so honest, there are days that I feel like the worst mother ever, I never yell, but it comes so easily with my children, almost automatic… I expect too much from then and give to little back … I am praying for strength to do this and for it not to be too late.

    • 83

      Jennifer says

      This is me & I cried reading this, knowing I can’t stand what I have turned into over the years…. Thank you for sharing your story, I will start trying harder to be a better mom and a happier person everyday 🙂

    • 84

      Shannon says

      My sentiments completely! I’ve been wanting, trying to change! I dispise yelling and don’t want to develop my Mom’s bad habits. I hope I’m not too late, because I want the relationship you have with your girls, but with my boys. I hope your posts will help give me the strength to stop!

    • 85

      Christine says

      What you just said relates to me. I have slowly been changing my life. This just hit home that I need to keep it up and not let the little things bother me so much. Kids are the most precious things and usually the best thing that ever happen to us. I love my children dearly and never want to lose that.

  6. 86

    Autumn says

    Oh I was a yeller! Until one day when I had a moment much like yours…I don’t even remember (because it was such a minor little nothing) now what led up to it, but I do remember my daughter’s little face and her begging apology and her promising to do better. I made a promise to myself and more importantly to my girls that day…I WILL do better! I WON’T yell and holler and stomp my foot anymore! I did get better about it, we still had moments and still do but there’s always an apology (be it me or them). My girls have grown into beautiful young women with hopes and dreams for their futures. One of these days when they have babies I will not only share with them my experiences but yours as well…thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  7. 87

    Carrie says

    Thank you for sharing this! I have been struggling with this and this is what I needed to hear, reassurance that I haven’t already messed up to the point of it being unfixable. I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old. It gives me hope that I can change and that in changing myself, I can change my children too.

  8. 88

    Rebecca Freeman says

    Every morning, I read your posts, and every day I am inspired by what you share – it opens my eyes to my own actions and gives me encouragement to make the important little changes that shape my kids. I know I’m a yeller. I have a two boys – a three-year old and an almost two year old. And lately, whenever my three year old is frustrated or angry, he just screams. Screams at me. Screams at my husband – screams at his brother. And I don’t want him to cope in that manner like I have for so long. Thank you for having the courage to share- both the difficult situation and the solution that has worked for you. You have no idea how insightful and helpful you are 🙂 This is a beautiful piece.

    • 89

      Cat says

      I can really relate to your story. I also have two boys with 3.5 and 1.5 years and sometimes I don’t know what to do other than yelling – and that makes me feel bad. The big one doesn’t listen at all and that is really hard for me. Additionally, he hits and hurts the little one and i have no idea whatsoever to stop this.
      It would be great if parenting were easy, wouldn’t you think?! 😉

      • 90


        A really good alternative for you might be a trick I learned from my late sister, who was a teacher by vocation in every sense of the word…..silence followed by whispering. She would go completely still, and then resume talking very very quietly…almost, if not a whisper. It would take them by surprise,totally, and they got the message that she was in control and had something important to say,and for them to hear.

        • 91

          Liz says

          Jo – thank you for sharing your late sisters whispering trick – I think that’s a fabulous idea and I’m going to try this out too. My 2 1/2 yr old can be a yeller and sometimes I find it hard to get him to lower his voice but I have noticed if I whisper he whispers too. So, it could definitely be used in different situations. 🙂

  9. 92

    Julie says

    I can’t even begin to thank you for this post. Because of reading this, I found that I can forgive myself for my breakdowns of yelling and that it isn’t too late. I am thankful that I realized this several months ago and as I have been making changes myself I couldn’t help but wonder if it was too late to repair my yelling damage. It’s not too late…thank you 100 times over for sharing this journey.

  10. 93


    Thank you for this wonderful reminder. Allow me to leave one of my favorite quotes on handling anger, by Thich Nhat Hanh:

    “When we embrace anger and take good care of our anger, we obtain relief. We can look deeply into it and gain many insights. One of the first insights may be that the seed of anger in us has grown too big, and is the main cause of our misery. As we begin to see this reality, we realize that the other person, whom our anger is directed at, is only a secondary cause. The other person is not the real cause of our anger.”

  11. 94

    Johanna says

    Thank you so much for this. As I type with tears rolling down my face, I see myself in your every word. These precious spirits were gifted to us and sometimes we mess it up, but the beauty of their forgiveness is so touching. I will be forever grateful to know i am not alone. I have felt the edge coming back in my words, its time to look at my life and reorganize. THANK YOU!

  12. 95


    I am so glad I came across this post. Over the past few years, I have become a yeller – and I hate it. I have a background in ECE and I know better…I know how I should speak to my children…but like you said, it’s life’s distractions. This is not the parent that I want to be – I need to take a hard look at how I react to things and react instead in a more patient and kind way.
    Thank you!!!!!

  13. 96


    This is really wonderfully said. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Your children are lucky to have you. (And I hope your new rewrites are even better than the first.)

  14. 97

    Erin says

    I’m just sitting here bawling. I have been following your blog on facebook and getting all of your updates for a long time but never clicking on anything to read it. I always just see Hands Free and I keep scrolling because I already feel so much conviction in the areas that you address and I know I need change in my life but feel so overwhelmed. My life is always full of so much change, you know? I don’t want more change. Even though this would be good change and bring peace and freedom to both me and my family. When I saw this title I knew I had to open and read. Wow am I glad I did.

    Thank you so much. From the bottom of my messy and broken heart. Thank you for being open and honest and valnurable. Thank you for knowing that other moms, other great and wonderful and loving moms fell in to the yelling trap.

    I’ve never been a yeller. Never. Not growing up. Not in relationships. Not with my children….. until 11 months ago. We had a baby who didn’t sleep. Screamed and screamed. Painfully nursed. Didn’t sleep. Couldn’t be comforted. No sleep. And little by little I turned in to a constant grouch. Yelling at all the silly things you mentioned. All the innocent accidents from a sweet little toddler who I could not love anymore than I already do.

    I hate myself in those moments. I do not know myself in those moments. And I have started to see the fear in his eyes. Just when I gasp for air, he falls to the ground or runs away, absolutely fearful of his mama.

    A little boy who used to have the sweetest and most content personality has become an angry and outburst consumed little one. And I know why. Because that’s the example I have set. And I feel as though it’s all ruined and it’s all over. The mistakes I have made this year out of my exhaustion have forever ruined him. All the wonderful decisions and the wonderful mom I used to be has no bearing on him now.

    But you’re right. You are so right.

    Children are so forgiving when they see we are changing. And I needed this today. I needed your words. I am committing to stop yelling. I am going to do whatever it takes to actively love and take care of these babes in the way that I know I can and the I want to. Because they’re worth it. And I’m worth it.

    • 98

      Karen Parker says

      I found the story very beneficial as well but I have to say that your story was just as moving. I wish you all the best & based solely on your heart felt response, I feel certain you will be the mother & person you know you can be.

    • 100

      Tanya Dayman says

      I fear the same thing Erin,
      Have I created this angry boy who always shouts his responses and deals with every situation by shouting and upsetting the whole family?
      We are their example – my boy has 8 years of my example, can that be undone?

      • 101

        Elizabeth says

        I believe it can be done (or undone). He will probably not show change for many months after you make your changes. Perhaps he will even rage against your changes and test your boundaries and limits even further. If you can manage your emotions through this sure to be difficult transition, you will see positive changes in him.

      • 102

        Rather not say says

        I want to cry!!! My son just turned 8 and I feel the exact same way as you do!!!

        He can be the sweetest, caring thoughtful little boy….BUT…when he is mad, he is MAD!!!! Very bad anger issues and I don’t know how to help him.

    • 103

      Liz says

      Erin, I swear, it’s not too late. I have been a yeller, and even a spanker in the past. I knew this wasn’t how I was meant to parent, not the way God would have me treat His children, but it took a lot of searching, soul and otherwise, to figure out how to change things, how to turn away from losing my cool and instead to feel and act differently. My oldest (now 6) used to be angry a lot, to be defiant, to hit when he got frustrated, to be guarded emotionally with me, and other signs he was injured by what I did. I always tried to make up for becoming angry with apologizing and being affectionate, and I’m sure that helped some, but it was clear to me it wasn’t making up for the hurt I caused when I lost my temper.

      I wanted to change, but I couldn’t really get away from my habit until I had a change of heart. I realized I had let myself be distracted by other things, many of them my own interests and priorities (thanks, Rachel, for keying in on distraction!), and I had not been treating my kids as equals to me–equals in worth and in value, beings who cannot thrive without a steady diet of patience, tenderness, and attentive love. They deserved to be my primary focus and occupation (rather than being distracted by house cleaning! I mean, really, self!), to have my full attention whenever they needed it, to be regarded with kindness and affection, even when they were misbehaving and needed to be corrected.

      I knew I had to change, and I couldn’t wait for my kids to change before I changed myself. I had to love them and be tender and patient with them even when they were still ignoring me, yelling at me, hitting & fighting with each other, and doing the thousands of incidental little things kids (and adults) do that can be frustrating or irritating.

      It’s been about a year since I started focusing on changing this, and the relationships in our family have improved remarkably. It took a little while before my kids responded, and though it took my oldest the longest to respond (about a month), he did. His eyes are brighter, he’s more happy, affectionate, and eager and shares his feelings/ideas readily, he yells and ignores much less often, and we can talk about mistakes or difficulties and find solutions we can agree to together. It’s not perfect, of course, because we aren’t, but it’s good. It’s way better than the past.

      Your mistakes with your son haven’t ruined him forever, I promise. You can do it. Your son loves you and together you can create something much better. Good luck.

      • 104

        Megan says

        Thank you – I know that is something that has been said a lot in response to this post. I am in tears right now as I am a yeller and wish I would stop. I don’t know how it would be possible, but I am sure it is. I see my kids doing it (3 & 5) and I just see myself in them and it breaks my heart. These posts give me hope even though I feel it is a lost battle with me. Once again, Thank you…


    • 105

      Angela says

      I have never been a yeller either – until several years ago. My husband told me some time ago, “You’re not the woman I married”, and that hit home, but I felt powerless to change. I would purpose in my heart that I wouldn’t yell anymore, and I’d do better for awhile, but the next up-tight situation, and I’d find myself yelling again. I hated it. I knew better. But, I just felt I couldn’t change. Then, I purposed that every time I failed, I’d apologize to my child, and change my tone of voice, as soon as I realized I’d failed, and that has helped, but I haven’t yet been able to get complete victory. I so appreciated your post – I felt that it could have been me writing it. Most of the things that were mentioned (phone time, etc.) could be triggers for me, as well. I’m encouraged to keep trying – to keep paring down the demands on my time, and taking time to just enjoy my children – and looking forward to the positive changes it will bring to their/our lives. Thanks for sharing.

  15. 106

    Mamma Bean says

    Interesting to read this today, of all days. I have a 1 1/2 year old and a 3 1/2 year old who will start school in September. I have finally decided to step back a little from my teaching job, which I LOVE, and become the mom I want to be for my kids, my husband and myself. It is a really difficult decision as it means I have to leave my classroom likely- if my partial leave is even granted. I, too, had a hard lesson on the pitfalls of trying to ‘do it all’. Most off all, I want to build bridges between my husband and children instead of burn them. Having lost my own mother while pregnant with my first child, I now realize that not a day should go by without saying what you mean and being who you ARE-not who others think you should be.

    Thanks again, you will never know how deeply this touch me personally.

  16. 107

    shanna says

    I feel like this is your most beautiful post yet. To witness your child repeating the very caring and sympathetic words you’ve used over and over on them, must give you such happiness. You’ve taught them how to live and love. Thank you for sharing those moments with all of us.

  17. 108

    Michelle says

    Your posts always inspire me! I share them frequently on FB. Thank you for sharing your journey! As a Mom of a 3 and 5 year old, who also struggles with yelling and being too “plugged in”, I can certainly relate and appreciate your motivating words. Hopefully in 2 1/2 years, I too will find myself a greatly improved Mommy. One day at a time…

  18. 109

    Karla says

    I am a yeller. What did you do to remind yourself to be calm in the midst of the yell that wants to come out? Sometimes I feel so lost in this. I don’t want to yell either and some days are better then others, but honest to God sometimes I feel like I pray to stay calm and it’s like Satan is listening and finds ways to make the yelling burst forth. I know God is listening, but in that moment the anger grabs me and I yell. How did you keep your heart, your words calm, when the yell wanted out? Thanks for sharing this story – this is the mom I want to be for my kids, the calm mom not the yeller.

    • 111


      My ability to better control my anger changed when I started thinking of my harmful words hitting my children like a car colliding with an object and causing irreparable damage, i.e.; “The Moment of Impact.” This is a portion of what I once wrote:

      “And I can sense when a collision is coming. When sibling bickering, messy bedroom floors, and bad attitudes are about to collide with my foul mood, my sleep-deprived state of mind, or my threadbare patience. And when those factors intersect, that moment of impact cannot be undone.

      So just like a driver who is anticipating a damaging collision with another vehicle, I let off the gas … I pull back … I pause to avoid permanent damage.
      In those moments when I am about to yell or explode, I remain silent just long enough for the angry words to dissipate. I hold the words under my tongue for just a few moments until the moment is past. I have discovered that even a few seconds of pause can prevent tragic results.

      The moment of impact …

      Is there anything we wouldn’t do to prevent hurtful words spilling from our lips—leaving tender marks on those we love the most?

      The moment of impact …

      Is there anything we wouldn’t do to save ourselves from years of painful regret, remorse, and shame?

      The moment of impact …

      Sometimes it just takes a pause to avoid a collision.”

      I hope that idea helps. I also try to look at their faces and remember they are children. They are children who learn by making mistakes. They are children who trust me to care for them and love them. And just taking that moment to look at them, really look at them, and even see them as babies again, I am able to grab some perspective. But most of all, just taking that PAUSE just long enough to THINK about what I am about to say, has changed by life and my children’s life.

      • 112


        So true. I call it giving myself a time out. The same way giving my three year old a time out gives my three year old a chance to calm down and collect himself and regroup, it gives me a chance to do so. Sometimes the Time Out is for both of us. It stops a situation from escalating.

      • 113



        This is going on my FB parenting page! Your story is my story!

        I felt so helpless about my angry reactions to my daughters when they were little that I turned to a play therapist, Dr. Garry Landreth, who taught me skills that changed my life. I’ve been sharing them with parents and teachers ever since.

        Just like you said, you stop and look at your children first, then take it one step further and describe what you see objectively. Hearing your own judgment-free observations gives you a new perspective that allows you to magically skip the anger, skip the regret and go straight to what works!

        I wrote a short book on it and posted it online as a Flash flipping book for anyone to read. Simple as it is, it has won two awards. If you would like to share it with your readers, it’s here:

        As you said, changing our reactions to our children makes all the difference! It actually makes parenting fun and rewarding just as you have shown.

        Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. It shows that it is never too late to take charge of your life and your parenting!

      • 114

        me says

        If you check out the orange rhino website mentioned in the article too, there are other ways to get “the angry” out. Like yell into a closet (go in there and shut the door) – I have done that – or yell into the toilet (haven’t tried that one yet). Go upstairs to yell, to get it away from them and to get it out for you and keep it away from your babies. 🙂

        Thank you to everyone for sharing.

    • 115


      I too, was a yeller. I am 82 yrs. old and I have only memories, sad memories of how I yelled at my children, when they were little. I now have fourteen great grandchildren and I am going to try to send this link to my grandchildren or at least recommend it. I wish I had had this to read and refer to when my children were growing up. It would have made a huge difference in my and their lives, perhaps.
      Thank you, Rachel for writing this story.

  19. 116


    Rachel, you have touched on something so raw and real. I had to stop a couple of times for tears. I have been there. I have also made changes within myself and watched my child go from saying “Why were you being mean to me?” to “You mean your not mad?” to constant and continual kisses and utterances of “I love you.” I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while, but I’ve been afraid to. Thank you for this courageous post!

  20. 118

    Karen C. says

    For a while we were having a lot of yelling in our house – I was yelling, my husband was yelling, and as a result, our kids were yelling. At first I didn’t recognize the parental yelling. I just knew that my kids weren’t listening and so I “needed” to raise my voice for them to do what I needed them to do. I got in the pattern of yelling to demand respect and action and it wasn’t working.

    My 9 year old has some challenges that we have been working on with psychologists and his school. When he would get frustrated or overwhelmed he would yell and that would lead to an escalation of negative behavior (sometimes even knocking over furniture). At home, it would get me frustrated and I got sucked right into the yelling vortex, which only made everything worse. Our psychologist recommended that we do a behavior chart for him where he would be rewarded for calming down quickly when upset and not yelling but instead relying on techniques to calm down or talk through his problems. The idea was that if we stop the yelling, then we don’t have the big tantrum melt downs. When we were thinking about setting up the chart, I heard my 5 year old also engaging in yelling and we decided to put both of them on the same reward system. Also, as we were reducing the general yelling noise in our home, I became more aware of when my husband or I yelled at the kids. I didn’t like it. At that moment my husband and I said we have to reduce our yelling to be better role models. We can’t ask the kids to do something that we aren’t doing ourselves. I have to say, the system is working. I have even overheard the boys playing, get upset and yell something to the other, but then calmly discuss ways to solve the problem. I consider that a win.

    As for me, I am still working on being a more connected and less yelling parent. As a mom of 4 kids ranging in age from 11 months to 12 years, I often feel stretched and in rushing out to get to various activities, I still will raise my voice for everyone to get into the car. I still yell up to my 12 year old to set the table (nicely) rather than walking up the stairs and speaking with her face to face. I still when tired and ready to turn “off” will just tell my kids to “go to bed” or if I am trying to get through things in the afternoon I will tell my 5 year old to go find somewhere to play so I can just get a few more minutes before picking up the other kids. I know this. I am trying to change, but sometimes it just takes babysteps knowing that sometimes I may falter, but as I keep going, the good habits will become stronger.

  21. 120

    Marianne says

    I really needed to hear these words this morning. Another day, same mistakes, same reaction to mistakes. And I hate myself for it. Thank you for diving into the root cause. I want to challenge myself to react in a more constructive, mature and loving way. I think this article will help me take the first steps in the right direction. They are far too precious to cause them sadness and fear.

  22. 121


    I’m bookmarking this to read it daily. Thank you for the reminder. I needed it today more than you can imagine.
    My friend posted it on her Facebook page and it just called out to me today.

  23. 122

    Paige says

    Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing with us. Such a great reminder to everyone. I am guilty of yelling when I am overwhelmed/frustrated and then immediately hating myself for it. It just does not accomplish anything positive.

  24. 123


    My friend shared this on Facebook and I’m glad she did. My baby sister is a BIG yeller. I’m going to send this to her, hopefully she will see the light 🙂

  25. 128


    Thank you so much for sharing this. For Mother’s Day, my ten year old son brought home a project he did for me, where he listed ten things he liked about me. The last space asked what he would change, and he wrote that he would change nothing. I realized later that wasn’t his original answer. When I looked closely, I noticed that he had written, then erased, “my mom yells a lot.”. You are so right, that much yelling is borne from being distracted from the sweet darlings in front of me. I regret to say that my little ones got past being scared of my yelling, and went on to apathy. I’ve been working on not yelling, but I need to treat it as the poison that it is.

  26. 129

    Kobie says

    Hello Rachel,

    I honestly want to tell you “I love you”. You are my favourite part of the day. I love being reminded to live my hearts desire…to always offer my kids a soft place to land…thank you also for the visual of the rice…that was fantastic!!

  27. 131

    Jenna says

    I grew up in a house with a mom who yelled constanly. I vowed when my son was born I wouldn’t be that way. It is tough when that’s what you know. Unfortunatley, I am a yeller! I feel sad and ashamed of myself everytime I yell. I don’t want to be a yeller and your story has helped me see the light. I do need to stop the cycle I don’t want my children to think yelling is the way. Thank you so much for the inspiration. You have helped me to strive to be a better momma.

  28. 132

    Jennifer says

    Great post! I am reading “how to talk so your kids will listen … And listen so your kids will talk” and so much of how you act now seems like its taken right from this book. I am trying as well not to yell but man is it tough with a couple of 2 year olds!

  29. 133

    ellen bondi says

    Reading your blog this morning, I’m reminded of a recent writing class. After seeing the movie, “Silver Linings Playbook”, our class discussed silver linings….a great motivation for some interesting writing. I know losing the final chapters of your book was very frustrating, but because of that, you were able to write this beautiful reminder on your blog… silver lining. I’m thinking the second silver lining will be even better rewrites!
    I am a Grandmother. You should know that your gift for writing is not only a blessing for Mamas, but Grandmothers too!
    By the way, your Dad and I went to high school together….I’m looking forward to seeing him and meeting your Mother at our high school reunion this July.

  30. 134


    Your posts always make me teary. It amazes me how the answers are always so simple, and yet living them takes such diligence and practice. Everything is a practice, isn’t it? But the payoff is big. Something tells me the second re-write of the last few chapters will be even better than the first time around 😉

  31. 135



    Your post couldn’t have come at a better time. It makes me want to sob. Most of the time, I am kind and gentle with my daughter but I am that exploding balloon of rage. I too have had the moment when I realized my daughter was afraid of me, and it broke my soul.

    Over the past year, I have worked very hard to downsize my responsibilities and it has helped me remain more calm with her. I have gotten much better, but in the past month or so I’ve relapsed. We are in the process of a cross country move, job changes and a host of stressful external factors. This week, I have been filled with the same rage you describe and my yelling has increased.

    Thank you for your brutal honesty that is a painful but welcome slap in the face. Thank you for reminding me that my daughter’s life, like mine, is turning upside down right now and that she needs extra love not more yelling. Thank you for reminding me that my daughter’s increased whining and sudden baby talk (at age 5 1/2) aren’t meant to annoy me but to get my attention. Thank you SO much for reminding me that my most important job is to be the calm in this storm that will pass. I’m printing your post so that I can reread it every time I feel that rage bubbling under the surface.

  32. 136


    Dear Rachel,
    I love you.
    Thank you.
    I needed this today… especially over the past few weeks. I’ve been home with our infant…. He is breastfed and I haven’t been away from him longer than 20 minutes since he was born 3 months ago. I love breastfeeding him and prefer to NOT leave him any time soon… But sometimes I do find myself cracking at the seams at my two older children, especially my teen. It hurts. And I feel like poo afterwards. It’s been more frequent just in the past few days, so I thank you for writing this.
    I needed this.
    xo Thanks for sharing your thoughts. They hold so much weight.
    <3 Amanda*

  33. 137

    erin says

    I loved this post, definitely something I needed to hear… i struggle with this constantly and HATE myself afterwards… I hope you don’t mind if I pin this link to my parenting board on Pinterest… i need it as a reminder. If you would rather I didn’t please contact me at the address above

    • 138


      Hi Erin, thank you for sharing on your parenting board–please do! I am so touched and humbled by the response of this post. I had no idea it would resonate like this. What a beautiful thing when we can step forward into the light of realness and say to each other, “You are not alone.” I have always believed that when we show each other our scars, we love each other more. I may not be able to reply to everyone today, but I am reading and crying tears of joy for every single one of you. Thank you all for taking my hand and walking beside me on this challenging, but oh so rewarding journey to grasp what matters in life. I am grateful.

      • 140

        Alisha says

        This couldn’t have came at a better time! Like so many others that have replied to your words, I too have had one of “those” days only yesterday. It is reassuring to know that I am not alone on this journey and we are only human. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  34. 142


    I can not begin to say how this post touched me. I HATE myself when I yell. And I think but I’m not working outside the home, I’m not doing this, I’m not dong that, WHY do I yell?

    Found a lot of it was due to problems with what I was eating. Gluten and artificial dyes/additives are NOT our friends for some of us! (have you heard of the feingold diet? LOVE IT, and LOVE not having so many problems because of gluten!) but there were other things. Like looking at how much a box of cereal cost when it was lost on the floor, or how much a toy cost that was purchased for a birthday and so promptly broken or parts lost.

    And yes, I was WAY TOO caught up in what today’s world expected of a work at home, homeschooling mother. But I need to not look at what the world expects and look instead at what God wants. THERE is where we need to look, and in the eyes of our children! Even our adult children. Because it’s not too late for adult children to learn and change from seeing their mothers learn and change.

    Thanks for this post!

  35. 143

    Christi says

    Just last night while lying with my older daughter, 9, in her bed before lights out she asked ‘Mom, are you sometimes annoyed by having kids?’ I was stunned and heartbroken by the question, but even more so by the fact that she would ever think I was annoyed to have either she or her sister in my life. They are my life. After asking her several questions to clarify the statement I came to realize that she was wondering why sometimes I become annoyed when she asks me to do things for her. You see, just before she asked that question, she asked me if I would take her pony tail holder out of her hair. I willingly did so, but without realizing it I let out a sigh in the moment. Though the sigh was just my fear of her wincing while the little hairs are pulled from her hair, she perceived the sigh as me being frustrated with her because she asked me to do something for her. Though she is 9 and I am trying to teach her some independence in her daily life, I was hurt by the fact that she felt every time I let out a sigh, it meant I was frustrated with her because she’s asking me to help her. In that moment I recalled moments when my younger daughter, 5, was too often asking me if I was mad at her in a moment where I was sighing. Thinking back I recalled these moments occur most often after work when I’m in the kitchen trying to prepare supper and she needs my attention. I do become frustrated in those situations because I feel the pressure to do both perfectly-provide a meal on time in the evening so that the rest of the evening stays on schedule AND pay attention to her needs.

    This is not how I want my children to perceive me-the mother with the habitual cranky sigh…though this is not just a figment of their imagination, it is truly how I often feel. I focus too much on trying to be perfect in my daily life and be a perfect mother at the same time. I know that’s impossible…it’s not reality, but it’s something I strive for knowing it’s impossible to achieve.

    So, thank you for this post. It reminds me that though I know better, I try almost daily to be perfect-which really only leads to frustration. I’m not frustrated with my children, I’m frustrated with my unrealistic perception that I can somehow do it all perfectly. The reality is, perfection is not obtainable, many times throughout my day I’m the mother with the cranky sigh, but now I’m aware of my imperfection in these moments and I can accept that being aware and trying to do better is as close to perfect as I can be.

    • 144

      Stacey says

      Christi, I can so relate to the cranky sigh! Thank you for your insight. Though my 10-year-old daughter hasn’t voiced it, I’m sure she is thinking that I am mad at her and frustrated that she is asking me for help… when I could be accomplishing something on my neverending to-do list. I am going to take advantage of our time together this summer to put aside the idea of being perfect and feeling frustated if I don’t get everything checked off my list. I’ll count it a good day if there was no eye-rolling or cranky sighs – from either of us!

  36. 145

    Marion Smith says

    I was also a yeller. Actually, I was a screamer! One day as I stood ironing my then 10 year old daughter asked me a simple question (I don’t even remember what it was.) and I began screaming at her. Her sad little face struck me in mid-scream and I stopped. I said, “Honey, this isn’t about you! It’s me. Something is wrong and I have to go to the doctor and find out what it is. I don’t know why I keep screaming like this. It’s not your fault.” I made an appointment with a new OBGYN. The others said I was fine. I sat in my new OBGYN’s office and begged him, through my tears, to find out what was wrong with me and if he couldn’t figure it out to please send me to someone who could. He gave me the FSH test and discovered that I was in early menopause. In fact, he said I basically had NO hormones left! What a relief to finally know and receive some much needed hormone replacement therepy. I kept suggesting menopause to my previous OBGYNs but they kept saying I was too young. I was but apparently my body didn’t get the message! I felt so guilty about it all these years that I asked my now 36 year old daughter if she remembered it and she said, “Mom, I don’t remember that at all!” Thank God!

  37. 146

    Jay says

    I never realized how much of a yeller I was until a few days ago. My son did something completely silly – something that shouldn’t have gotten me upset, but due to a stressful day at work and with side projects and with mommy working a lot of hours and not being at home very often, I yelled at him. And I guess I’d been doing it pretty regularly, because he immediately put his hands to his ears and started crying.

    He was afraid of me, and it broke me.

    The day before he went on a two week trip to his grandparents out of town, I made the commitment that I wasn’t going to yell at him after reading this article and realizing that I was doing the exact same thing. Needless to say, we had an incredible day together, and I felt like the dad I know I should be in my heart.

    I’m with you on this journey, and I just signed up to start the Orange Rhino challenge when he and his mom get back from visiting his grandparents. Thank you for posting this – it’s something I intend to reference frequently as I try and be the dad I need to be.

  38. 147


    Just wanted to let you know that I stumbled upon this blog post via a friend’s share on Facebook. Not sure what made me click on that particular Facebook share …maybe it was something as simple as “why not” or maybe something else…not sure. But I will tell you this…I am a dad that loves his two girls (4 and 7) with every bit of his heart and soul. But I too have had those moments of shame that you described.

    Thank you so much for sharing this story as I am sure it was hard to write. Your words and story impacted me today and I will be a better dad because of it…because I have been a yeller and just like you it’s because I am too busy. My mind is always racing with the millions of other things I have on my agenda for that day and days beyond. When I read your story – I saw myself…and I too will change. No more yelling.

    Thanks again.

  39. 148

    Jenny says

    Thank you again for a beautiful,truthful post. 🙂 I feel as though you were writing about me. I too have consciously made an effort to stop yelling about a year ago. Our entire household as benefited from this and life is much lighter and less stressful,although I carry guilt still about my yelling temper tantrums in the past. My daughters are 4 and 6 now and our relationships are stronger and our bonds are magical now. <3 Like you mentioned,it is so nice to hear that other GREAT WONDERFUL Mothers have been through similar situations. I read your Facebook posts every morning with my coffee and it starts my day off with a positive and inspiring note. Thank you for your honesty. It keeps me honest with myself. Off to the park today with my blackberry tucked comfortably at the bottom of my bag. 🙂 Have a lovely day!

  40. 149


    Thankyou for your honesty. I wish everyone could be as open about parenting as you have in this article. We hold onto a lot of guilt because of these things we find ourselves doing out of desperation. I yelled too much last year. Last year was a bad year. This year is much better. In a world where I wish Dads could break down and cry at a parent meeting because the kids have been “tough” this morning, your article has meant a lot to me. It is a giant relief to know that I/we are not alone in our struggles to be the “perfect” parent. Thankyou.

  41. 150


    your posts always make me cry! They are so real and it’s as if I can feel every emotion that wells up inside of you during each of these moments! Thanks for sharing.

  42. 151

    Trish says

    I just discovered your marvelous blog. I’ve made a commitment to be more conscientious how I come across to my kids AND to my spouse! He has been my “safe” one to let go on. I don’t shout. I know the sound of my voice makes him feel like I think he’s dumb or stupid for saying or doing whatever he just said or did. How ugly I am! I’m so focused on the kids that he’s not getting the affection (etc) he wants or needs. He’s my valued partner in raising loving kids…what example and role model am I? Your blog on yelling got me thinking. Hey, thank you! My husband and kids can wonder what happened, what got into me, and most likely will be hoping it will last. Me too.

  43. 152



    THIS is the post I’ve been waiting for you to write. It really shows a different side of you, but one that so many others can relate to…and it gives them hope and inspiration for a better connection with their kids. Beautiful!

  44. 153


    I stumbled across your blog a couple months ago and I’m so glad I did. Isn’t it the times in life we need it most that things suddenly pop up to help? This was really something. It truly touched me. I so desperately want to create a home that is safe and fun. Even if mistakes are made, I want my children to know that I will always love them and they can come to me for help, comfort, and counsel. Thank you for writing this. I know it must have been difficult to share but this was absolutely for me. Thank you =]

  45. 154


    Thank you for this, today. I am in a hard space at the moment– not liking parts of who and how I am right now– and I loved reading this amazing piece about forgiveness and growth .

  46. 155

    Kris says

    I am a grandma (who works FT) caring for my granddaughter. I love her so very much but my patience leaves much to be desired. I despise myself when I explode. I continually pray for help and forgiveness. I’m working hard to improve and your posts encourage me. I want my granddaughter to have more good things to remember about me than yellling. Thanks for sharing your life with all of us.

  47. 156

    Connie says

    Thank you for this honest and inspiring post. As I read it, I am thinking particularly of my son (4), whom I find I am harder on than my daughter (2). Until my daughter was born, I recall having patience with him and a much more positive perspective. Since my daughter was born though, I have become a yeller and, being the older of the two, he sees the majority of my frustration. Recently, my son asked me, “do you still love me?” after an incident where I yelled at him. It broke my heart. I suddenly realized what I was doing to my children by yelling and don’t know whether I will ever be able to forgive myself for causing him to question my love for him. Since then, I have focused on not yelling, trying to find more positive responses and ways to show my children that no matter what, I will love them unconditionally. This post comes at such an important time for me and I am inspired by your perspective and will use it to help me in my journey. Thank you for helping me to make everyday a Mother’s Day!

    • 157

      me says


      I felt and feel the same way, that I was a much better and patient parent to my son before I had my daughter. I like to think I delivered out all my patience with her!

      Thank you for sharing. It has helped so much to hear that others are on this exact journey too and that we all want to do the best we can for our little ones.

  48. 158

    Carly Sadri says

    Sweet mama-wisdom. Thank you for taking the lead and encouraging us all to join. Your words bring awareness to my life in the places where I want to change.

  49. 159

    Vanessa says

    I so needed this today! Thank you. I have adopted a ‘no yelling’ policy too, and so far have been quite successful. Letting go of the small stuff is a daily struggle for me. My ‘OCD’ of having to maintain a clean house makes my struggle with ‘letting go’, somewhat of a challenge. Your article was just what I needed as a reminder that many moms go through the exact same thing and that I am not alone. Day by day reminders (such as yours) equals another day with a happier child who can go about her day being less than perfect…and that is perfectly okay!

  50. 160

    sondra says

    This is amazing. Thank you for writing this. Something I sure needed to hear because I have found myself in that situation and I am NOT proud of it. This is encouraging and I commend and respect you for posting this

  51. 161

    Sam says

    Keep writing.
    I wish we had internet and blogs when my kids were young.
    All of you, you are part of a huge change for the good.
    I don’t know any of you, and you bring me to tears with sharing your truths, beginning the discussions, that spread like a wildfire of love, as you find solutions that take away the hurt, and leave us in a much better place on Earth. Good for us all. Thank you. Blessings on each of you and your precious families.

  52. 162

    Natasha X says

    Two years ago, my 4 yr old son told me “I love you, but I just don’t like when you yell at me”…that was Mother’s Day honest comment. After two years on the journey similar to yours, I got a booklet from my son on Mothers Day that says “One thing about mommy is that she loves me and her favorite thing to do is hugs and kisses”…I cried, of course. I know I am not perfect and still have plenty of room to improve but I think I turned the ship around as far as how they see me and what they receive from me now.

  53. 163


    It’s all true. And congrats to you for looking at yourself and saying I want to be this way and being it. I have had those moments too. We are in the middle of a move. We moved last year this time and had a baby. I usually feel pretty good about patience and not being mad at my kids and taking a breath, but this morning was not one of them. So, although we are moving and things are crazy right now, it doesn’t give me the right to go off at my kids. I also wrote something last year about savoring a moment and it was right before we were moving. Maybe it can be of help to anyone.

  54. 165

    Alissa says

    Thank you.
    I am a yeller. I have recently come to see how much that defines the way I parent. And your description about how distraction leads to yelling is spot on. When I’m distracted checking my messages or thinking about the “next thing,” I’m unable to take the time to truly engage my kids. Instead of talking to them eye to eye, I yell from another room. Is it any wonder that they don’t follow-through on whatever little task I’m requesting? And then I get frustrated that we’re behind schedule or whatever and the yelling cycle continues.

    I’m working on it. All of it – less distraction, more engagement, more eye contact, less yelling.

    And, I’m really seeing improvement. In myself and in my kids. I like myself much more this way and I know my kids do, too. Thank you Rachel!

  55. 166

    Samantha says

    Thank you so much. I needed to see this today. When I became a mother, I promised myself I would not be a yeller, but more and more lately, I find myself doing exactly that. Seeing the look on my daughter’s face this morning after raising my voice was heartbreaking. We were running late (not her fault, mine!), she was dawdling, and my lack of patience got the better of me. I yelled at this precious little person who just wanted to be like mama and find and wear her “jewelry” to daycare. Your post really puts life in perspective. I don’t want this to be how my daughter remembers her childhood!

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    Patrick Bertlein says

    I appreciate your article, became a step-dad about six months ago. My step-kids mom got cancer, and I had to step in to help out.

    This is not my first time living with a partner with children, but last time I was much younger and not mature enough. One thing that I felt while reading your article, was how to talk to children about how their actions may lead to frustration. I’m not talking about guilt and shame here, but responsibility. Of course, we like to believe that only we can make ourselves upset, but when we are stressed, in a rush, or trying to focus on work, the facts are at times what the child is doing is what leads to our frustration.

    I believe that parenting is teamwork with the child, its trying to provide for them and be the best parent you can for them, providing a service. We also have our needs though, our lives outside of parenting, and things that have to get done. Teaching children that it helps US to avoid doing things that will make us frustrated or yell teaches them both responsibility and accountability. It allows them the opportunity to recognize how their actions impact other people, and what they can do to allow us all to live peacefully together. A family is a team that has to work together, and by being firm and expressing how we feel we teach children, above all, to be human.

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    Selina Hoover says

    ”Pause and look, really look into their eyes.” I was not taught or showed that as a child but I will model that as a Momma and wife…thanks Rachel!

  58. 169

    Jeni says

    This spoke to my heart at just the right time, a time of desperation. I’m pregnant with #2 and overall feel miserable, my son is 3 years old and so precious, but scared because of the same reasons you listed. I went to bed last night thinking of what a terrible mother I have turned out to be and how horrible it is that I’m bringing another child into this mess. I know I have too many distractions, amd I love my children with every ounce of my being, but yelling and then turning around to tell my son how much I love him is teaching him such confusing and conflicting things. I am going to strive to change, and have already committed myself to it. Thank you for this post and the timing of it, it hit home and means far more than you will know. Thank you for showing me that there is hope after all.

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    blessedbytwo says

    Life changing…Thank you for sharing your some of your most private moments here…You have helped many people see the light and want to change…

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    I finished reading this with a tear in my eye.
    I was a yeller until I quite having any refined sugar in my diet. It made me lose control. I am so much more balanced when I refrain from ingesting it.

    I wish I had known about EFT tapping when my children were small. I am now using with my adults children to help heal the emotional hurts they sustained with me as their mother.

    Here is a page that explains and teaches how to do it at no cost.

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    Sarah says

    Thank you for this post!! I have a two year old and lately I find myself getting frustrated with small things that mean nothing. Thanks for being so open!! I am striving to be hands free momma!!

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    Tiffany says

    I read that and cried. I saw myself in every example. I am trying so hard to make that change. Some days are easier than others. I just hope that as time goes on, I will have more easy days than hard days. Thanks for this post.

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    This was like a slap in the face to me. I was abused, verbally and physically, by my adoptive mom. My biggest fear about becoming a mom myself was turning into her. Thankfully, I have not. I do not beat my kids, I do not yell hateful things at them … but I do yell (I have, sadly, occasionally screamed t00). I have no reason to, really. My kids (almost five and two-and-a-half) are just being kids. They both have their own quirks — the oldest one repeats questions many many times, even after being given an answer and the youngest one freaks out if dirt gets on his hands — that drive me batty. In the older one’s case, he cannot help it; it’s part of his sensory issues, but I still want to yell at him to shut up. It drives me crazy.

    I am doing better, but I have a long way to go. I have to realize that their telling me the same story for the fourth time that day (the older one wants to relate every single aspect of a story) is more important than checking on FB or reading a book. I have to realize that I am blessed that the older one, who was a delayed speaker, will actually sit and tell me stories. I have to realize that one day, the boys will be grown up, and they may not come to me for answers. I need to realize that there is nothing they can do that is worth yelling at them (although I WILL yell/scream at them if I see them about to do a dangerous thing if it’s the only way they will hear me). They are my blessings from God and I need to treat them that way, all the time.

    • 177

      Abigail says

      A tip for the question asker, respond with, “You know the answer.” It instills a sense of pride that you, their Mum, know that they know and it means you don’t have to answer the question again. It’s very natural for them to repeatedly ask questions, it’s how they learn, explore, discover. They’re human sponges who are soaking up from you.

      Well done for trying so hard to be a good Mum, despite the example you were given. Wanting to be is more than half the battle, I’m sure you’re doing a great job with God’s precious gift to you.

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    Paulina says

    Gracias Rachael! I’m still wiping my tears for I can so recognize myself in every word you wrote. Thank you! Looking forward to reading your columns. I’m in that process myself and God knows I need encouragement!

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    Julie says

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I started the Orange Rhino challenge 9 days ago (7 of 9 have been non-yelling days) thanks in part to people willing to post things such as this. I, too, look back in pain wondering how I could have said some of the things I’ve said to my precious children, now 5 and 7. And I’ve seen the fear in their eyes like you describe. Thank you for being vulnerable and putting your story out there, because it is so helpful to those of us who have the same struggle. I know the important thing is that I’m finally committed to this challenge and there has been progress. My husband said it was a much better week in the house. How terrible that I have had such a negative impact on the household, that not yelling for even the first 3 days made such a noticeable difference. Here’s to becoming the best non-yelling moms we can be. Goodbye perfection. Hello compassion.

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    Thank you for sharing this. I am a yeller. I am working on being a better mommy to my 3 through prayer and patience and seeing things through a child’s eyes. Like you, I’ve seen that look of fear in my children’s eyes. I don’t ever want to see that again.

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    Rebecca says

    This is such a good reminder that it is never to late to start again. I’m a yeller, not as often now that my kids are in school, but it’s not the kind of mom I hoped to be. On mothers day my 6 yr old brought home one of those fill in the blank stories about their mom. The line that made me want to change was: “What’s one thing your mom always says to you?” He wrote “Hurry up”. I know those sheets are suppose to be funny at the silly things kids say, but I felt ashamed because that’s the thing he’s most internalized so far, not I love you or something else positive. It’s good that you showed that it’s not just when there was chocolate on the counter that you worked at holding your cool, but also when something majorly frustrating and irreversible happened. Those are the ones I have a harder time with, and somehow justify to myself more, but I think they are the really important milestones. Good job!

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    Jeanne says

    Thank you for having the courage to share this. I am not a parent myself but, due to my sister-in-law’s unexpected passing about 7 months ago, I have become a very hands-on aunt to my brother’s 3 children (11, 9, 6) since all 4 of them moved into the house with me and my aging father. My once carefree, yet orderly (I am a self-proclaimed anal retentive control freak with OCD tendencies), life had been turned upside down by these heart-broken, amazing, yet at times frustrating children. I found myself, in my chaos and frustration, turning to yelling more often than I liked. As we’ve achieved a better balance in the topsy-turvy household, and as I’ve started letting go of perfection, it’s gotten better. But I’m going to work harder on not yelling, because I don’t want them to learn that behavior from me. Thank you again.

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    Sarah Schwartz says

    Wow. Thank you so so much for sharing your story! I am working very hard to not yell at my 2 year old when I lose my patience and your blog post & shared resources are such a huge encouragement! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who hits the steering wheel or wants to rage & yell sometimes. I thought I had something wrong with me! I am so grateful for your time in so thoughtfully sharing your lesson!.

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    Erica L. says

    What an awesome post! It definitely made me do some thinking about how I need to step back and think before acting. Having a 2 1/2 year old can be stressful, but where would I be without her!?!?! Thank you for writing this, I really needed to read it.

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    Amie says

    This post, that I just pulled up randomly on facebook, really touched me. As I was reading this, I saw myself completely… the way you use to be, is the way I am right now. I hate it that I lose control and yell. Ive seen the fear in my children… them knowing im about to yell. I hated it, I feel so guilty. I want to change. I need to for the sake of my children and myself. Reading your post is so encouraging for me. I just need to remember they are children and we all make mistakes. Thank yiu for posting this … its exactly what I needed!

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    Breaking the Cycle says

    Thank you for your honest post. I am a yeller, and have always wished I wasn’t. I never knew where to begin learning not to yell, I am overwhelmed with learning to be a new “me”. This post has inspired me to learn to stop yelling, and for once, I feel like I can succeed. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for your encouragement. My child and my husband will thank you!

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    Sara says

    Thank you for writing this. I am crying after reading it because it really hits home. You are a success my friend and I will follow along right behind you. You have so much to be proud of and inspired by…..yourself. I know I need to work on the anger/yelling thing too. Our children are our most precious gift and I know I can’t afford to be anything to him but a loving, supportive mom — leading by the power of example of how to deal with life….

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    A beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it. I am on the verge of becoming a yeller. As my daughter chooses to assert her independence, things take longer…much much longer…to do than before. It’s a learning process to let things go, to plan more time, and to constantly remind myself that she’s just a little child and is doing the right thing by learning to do things on her own. So thank you for your candor. It helps to know that other parents struggle to balance their wishes with their children’s actions.

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    Tiffanie says

    I’m crying because I’m totally a yeller to my 3 year old. And this made me reflect that I’m a yeller because my parents were yellers. I grew up in an abundance of love that was unspoken. We rarely said “I love you” or hugged – but I knew they loved me. As an adult, I’ve told my Mom that I sometimes flinch when she swings her hand near me. It’s a reflex, I don’t even mean to flinch – I haven’t been spanked in quite some time, lol (I’m 29). I’ve noticed that when my daughter does something wrong, she immediately runs or crouches into a ball. But it didn’t bother me. Now I feel horrible. Thank you for this, I will start TODAY on no yelling. I’m going to try my best to make sure my baby knows that I love her too much for that.

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    Kelly says

    I am embarrassed, mortally, to say that I am a huge yeller…your post is very inspiring to me to change my ways. I too “lose it” when my kids do something wrong and do see the fear in their eyes and regret it terribly afterwards. I am going to use your knowledge and try and be a better parent for myself and for my children. Yelling gets us nowhere except more frustrated and feeling exhausted afterwards. Thank you for this article.

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    Thank you so much for writing this post. It gives me hope because in my effort not to yell I feel like I’m being walked all over by my two little ones some days. It gives me hope that it IS the right thing to do and that it will make a difference in the long run. Patience is not easy for me but I’m working on it.

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    Rachel says

    I am so happy to see a post like this. I have no children yet, but I am a 21 year old daughter of a yeller & have a bitter relationship with my mother because of it. As a child, even something as trivial as spilling a glass of water warranted being yelled at, or at least a mean comment from her. As I grew older I was unable to create a bond with my mother that allowed me to confide in her because of the fear that I would be yelled at. In fact, I still get yelled at by her as an adult. This made events like my high school graduation, wedding, & transferring colleges very stressful & tense in that any mistake made on my part was amplified & was yelled about. PLEASE do not yell at your children. It only causes fear, & eventually, bitterness & will ruin your relationship with them as they get older.

    • 199


      I’m sorry you had those experiences. But not yelling is easier said than done. You’ll find that when you’re a parent.
      I had oh so good intensions when my children were little but I still heard my mother coming out of my mouth. And my children would push my buttons because of my childhood experiences.
      You may want to release the hurt that your mother inflicted on you before you have your own children then it will be easier to be the parent that you really want when you get to that stage.
      I wish I had known about EFT tapping when I was younger. It’s a wonderful technique. Easy to learn and do. you can learn it here

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    Nina Alviar says

    Thank you so much. I am sobbing with grief and also relief. I am not alone, you have the answer I have been searching for about WHY I fall back into yelling even though I have been working so hard at not yelling (and I will give myself kudos that the severity is SO much less) I still find myself crumpled in a guilt ridden heap once in a while because I did it to them again. I too need to scale back and focus on what is really important. I also appreciate your reassurance that it isn’t too late and the scars my earlier yelling may have left can heal (that keeps me up at night.)
    Thank you again – now I have hope that I can actually be consistent in being a refuge for my children.

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    MaryPat says

    Right before I clicked the link to read this, I had a huge yelling fit at my 9yr old! I have often felt as you describe…out of control screaming at the little people you should love the most. I wonder what is wrong with me, but reading this gives me hope that I can change, too! Thank you for sharing and I’m so glad I came across this post! Now, off to hug my baby!

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    Ana says

    Thank you for posting this. For years I have felt such guilt for similar ways I reacted to my children when they were young. Running late and my son coming out of his bedroom with a head full of mousse and my reaction being anything but supportive. He was so proud of himself for fixing his own hair and I was so caught up in life outside of my children that I yelled at him as I was trying to wash the mousse out of his hair. I’m crying as I type this because that is a memory I will take to my grave. Who does that? What was the big deal if he went to pre-k with crunchy hair? I never did it again. I guess that was the lesson I had to learn; at my child’s expense. He was 4 when that happened, now 20 and we have a great relationship. I’m not saying I was perfect for either of my kids after that but I woke up every day telling myself to be the mom my kids deserve.

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    Tina says

    It’s so inspiring to see this post. I am a yeller as well. It’s so heartbreaking to see them be afraid of you. I try to be better and it is still a work in progress. It breaks me when my 3 year old asks if I am angry. It hard raising kids on your own with your partner away at work and has other obligations. Thank you for being an inspiration.

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    Molly says

    Your post really hit home with me! When you described your daughter’s face, fearing your angry response, it brought me back to how I had that exact fear as a child and I’ve seen it in my 4 year old son. Yelling is something I struggle with, but I’ve been working really hard to change over the last year. I realized that my yelling not only caused pain to my kids, but my son was starting to yell too. All of a sudden it hit me that he was yelling because he was imitating my behavior, and I didn’t like what I saw. I was asking him to be more respectful and kind when I didn’t have the self-control to show the same courtesy.

    I still have a long way to go, but reading your story reminds me how much is at stake if I don’t change the way I react when my kids make normal kid mistakes or poor choices. I want to give them grace, and inspire them to live that way with others. Thank you yet again for another beautiful, encouraging post!

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    I can’t even begin to tell you how moved I am by this post…it is beyond words! It was on a friend’s FB status…I haven’t been paying much attention to FB lately but today I scrolled through and I am SO thankful because I found your post/blog! Thank you for sharing your heart and your stories…today you made a difference in my life and I’m sure many others out there. Thank you!

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    Molly says

    One thing I’ve found that helps both me and my children after a yelling episode is for me to apologize and ask their forgiveness. The wonderful thing about young children is that they easily extend forgiveness when asked. And I find that admitting my mistake helps heal the wound I just caused by yelling, and shows them that no one is perfect and it’s ok to admit mistakes.

    • 208


      I so agree. I used to do that and my now grown daughter told me that she really appreciated that I did that.
      You cannot take back the words you said but at least it goes some way to making amends.

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    Sandra says

    This made me cry, and I appreciate it. I thought about my little 3 year old as she struggled to put up 3 fingers when I asked her (yelled) how old she was after she didn’t listen to me this morning. I should get up earlier and make the morning less stressful but instead I’m frustrated with a 3 year who wants to take a few minutes to splash in puddles.

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    Tiffany says

    I’m about to break-down just reading this!! I was actually on the hunt today online for inspirational book on yelling.. I have 3 children a 6 yr old a 4 yr old and a 1 yr old. My husband is in the army and never home and I”m the stay at home parent and I yell all the time! and then I hate myself so much for doing it but I suppose it’s exhaustion and frustration. My 4 yr old (only girl) cries for EVERYTHING! I can be like go get your shoes and she will just be like I can’t find them sit on the floor and start crying and I just loose it. I have tried the counting to 10 take deep breaths method and i just explode! My husband has noticed that i yell alot to, he prefers not to even come home because of so much yelling and crying. I will for sure be looking into the orange rhino challange. Thank you so much!

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    Jen says

    Mysterious ways….I sit here, silently sobbing, as I read your post, as I hit rock bottom with the yelling monster inside me just yesterday. Hoarse, I cried myself to sleep last night with feelings of self loathing and fear of tomorrow and curled up in a blanket of shame. I needed this post today, at the end of my rope with the magical, messy faced, sticky handed miracle that winds himself between my legs playing dinosaur vs. race car as we speak. I am not at the end of my rope with him, I’m at the end of screaming. This post, THIS POST of yours is exactly what I needed to confirm that. Mysterious ways, I tell ya. Thank you.

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    Tara says

    Thank you for this story. I teared up as I read “She’s afraid of me”. I have 4 children, ages 4, 7, 7, and 9. Yes. Twins. BOYS. The oldest and the twins fight and argue ALL THE TIME and it drives me nuts! The youngest is a girl and they like to pick on her quite often. She’s tough. She fights back. The thing that’s most difficult for me, is when I tell them TO do something, or NOT to do something and they flat out ignore me. When I have to repeat myself 20 times. When that doesn’t work, I scream at them, and they go do it right away. I remind and ask them, “Do you want me to yell? then do it NOW please”. THem not listening is the thing I complain about the most. HOW do you NOT yell? I’ve tried corners, and everything else I can find online to let them know that what they’re doing isn’t acceptable. I TRY SO HARD every day, but a mother of 4, who has a husband who works opposite shift as me, I’m home with them every night alone, left to clean, cook dinner, help with homework, clean up, etc. AND I work FT and with drive time, am gone 50 hours a week, and dont’ forget working out in the morning before work. My plate is FULL, and I don’t expect perfection. I just want some form of peace. lol If you have any ideas on what do do instead of yelling when they’re screaming and fighting with each other ALL THE TIME. I need ear plugs!! lol
    Thank you for your post- I know it’s not easy to announce that to the internet world. 😉

    • 213

      Molly says

      It sounds like you’ve got so much going on! I don’t know if this is helpful or will work with your kids, Tara, but I can totally relate to you with kids fighting and ignoring what I say. My son (4) has been physically mean to my daughter (2) literally since the day we brought her home from the hospital. As a newborn, she’d be laying on the floor and he’d walk over and step on her, or scratch her face, drawing blood. Now that she’s older, he does different things but he still goes out of his way to hurt her, often completely unprovoked. Of course now, they argue with each other too. As far as the ignoring, I too was going nuts when he acted like I wasn’t even talking to him. All these things often drove me to yell (mostly at him) because they were happening non-stop and it really bothered me that he wouldn’t stop hurting my daughter.

      I came to a point where I realized I didn’t want to be a yelling parent anymore because I hated it and feared my parents when they yelled at me. I still have a long way to go, but I wanted to share something that has helped his behavior. I know it will be different with your kids because they’re older, but hopefully you can tweak it to make it work. We had to find something to really motivate my son, and something he didn’t have to wait days/weeks for to see the reward. In his case, it is iPad time, which is something he doesn’t get very often. We have a jar that starts with 5 balls each morning and he earns or loses one based on how quickly he obeys me, or how nice/mean he is to his sister. Listening the first time I ask him to do something gets him a ball (this can be as simple as getting dressed or puting his coat on before we need to leave. If I ask a 2nd time, I warn him he’s about to lose a ball. By the 3rd time, I take one away, and he keeps losing them if he continues to refuse. If he offers to help or share a toy with his sister, I give him a ball. If he hits or or takes something away and ignores me when I tell him to give it back, he loses one. I don’t have to yell or repeat myself 20 times because the balls communicate the message for me. I tell him when I give/take one so his behavior has immediate consequences. At the end of each day, if he has 5+ balls, he gets 20 minutes of iPad time before bed. Less balls and he gets no iPad time all day. Not to say that I never yell anymore, but this has really helped. Another thing that helps me, although I know not everyone believes, is that I pray for God to help me yell less and be a better parent for my kids.

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    Colleen says

    Thank you so much for all your inspiring posts but especially this one. It really hit home. Now if I can just figure out how to go more “hands free” and/or have the guts to make it happen! 🙂

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    Stacy M Garris says

    Thank you! I deeply appreciate your transparency about a struggle that began to rear it’s all to familiar face in our home. As a survivor of severe physical & sexual abuse screaming & yelling was the norm for my now deceased father. It was his own personl demons within, that became our nightmare for decades. The Lord delivered me from this habit after I had my reflection moment as you can understand. I was unaware at first from where were these this overwhelming feelings of anger & frustration of emotions were coming from & my almost inability to stop this from ever happening again. Until I had a day as you described. I was becoming the nightmare i lived through to my children. Thank you dear one for sharing this unspoken truth that can bring shame. I yielded to the Lord and continue to do, so the old me remains in the past & I become the image of love & security my family deserves and I strive to be each & every day. Many blessings♥.

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    Lloyd Neale says

    Wow! What a powerful writing piece my dear friend. This is definitely an example of how God can change the heart, soul and mind of a remarkable individual regardless of their journey in parenting. I teach a parenting class at my church every Tuesday evening and was delighted to share your story with 30+ parents last night. I must tell you there were so many with tears in their eyes as a read your story and I had to stop on numerous occasions to clear my throat. You provided a powerful evening of teaching & sharing where everyone made a pledge to God to help them be a “Rachel Parent” as one mother put it. You continue to be a blessing Rachel!

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    Laura says

    This was a lovely story, so glad I took time to read it. I am not a screamer but I can see other ways I need to slow my life down and take time for what is important.
    As an aside, my mom was a screamer, oh my she yelled and screamed at us all the time, me and my brother in particular. She’s very sorry now she did it. I’m 57 and I still suffer from PTSD because of being screamed at, as does my 42yro best friend.
    Keep up the good work!

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    I’m a frequent yeller. And I don’t want to be. My husband and I have been talking much about this. Thanks for reminding me I’m not alone and there is redemption and hope.

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    Thank you for this post. I have been actively changing the way I deal with my son. My yelling was scary for him and made me feel guilty afterwards- especially when he would say ‘I’m really sorry mum that I made you angry’. This post is inspirational and will definitely help me on my road to recovery!

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    I'm off to hug my 7 and 9 year old and take them out to play jump rope.

    Thank you for your heart. And this inspired post.


  97. 222


    Absolutely bawling. I needed to read this and I don’t even know how I got here. I have been struggling a great deal with this very thing. Today has been the worst – I feel like I’m losing my children because of the way I yell. I’m so overwhelmed. I feel like the worst parent in the world. I don’t know why I feel so angry all of the time.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I shared it with my husband and will be doing some serious reflection.

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    Thank you so much for this post. Makes me want to cry. I hate myself when I get into yelling mode. Kids get scared and my daughter says that I’m not nice anymore. I figure it’s my tone that I’m using that makes me mean 🙁 I will save this and check out the link that you mentioned.

  99. 224


    Thank you for sharing such an incredible and insightful post. As we’ve just rounded our first year as “special needs” parents, a year that was also met with immense professional demands, the yelling has grown and grown. I want to print your post out and paper our house with it. Thank you so much.

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    Christina says

    I really needed to read this today. I need to be reminded that the little things that my kids do…are just little things. I never wanted to be a yeller.
    I still don’t want to be a yeller.
    I will NOT be a yeller. (anymore!)
    Definitely checking out those other sites you mentioned.
    Thank you for posting this!

  101. 227

    Marie says

    My mother yelled, a lot. She was a rager and I have spent most of my life focused on healing childhood traumas and the inevitable pain they cause down the line. This was powerful to read. Thank you.

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    Dee says

    I’m crying because you have given me hope. Your children forgave you for who you used to be….and see who you are now. I thought all was lost…that damage was done and would always be. I can’t thank you enough for your honesty. You have truly touched my heart and have helped me. Bless you – Dee

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    amanda says

    well, I needed this more than ever. As much as I wish with my whole heart it wasn’t so. I have an 18 month old and 6 month old. With that said, it can be hectic, loud, and no down time whatsoever. I just got frustrated trying to put them to sleep and have to stop myself from the urge to just scream! it breaks my heart to ever think I can get so flustered at these little precious lives. this post brought me right back to the mind frame I need to be in always. just thank you.

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    Eva says

    Thank you!
    I have struggled since having kids with “loosing it” and I am made to feel like I am a horrible parent and I feel like a horrible parent when I am yelling at them – I don’t want to do that. It isn’t who I am and it isn’t who I want to be.
    Early last year, I started seeing a hypnotherapist – it was awesome! She helped me and gave me some techniques that I can use when things escalate. We still have our moments but things have been so much better. One of the main things is to know what your “rage trigger” is – mine is when I am really tired – I get oversensitive. So knowing that, I can organise that things are done before I hit the tiredness stage (usually in the afternoon) etc.
    This is a great post and it really hit home! I want to be the mum that are there for my kids and that the kids feel they can come to for help.
    Thanks Again! 🙂

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    Angie says

    I wish I could say that no more yelling for me, but I know drawing that line in the sand is just a perfection marker that I will miss. I will continue to put myself in timeout, the bathroom, my room until I am calm. I will continue to seek forgiveness from them and myself and God every time I lose it! Even as I read this, I got overwhelmed with my kids just being kids. One day, I’ll look back and realize that I don’t yell that much, but until I can see it in hindsight, I’m going to keep trying and not making promises that I will never do that again.

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    Amber says

    Thank you for sharing such an inspiring post. You are so brave in admitting what many of us probably do as parents. I am a teller myself and feel like I have to live up to some kind of expectation and do everything. My husband reminds me that he doesn’t care if the house is untidy or things aren’t done, he reminds me that my main job, when I’m not working, is to look after the children. I sometimes forget this and feel my main priority is making sure the house looks ok and clothes are clean. You have given me hope that I can change and that its not too late. I should really do a behavior chart for myself (like I do for the kids) and reward myself for not yelling/flying off the handle after so many days. Thank you once again

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    Cindy says

    Thank you so much for you words of wisdom, this was very hard to read. I am currently sleep deprived with a sick child so a little emotional right now. I am a mother of 3 and I yell every day at my 2 older children as they fight with each other all the time and they break things a lot. I know this about my self and I want to change, I try very hard and I Hate this part of myself. I want to be the mother than can talk to at any time of their life. Reading this was hard for me as I saw myself in you and I cried like I haven’t cried in months. My new goal is to go 30 days of no yelling..If I get there I will make it 6 months! Give me strength.

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    I teared up when I read your recollection of seeing the fear in your daughter’s eyes. I remember the heart-in-my-throat terror I felt as a child (and into my young adulthood) whenever my dad was “in a mood.” I never, ever want my children (or any child, for that matter) to experience even an inkling of that fear. Thank you for sharing so bravely … and for doing the hard work of self-discipline and self-control.

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    Aline says

    My ex-husband is a yeller. The yelling definitely contributed to the ex status. Yelling is emotionally costly. Great post!

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    Andrea says

    Not sure how I found my way to this story but it is EXACTLY what I needed to hear. Thank you so much for writing this and letting us “yellers” know that we are not alone and it is possible to change.

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    Angie says

    Thank you so, so much. I have been trying, but reading your story helps that much more. Thanks again.

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    Kirstie says

    I hate myself for yelling but I often feel like I can’t stop myself from doing it. I get so caught up in the emotion and getting it all out, but then I can’t always remember what caused it in the first place. I LOVE the idea of “the moment of impact” you mentioned above, Hands Free Mama. Yes I CAN pull back before I allow hurtful words to reach my beautiful boy. I have added that one to my notes from this post and underlined it!

    But for me, I knew I also needed a constant tangible reminder. I tried painting my nails blue (thanks to Orange Rhino!), but the paint chipped off and so did my resolve. Then I stumbled across a company on the Awesomely Awake blog (yet another inspirational Mama) that makes silver bracelets with hand-stamped mantras. I don’t know your stance on mentioning business names on your blog, so I won’t do it (although it most definitely is not my business).

    Anyway, after one particularly stressful day filled with those normal mishaps and typical kid issues you mentioned, I showed them to my husband and said “THIS is what I need for Mother’s Day”. He bought me two (bless him): “Live in the moment” and “Peace comes from within”. I have been wearing them every day, and the soft jingle jangle sound reminds me of the path I have chosen. It’s such a simple reminder, I love that sound :>. Of course it’s not easy, I still have my moments, but it’s only been a few weeks and I am in it for the long haul.

    And then you wrote this post, Hand Free Mama. Thank you for the most perfect post at the most perfect time. I am well and truly in the midst of my breakthrough moment! I can do this. I can be the mum I want to be. I can be the mum my son deserves to have.

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    CZ says

    Thank you. Thank you for your vulnerability, and for pinpointing everything I know to be wrong with me, and the reminder that it is never too late to fix it.
    I love my children. They are the reason I get up in the morning. Like all the other mothers commenting here, I hate myself when I yell, and step back later thinking I really don’t know that person, or want to know her. Life’s frustrations, distractions, financial stress…they all get in the way, factors contributing to hurting those we love the most. We need the reminders that we are not alone, that it hurts us, that we don’t need to hate ourselves because change IS possible. Thank you for providing hope and support. God bless you.

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    Michael Robinson says

    Maybe if you hadn’t become so self-involved in the first place you wouldn’t have become that person. You should never over commit yourself and never, ever put your commitments above or before your children.

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    Candi says

    10 mins ago I had never heard of you, never saw your blog, or your facebook page… 10 mins ago I didn’t know that my life was going to be changing. I’ve had inklings of it recently: laying in bed late at night after finally winding down from a long day or just living with my homeschooled 9yr old daughter (who hates doing lessons, and pretty much dislikes everything about her 3yr old sister) & my 3yr old little girl (who wants to know everything about the world and never wants to stop talking about it LOL) I’d realize how much I wish I could have taken back some moments of our day, how I wished I could just go crawl into their beds and hug them in the quiet… moments more and more when I realize I need to get off the dang computer, put away the projects, and just BE with my girls. Hearing my 3yr old say “in a minute” over and over and realizing she learned that from me, seeing my older daughter cringe or write me a “please don’t be mad at me” note when she does something she knows will make me angry. Tears will roll down my eyes in these late night moments and yet the next day repeats the errors in my way. Not anymore. I’m pledging to you, dear stranger who just hopefully changed mine and my daughters’ lives. Nothing is more important then my girls, so why do I give everything else more of my time and attention so often? I won’t any longer. Everything else can wait, because they won’t… they will continue to grow up, and to grow up influenced by my actions (or lack of) no matter what else happens.
    Thank you. From the very bottom of my heart, for writing this article, and thank you to my FB friend for posting a link to it. It’ll take awhile, since I’m staying off the computer until my little angels are sleeping from now on, but I’ll be reading more on your blog and fb and know in my heart that right this minute our lives are changing. <3

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      And I will be cheering you on, my friend. Baby steps. That is how I started. One small step at a time. Putting away the distractions, the pressures, the to-do’s for just 10 minutes to BE with my children and soak up their words and their expressions. And in that 10 minutes I would see so clearly what really mattered and I would find the strength to do it again and again until my distractions no longer had a grip on me. I wish my book was already published so I could share it with you. In it, I share my story of how I transformed my distracted life into one of meaningful connection and fulfillment. Until then, please keep coming back for encouragement anytime you need it. There is hope. You are not alone.

      **To everyone who has commented here today by bravely sharing their own struggles and hopes for tomorrow, I am humbled and inspired by each one of you. There is so much hope here in this space tonight. The peaceful response is what we choose, and our lives and our children’s lives will reap the benefits of this choice. Tonight I go to bed with a hopeful heart because of you.

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    Marybeth Webb says

    I don’t have children yet but I find I yell at my husband frequently because by the time I get home the stress of the day has gotten to me and he ends up getting the brunt of it. I did this to my parents when I lived at home and I did this to my best friend when I worked with her for 5 years. I have felt guilty about it for years but just couldn’t make myself stop in the moment. Lately, I have been evaluating my life and have been thinking about the way I think. Someone shared this blog on their Facebook and, like I said, I don’t have children, I clicked on the link. Sometimes, I really do believe we’re meant to do certain things and I believe I was meant to read your post. Thank you!

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    CZ says

    And a special thank you, as well, to Erin. Your words could have been written for me. I am so scared of the damage I have done for the past 6 years of yelling(I believe it started when my youngest was 2). I want this change more than anything, so we can begin to heal. I want to have teenage daughters a few years from now who know they can come to me with trust, knowing I will not react in fear, anger or disappointment. Thank you everyone for your responses. The first step in this process is knowing how I am not alone.

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    R's Mom says

    Thank you so much for posting this! I just talked to my doctor today and the first thing he asked is if I am stressed or depressed. And now I read your post! It really hit home and I definately need to disconnect myself from the phone and computer to truly enjoy this time with my toddler. Thank you so much again!

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    I have never seen you or heard of you before. I saw this linked on Facebook and clicked. I also never leave comments. Like never.

    Thank you for writing this. It is very important.

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    Megan says

    Thank you for writing this. I’m sitting here in tears realizing how much I yell at my son…my precious 2 year old. My husband is deployed and I never yelled before he left. I guess the stress of doing it all alone when I wasn’t used to it just got to me. I’ve got to change…I see the same look of fear when he does something he shouldn’t have. He knows how mad I can get and that I’m going to yell at him. Tomorrow is a new day though and a chance to change for the better. Thank you again for writing this, I’m sure it wasn’t easy.

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    Susan Watson says

    I thank you for sharing your story. I was raised by a mother who was a ‘yeller’ and physically abusive. It began with yelling, then ultimately became abusive.My siblings and I were terrified of her. It was misery never knowing which small incident would set her off. My sister, brother and I made a pack as children, to never repeat the cycle. I am 57 years old now. I raised my children without fear. My sister and brother did the same. No, it wasn’t easy. ‘ Time out’ and ‘grounded’ were two over used words in our home. But, I am happy to say that it worked. All three of my children are loving, nurturing and happy parents themselves. Please remember to say ‘ I love you’ as often as you possibly can. This phrase cannot be over used. Thanks again,

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    sarah says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting me know I am not alone. I needed this and I want to change. This was inspirational. God bless you.

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    Jean Eve says

    Thank you for being so open and honest and vulnerable with us all. You have given many the opportunity to face their own faults and be completely honest with themselves…and then given them all hope for change. I, too, was a yeller when my children were small. They say you parent as you were parented because that is what you know…and I was yelled at until the time I married and left home.

    After a similar moment of revelation with my daughters, I decided to change my ways and started reading everything I could get my hands on about positive parenting. My relationships with my daughters are good now, but it took time for me to change and time for them to trust me again.

    The worst of it is I see my oldest daughter making the same wrong choices and yelling too much at her children. She has told me repeatedly she doesn’t want to be as I was, and I try to step in and calm her down when she gets overwhelmed and begins the yelling. To her credit she has always thanked me for doing so, and I hope by helping her in this way, together we are breaking this cycle of emotional violence.

    Again, thank you for being so transparent with your readers, You have done us all a service.

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    Ali S. says

    As I sit here alone in my room, looking through Facebook and randomly fliping through the tv channels; I run across this posted on FB. I have to say that I believe God brought you to me today.

    I have struggled with yelling my entire life. It’s not because I’m an angry person, it’s just because that is how I was raised. I know it may sound crazy, but I’ve never known of any other way to communicate. I often think “I have tried to break this vicious cycle”. I have always been too afraid to say anything to anyone, because I am so afraid for people to judge me.

    I have to honestly say that I believe you have helped change my life today. I feel so blessed to have read your powerful snd encouraging words. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for sharing. I know that I can stop yelling, take it one day at a time and keep this article handy (in case of emergency). I WILL stop yelling and raise caring, compassionate children, starting today.

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    Tess says

    I grew up in a home where yelling and actually physical violence where common. Not just in our home but our neighbourhood. Mothers frequently would give a child a “clip around the ear-hole” as a corrective device. When I first came to north America I thought parents were weak and ridiculous, reasoning with their children. So yelling and physical punishment were part of my parenting. Until the day I saw the fear in my daughter’s eyes and something frozen in side broke. I never yelled or hit after that – not once. Not ever. I learned to control my temper and vowed never ever to make my children live or feel what had been my reality as a child. Because that is what I saw – myself afraid and shrunken. My best parenting has come from this raw place. My two daughters are genuine, compassionate and strong young women and as they are now young mothers I see their calm patience and joy as such a promise of how we can break cycles….. So -thank you for your words – graceful, beautiful honest and healing.

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    Rachael says

    Wow. This is JUST what I needed to hear after 3 very rough days with my 5 kiddos but mostly after today. I had this moment a couple of times and I’d have to say that yelling doesn’t come close. So much chaos constantly and the fighting, and the whining, crying, fussing, not listening 24/7 I am absolutely 100% tapped out. My heart broke after my dinner time meltdown. Sometimes, and thankfully these moments are very rare and it takes days of frustration before my breaking point, it’s what it takes for them to know I mean business. My kids are such good sports. So not fair to them. Lots of stress being a part time single mom (I don’t know how you single moms and military wives do it!!!) and living in a house 500 times too small and my hands are tied. I look forward to tomorrow being a new day. Thank you for making me feel like I’m not alone!!!

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    Kim Flouhouse says

    My aha moment came when my son was around 8 probably and he and I were arguing, as we did almost every day, and I yelled at him, “Why are you arguing with me?” He yelled back, “Because that’s what you taught me to do!” I replied, more calmly after being smacked in the face with reality, “You’re right and I’m tired of arguing, so I’m done with this conversation.” I turned and walked away. Since that day, about 2 years ago, he and I have worked on not arguing as much. Oh we still have our moments but life is much better now. His sister doesn’t say, “I hate it when you two fight!”, nearly as often as she used to.

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    Tara says

    A friend shared this on Facebook today and I’m so glad she did. I am a rager. I, like you, feel like a horrible person as soon as the rant starts, but I can’t seem to stop. I will be using the resources you posted and praying that, I too, can fight the urge to rage. Prayers for you as well.


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    Jo says

    This made me cry. I lose it on a regular basis at my 11 year old daughter and it makes her cry.
    With her its not so much making mistakes but not listening. I feel she’s at the age where she can be taking more responsibility as I’m giving her more options and freedom to do her own thing.
    I try to give her choices rather than force her to do thing but I really take it personally when she is so ungrateful and doesn’t seem to realise what I am trying to do for her. She just focuses on the times I’m not letting her do what she wants.
    I know she’s still young and teenage years will know doubt be worse but its my behaviour I need to manage more. How do I stop yelling? If it was a bowl of spilled cereal I could cope with that easier than these issues of not doing what I ask or taking all the time in the world to get ready when we need to go somewhere. Help please. I don’t want to be an angry mama.

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      S. S. says

      When I read your comment, I thought of my boss, because she has an 11 year old daughter. While I can’t say how she copes with her daughter, she often gives me advice at work. The thing she always tells me when I feel I’m hitting road blocks, is “dig deeper” or “probe”. When you have a problem, break it down and figure out the root cause.

      So, if the problem is that your daughter is taking too long to get ready, find out why. Is she struggling with image issues and can’t decide what to wear?, Is she stalling because she doesn’t want to go to the place you are going? Is she constantly forgetting where she put her left shoe, or her jacket etc? Once you know the root cause you can cope with that much easier.

      If the problem is that you don’t feel she is listening to you, remember first of all that is your perception. She may be listening but not understanding you, just because you understand it, doesn’t mean she does. Just because it makes sense to you, doesn’t mean it makes sense to her. For example if you tell her to clean her room and she continues to leave it messy. You may understand that you are giving her more responsibility because she is getting more freedoms and needs to learn to be self reliant, but she sees it as, this is my room, I know where everything is, “whats the big deal”. The best advice I would give is to explain it to her the best that you can. For example you could say something like, in order for me to trust you with a later curfew/later bed time/wearing makeup/whatever, I need you to show me that you can be responsible for your own things. If you keep your room clean, picking up after yourself right away, it will be easier to keep clean, you will find things quicker and be ready on time, and you will show me that I can trust you.

      Just a suggestion, take it or leave it. I hope that everything works out for the best with you and your daughter!

      Stay strong, and remember to breathe.

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    I struggle with yelling everyday, but I’ve learned to become better with my daughter. This post is hopeful and inspiring to me bc I can’t believe that it’s only been 2.5 years since you went Hands-Free and there is already so much more wisdom, understanding, changes in attitude and perception of life that comes with being hands-free.

    Thank you so much for having the courage to share this post, that we may all learn from it.

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    Mitzi says

    You have been in my head, I just know it! My awareness of my own yelling came when I found my middle daughter weeping in the ladies bathroom at the church where I worked. Wrapping my arms around my then 5 year-old I asked what was wrong. Her answer? “Mommy, sometimes when you yell I feel like a horrible little girl.” I haven’t been perfect since then, but that memory has been very sobering. Thanks for your honesty and encouragement to young moms. Here in Texas we say, “Ya done good.”

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    Wenonah says

    Thank you so much for sharing this.

    I was a yeller when my oldest was young. I think part of it came out of my PPD, but it took one time when I saw myself through his eyes to realize that if I didn’t change, I would lose my little boy some day because how could he trust someone who yelled like I did.

    Thankfully, I was able to change. It gets better all the time.

    This post really means a lot to me because it is so hard to admit to having problems as a parent especially one as serious as a temper/yelling problem. I imagine that many don’t know where to go to get help, but knowing that there are other parents out there that struggle with the same thing means everything.

    Thank you.

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    Robyn says

    Wow. This hit so, so many chords for me. From my own childhood to raising kids now. Thank you for your courage to share. I’m going to pass this article to as many people as I can.

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    Steph says

    Thank you. For weeks I’ve been trying to find the strength to follow The Orange Rhino’s example. Shamefully, I let my distractions take priority and simply found it easier to yell. I also fooled myself into thinking that my strong, bitter tone was ok because I wasn’t yelling. Your story is my tipping point- you helped me better understand how hurtful my frustrated tone can sound to my amazing 3y.o., and fearing the damage it could do to our relationship, I know I can’t make excuses for one day more. So, on behalf of my family and my future relationships with my daughters, thank you.

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    Melody says

    Awesome! Thank you. Actually stopped in the middle of reading to go apologize to my almost-asleep precious daughter for some earlier not-so-kind words, an apology she graciously accepted with a final kiss goodnight.

    Keep up the writing!

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    Jennifer says

    Thank you for writing on this subject. It feels good to know that I am not alone – or that I am not the only one. For me, it was spot on – I could have written this myself. Today…is a new day and a fresh start! Thank you!

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    Suzanne says

    Up until reading your article, I hadn’t realized the damage I was causing my daughter every time I yelled at her. I just realized that my reaction to her comes from feeling out of control and from dealing with anxiety and stress in a negative way. I love this little being that God entrusted me with; but I am hurting my baby girl when I yell at her. She is used to my yelling, she even thinks is normal. So I am teaching my child to cope with rage and anger by yelling.

    Starting today, I am committed to not yell anymore. Her spirit is too precious to me. Most of all, I am so aware that when it comes to raising our children, we don’t get a do over. I want her to have a safe haven in me; to know that my love for her is bigger than anything wrong she may have done. After all, yelling should never be combined with discipline nor should it substitute it either. I will be more conscious and mindful of the way I speak to my child remembering that this little person is entitled to the same amount of respect that I would demand others treat me with. That should stop me from “abusing” my child with my yelling! Thank you for this post, It shook me to the core!

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    Mary says

    I was moved to tears as I read your post. Like so many others, I saw myself. For me, it was my “old” self of about 12 years ago. We had just moved to a new state with our two young children. My husband was staring a business and I had just left the work force to be a stay at home mom, something that I had wanted to do since our first child was born.
    But the idyllic world I had pictured was nothing like the reality my life had become. My husband was working long hours. I knew no one where we had moved and felt trapped at home with a one and five year old. I had become a yeller instead of the patient mom I had imagined. The mom I imagined was one who took her kids to the park, did art projects and baked cookies with them. I had the same self loathing that many others have felt, but felt so powerless to stop. Each day I would resolve not to yell and most days before breakfast was over, I had done it again.
    I had left a job in health care which is part of what helped me to realize that my yelling was a sign of depression. My doctor told me, women are more often tearful, but yelling (and yes even rage) can be signs of depression. He said I probably had mild post partum depression that was exacerbated by the stress of the move and other changes going on in our lives. Never being a big fan of medication, I was reluctant to go on an anti-depressant, but I did because I knew I was not the parent I wanted to be. I didn’t want my children to grow up remembering their mother as a raging lunatic, which is what I so often felt like. It took several weeks before I began to feel like I had some control over my outbursts. It took more than that to repair my relationship with my children. But it was all worth it. My children are now 16 and 20. I have a wonderful relationship with both of them. They are kind, caring, bright, patient young adults whose company my husband and I enjoy immensely. They are great friends to each other, too.
    I can look back at that time now with a much more light hearted perspective and I jokingly say that my children became much more well behaved when I went on anti-depressants. the memories of those days came flooding back as I read your post and am so grateful to be where I am today. For all of you who are in the midst of this, take heart, there is hope and it does get better. Thank you for the reminder of how far I have come.

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    Sonia says

    I’m still crying after reading this tonight. My children are in bed after a couple hours of yelling at them for everything. My husband deployed for the 3rd time last Sept and it’s been a really hard deployment for us all. My children are 3 & 6 and don’t deserve the pain I’m causing them.

    I started going to Love & Logic parenting classes right after my husband left. I’ve been through the class probably 15 times and while I agree with much of the Love & Logic principals, I have not been able to get myself under control enough to implement the tools. And so I continue to go, hoping that someday I can change. I hate what I’m doing to them. I have started seeing a therapist and we will start working through identifying and resolving some of my issues.

    I never planned on being a mother, but I love my children very much. I’m hoping someday before it’s too late, I can show them, as well as my husband, that I can be a loving wife & mother, instead of what I am now.

    Thank you for your story.

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      S. S. says

      Knowledge is half the battle as they say. You have the desire to do better and that alone shows you that you can! Hang in there!

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    I am so inspired and moved by this, and many other posts here on your blog. I hope you don’t mind that I’ve taken that inspiration and applied it to my own blog, and linked you back.

    You have touched my heart in such a profound way. I am better than what I’ve become. Thank you for helping me see that in time.

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    This is amazing! I learnt a lesson from a friend who was dying. She opened a bottle of fizzy water and it exploded – her reaction? “it’s only water”. I have used that with all the little things as they don’t count much, do they?

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    Martha says

    I must say that as I’m typing this, I’m shaking as your post has described me to the T. After becoming a single parent of a 3 and 1 yr old now 4 and 2, I also became a yeller. I guess all the stress of becoming a single parent with no employment at the time, lead me to all the yelling and not being able to enjoy being around my kids anymore. Until I found your blog several months ago. I have decreased my phone and computer use grandiosely and not until they are in bed that I go about it. I thank you for that.
    This morning I read a little of your post and couldn’t go on as my tears started running down my cheeks and I was in public. I have not yelled at my kids since this morning. You have made me realize that yes a little of milk or even an entire glass of milk spilled on the table (my 2 yr old) is not a big deal but an experience for them to learn. My 4 year old is terrified of me and I want to put a stop to it. I have put a stop to it since this morning. I thank you for that.

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    Tori says

    Wow… every word in this post rang true for me. I, too, just recently realized that my kids are scared of my reactions. Thank you for writing it with such honesty!

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    Angela says

    Great post! I am the mom of a 2 yrs old boy and I am noticing that I am starting to yell at him more as he grows since his naughtiness seems to increase daily…This reminded me that he is just learning, exploring and being a normal baby. He is very loving, gives kisses and hugs and I try to make him stop bothering me when I am busy but I also play with him fully disengaged from electronic equipment for stretches of time every day. The problem is he wants my full attention, all the time, not just in stretches. I have recently stopped working due to a military move and will stay home with him. He has been in a wonderful daycare for the first 2 yrs and has learned to behave wonderfully over there so I am scared that I will turn him into a little screamer if I continue to yell at him and will ultimately undo everything my daycare lady created: a wonderful naughty angel! My plan is to involve him into my daily activities, such as cooking, cleaning, gardening and just playing. I currently try to do as much electronic stuff when he naps/sleeps but it’s hard when it comes to phone calls, selling a house, moving an entire household by myself while hubby is deployed. Thank you for this encouraging post and for sharing all the stories about kids who grow up in yelling homes. I would hate for mine to turn out a yeller.

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    Rhiannon says

    I’m the child of a recovering yeller. My dad started his recovery process later than you, so I still remember being terrified and scared and wanting to run away whenever I did something wrong. As I was reading this, though, I began to appreciate so much more his improvement.
    This year has been a tough one. I’m a teenager about to graduate high school. Often times I am so ready to leave and gain more independence and not be around my parents all the time. Recently, I got into my first minor car collision. It was just a little dent, but I was scared. Going home to my parents was the last thing I wanted to do.
    When I got home, I saw my dad and began to cry apologetic tears. He hugged me and told me it was just a car and that it wasn’t a big deal.
    I’m reflecting on that moment a lot right now, especially the fact that I wasn’t scared that he would yell. I was scared about the disappointment and the money, but not that I would be screamed at.
    That reflection has really helped me to recognize how far my dad has come and I suddenly feel this huge rush of appreciation for him, his improvement and his unconditional love. Thank you so much.

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      Mitzi says

      I had a similar experience with my Dad. Isn’t it great to see God’s grace at work in your parents? I don’t know that there has been any stronger influence in my life than seeing the change in my parents lives. Thanks for the reminder of how my “change” can impact my girls.

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    Gayathri Ramachandran says

    In the first few paragraphs, i just saw myself in the text. It was extremely emotional and i started to cry reading this text. I have exactly a 3 year old and a 6 year old. My husband keeps travelling a lot and i am alone with the kids and most of the times takinbg my frustration out on them which i should never. I will try to leran to be calmer and more patient and try to let go of things.

    Thanks for the wonderful post.

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    Jaime says

    I feel convicted by this post. I imagine it speaks to almost every mother (or parent) of young children–evident by the overwhelming number of positive comments. Yelling is a tough thing to conquer. And honestly, as much as I have moments when I feel horrible for yelling, I don’t realistically see an end in sight. That sounds really bad. But I have 4 kids– 6 1/2 year-old, 5 year-old, 3 year-old, and 1-year old. I love them. I tell them hundreds of times in a day that I love them.

    I have been a SAHM for 3 years now. When I worked (outside the home), I cherished every at-home moment with my kids and spoke only in soothing tones (as a recall, anyway). But being with them 24/7 is a game-changer. And as you can imagine, we have serious volume issues in our home–so many little voices, so much arguing, whining, pushing, poking, shouting, shrieking, running, jumping, etc. In times of unity and times of discord, it’s Always. Just. Loud.

    I understand your point about yelling. But in this crazy season of life as parents of young (and very young) children, is it realistic to expect ourselves to keep it together, to keep our cool when our kids are louder than us, have more energy, and know exactly how to push our buttons (and in my case outnumber adults 2 to 1)? And my kids aren’t terrors either. They are relatively well-behaved, respectful, smart kids. But there are four of them, and 3/4 of them are at ages that demand constant need-meeting. It’s exhausting. Unavoidably exhausting. And exhaustion lends itself to short fuses.

    I know that yelling is not an ideal response. But do you have any practical advice for a household where yelling feels necessary for each voice to be heard–parents and kids alike?

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      Hi Jamie,

      I really appreciate your honesty. You bring up many good points about how incredibly difficult it is to remain calm under the circumstances you describe. My children are now 6 and 9, but I remember vividly how challenging those days were when they were young and I was sleep deprived. I am so glad you asked for practical advice. I will offer what I know and maybe others will add their thoughts. So many people commented about how they overcame their yelling so I know other people have great ideas too. These are not in any particular order:

      1. My ability to better control my anger changed when I started thinking of my harmful words hitting my children like a car colliding with an object and causing irreparable damage, i.e.; “The Moment of Impact.” This is a portion of what I once wrote:

      “And I can sense when a collision is coming. When sibling bickering, messy bedroom floors, and bad attitudes are about to collide with my foul mood, my sleep-deprived state of mind, or my threadbare patience. And when those factors intersect, that moment of impact cannot be undone.

      So just like a driver who is anticipating a damaging collision with another vehicle, I let off the gas … I pull back … I pause to avoid permanent damage.
      In those moments when I am about to yell or explode, I remain silent just long enough for the angry words to dissipate. I hold the words under my tongue for just a few moments until the moment is past. I have discovered that even a few seconds of pause can prevent tragic results.

      2. In times of challenge, I try to look at their faces and remember they are children. They are children who learn by making mistakes. They are children who trust me to care for them and love them. And just taking that moment to look at them, really look at them, and even see them as babies again, I am able to grab some perspective. But most of all, just taking that PAUSE just long enough to THINK about what I am about to say, helps me choose a more calm response.

      3. Realize we will make mistakes. Yes, there will be days when we yell. But I have learned it is powerful to say, “I am sorry I yelled. I didn’t handle my anger very well. Will you forgive me?” This teaches children we are human. We make mistakes, we admit them, learn from them, and try to do better. You might explain if there was something they were doing or not doing that contributed to your outburst. Such as, “Mommy asked you to — and when you don’t listen, it is very frustrating to Mommy. I am sorry I yelled, but you would help me by doing what I ask.” And when your children DO what you ask the first time, be sure and point that out. “I love how you listened when I said take your hands off your sister. Thank you. It makes me feel much better when I don’t yell.”

      4. Inform your children what you are working on. I think that telling children, “I am trying not to yell. Here are the ways you can help me …” My children love it when I let them encourage me in my struggles. I did this when I was trying not to use my phone in the car. My children loved to encourage me and remind me of my goal.

      5. This is an idea from Tonya at “We implemented a Yell Jar 2 months ago for this very purpose. There is about $20 in the yell jar, I put in $ when I yell and the kids put money in too when they yell at a sibling.”

      6. One of the commenters said this: “I knew I also needed a constant tangible reminder. I tried painting my nails blue (thanks to Orange Rhino!), but the paint chipped off and so did my resolve. Then I stumbled across a company on the Awesomely Awake blog ( that makes silver bracelets with hand-stamped mantras. Anyway, after one particularly stressful day filled with those normal mishaps and typical kid issues you mentioned, I showed them to my husband and said “THIS is what I need for Mother’s Day”. He bought me two (bless him): “Live in the moment” and “Peace comes from within”. I have been wearing them every day, and the soft jingle jangle sound reminds me of the path I have chosen. It’s such a simple reminder, I love that sound :>. Of course it’s not easy, I still have my moments, but it’s only been a few weeks and I am in it for the long haul.”

      7. I would recommend giving yourself grace as much as possible. Not beating yourself up when you do slip. Even if you can reduce the yelling, that is significant and your children will see that you are trying. This makes a difference. Yelling is often our first response. Try as much as you can to choose the second response. This piece will hopefully inspire you to celebrate the choices you are making to show up and do your best each day.

      Lastly, I taught children with behavior issues for 9 years. Those children could really push my buttons, but yet I never yelled at them. I was able to get them to do what was expected without yelling. I tried to focus on their positive actions as much as possible and praise them for all the good actions I saw. Of course, I know from experience, it is harder to be patient with our own children, but I know it is possible to be heard and listened to without yelling. Next week on my blog, I will be sharing a strategy that I use in my home that helps encourage my children to do what they are told (and lots of extra helping behaviors) without raising my voice. It will be next week’s post so I hope you will come back and read.

      Thank you for reaching out and your willingness to explore other ways to react in times of frustration. That is really significant and says a lot about you. I wish you all the best.

      PS Be sure to check out the Orange Rhino Challenge to curb yelling. I love her quote here: “I was just saying the other night how sometimes a little extra love really helps me to get my boys to listen. They like to feel loved and I love to give love. Sometimes it is hard to in the heat of the moment, but it is always easy to remember how great it felt to handle a tough situation with a little more love.” -The Orange Rhino


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    S. S. says

    When I started reading this I had no idea how it would affect me. It brought me to the verge of tears. My father was a yeller and incredibly verbally abusive. To this day I cringe when anyone yells for any reason. There was much, more than yelling, wrong with my father but I only now realized just how much the yelling affected me.

    One person commented that they sometimes would have preferred being hit, than be yelled at and I know exactly how that feels. I developed anger issues and was not only a yeller but I would physically hurt myself to avoid hurting others when I was frustrated as a teenager. I over came these habits for the most part but I do still struggle with yelling. I am not a mother, but I am an aunt.

    There was a time when it was mutually beneficial (in theory) to stay with my brother, his girlfriend and his 6 daughters, in a two bedroom apartment. I slept on the couch and had little to no privacy. This combined with working a stressful job and many other things built up the pressure to the breaking point and when my 2 year old niece, who was mighty inventive at that age, managed to get into some expensive items of mine and destroy them, it was too much. These were items I had put on a high up shelf that I could barely reach, behind a child safety gate. The first time I caught her getting into it I stopped her and fixed the child gate she had circumvented and told her parents, who were distracted with company, what she had done and that I was going for a walk (to calm down) and that they should keep an eye on her. When I came back 10 minutes later she had gotten past the gate again and had climbed her way back up to destroy my stuff again. Her parents were oblivious. I lost it, I screamed her name in a tone that was so very much not in character for me. I am usually very patient with children as I’ve been the babysitter and aunty and big sis etc for so long. I had never snapped like that, and seeing her little lip quiver and the fear in her eyes broke my heart but I was so angry. When her mother, rightfully, was upset that I had screamed at her child, saying “she is only two, its not her fault” I screamed back, “No its yours!” and then promptly hid in the kids bedroom alone crying because I felt I had become my father.

    The fact that she is now 4 and she and her older sisters still remember that episode (and remind me of it), hurts me terribly. I moved out as it was obvious, for many other reasons not mentioned as well, that I needed to get out of their house.

    I have in the past yelled at my boyfriend of 7 years as well when he pushes my buttons as only he can, and when he yells at me and I cower in fear like a little girl too I see that not only am I hurt by our yelling but so is he. He thinks that I truly fear him, and it hurts him, but really it is that yelling that remembering of my father yelling, that brings me back to being that scared little girl. So it is something we have both been working on.

    I don’t want to be that person, I don’t want to be like my father was. I certainly don’t want my nieces or my future children to only remember me for those moments. There is no good reason to yell at or verbally abuse another person, especially a child and I will do my best to keep that in mind any time I ever feel that urge to burst out with verbal misconduct.

    Thank you for sharing your experience and helping me on my own journey to be a better person.

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    Sheridan says

    Thank you so much for this post. I’m sure there are many mums that don’t want to be “that” person! Sometimes juggling so much, tiredness, deadlines & frustration take over and we forget how our interactions can have a huge and lasting impact on the most precious people in our world. Being a mum of 2 young girls and juggling a practice, University lecturing and speaking engagements – I read your post and felt guilty and somewhat ashamed that I have snapped at my 5y/o out of frustration and expectation! I will and have already changed my tone/volume and my words are now much gentler since reading this. You are a rockstar and I appreciate your candor and honesty. This will make us better parents. Thank you xxxx

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    All I can say is Amazing Grace, because again just when I need a helping hand to understand how I was brought up and educated I find this wonderful reminder. I cried too ( I can’t imagine anyone not being touched by this) and promised myself to continue my revolution to change and be a better person. But change is slow and hard work so it is such a blessing to know other people are on this journey and I am not alone.

    Thank you again. Mary

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    Wow, thank you so much for sharing this. It *is* really scary to admit to the world the things we do behind our doors when we are not at our best. Really, really scary. It is so wonderful that you did, though, because you can give encouragement to so many mothers who struggle with the same thing, and it gives us hope that we CAN change and that we can indeed overcome our frustrations and stress and be the mothers we want to be.

    It is also something that I have intensely worked on over the past couple of years, when I realized that I was also buckling under pressure in ways I was not happy with.

    May you see your children flourish and blossom, and may you have enjoyment and joy from them, and may your inspirational words reach those who need to hear them. All the best!

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    Stephanie K says

    Great one Rachel! This obviously resonates with many people (myself included). I literally just wrote about yelling in my journal two days ago – wanting to get it under control and not take out my frustrations on my kids. You hit the nail on the head that the yelling is a result of feeling a loss of control – bingo, that’s it! I think that understanding that is key.

    I read your entry yesterday while sitting in the pick-up line at school. I was on ‘high tension alert’ – felt it in my veins (frustrating day at home dealing with tech issues while an overtired 2.5 year old challenged me at every turn). My little firecracker was screaming in her seat behind me about wanting her shoes on (‘ON MOMMY, My shoes ON Now!’) and I was feeling like I could blow. The boys entered the car (already bickering) and my blood pressure went up another notch. Well thank goodness I had just read your words. As my oldest leaned over to change the radio and crank up some obnoxious song, I calmly said, “Mom needs a mellow ride home today guys. I’ve had a very challenging day & I am feeling really crabby.” I reclaimed my radio and turned up the Jack Johnson and we rode home in peace while I tried to channel my inner beach/chill mom mode.

    I hope that you are able to retrieve or rewrite those three chapters (sorry for the frustration). Once again, you turned your life situation into a great life lesson for so many. Thank you & hugs!

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    Sheryl says

    I am sitting in my office crying. It’s like I am looking into the mirror reading your story. Mine is so similar. Life does make things complicated. Life does challenge us….especially as parents. I, too, am guilty of yelling at my kids for no apparent reason other than sheer frustration. Thank you for showing us we are not alone. And please thank your daughter for opening MY eyes too.

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    lauren says

    Very powerful words. I’ve been struggling myself with my 3 girls. Between working full time and carting the kids around to softball, band, Prep and girl scouts I’ve given up almost all free time for myself. My husband runs a pizza shop and works 7 days a week open to close so I’m about the closest thing to a single mother as I can be right now. I find myself screaming more than I’m speaking and the kids have started to follow my example. There is nothing worse then looking at your children as they yell and argue with each other and realize it’s your fault. Your words have really touched me and tonight, before we heard off to their softball games, I will hug them and kiss them and tell them how perfect they are. And I’ll talk to them about how I’m struggling because I know they are too and hopefully we can all fix each other. Thank you for sharing 😉

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    SUSAN says

    I very much enjoyed your blog and teared up a bit with memory. My mother is one who I call the human volcano: she would vent loudly when she was angry and then, for her, it was over. The rest of us were left with bad feelings. So, I have spent my entire life avoiding anger so that I wouldn’t be like that. However, having 3 kids and working full time can cause even the calmest person to lose it and I can never forget how I felt when the words came out and how I felt looking at my children. Big lessons learned!! Mine are now grown but I am thankful that I, like the author, learned early how to calmly discuss problems when they arose. Great blog!

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    Kevin says

    This brought tears to my eyes. I am not a yeller. I grew up in a yelling household, and as a result, all of my life I have had challenges with situations where people are yelling, or even just raising their voices. I am 43 years old, and when I encounter a yeller, I simply shut down. My mind doesn’t function around yelling. The physical-ness of those soundwaves from yelling, hitting a person’s body and spirit, are devastating. I don’t think many people realize the damage that’s done by yelling at anyone, particularly the little people in your life who love you unconditionally. It sends a message of fear and shame. I congratulate and honor anyone who tries to hold themselves up to higher standards, and loving expressions of human-ness. Thank you for sharing this invaluable piece of yourself.

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      Thank you, Kevin. This is more powerful than anything I could have ever written. I thank you for sharing your perspective. I will remember your words and they will help me stay committed to the choosing a calm response no matter how hard it is to choose it. It matters in my children’s lives today, and like you so beautifully pointed out, it matters for their future. I am grateful for your comment and for everyone who has shared their heart on this topic in this incredible comment thread. Together, there is hope.

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      Amy says

      I have three sisters. We grew up in a household of yellers and we all, now, react differently to conflict and yelling.

      I tend to strike back, and seize control. Therein I feel more safe. My middle sister does a combination of passive aggressive behavior and withdrawl. My youngest sister is like you. She refuses to speak and shuts out anyone in her life who yells. If she and I get in an argument, she wont’ speak to me for months.

      I so do not want this to happen to my son.

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      Cindi says

      I couldn’t agree with you more, Kevin, on the physical, emotional and spiritual effects of yelling. I grew up in a home where there was a lot of yelling. I cannot function in a situation where there is yelling, whether it is at me or at someone else (including animals, who cannot defend themselves) and yet, somehow, when I have truly reached my wit’s end in a situation, I too turn into a yeller although, generally, my tendency is to shut down and go silent. I have found this completely baffling up until now. Now that I know better, I will do better.

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    Thank you. Oh, I’m a screamer and an over-reacter and a not-enough-grace giver. I’ve seen that look in my kids’ eyes, the one where I realize I’ve scared them and it breaks my heart. I’m joining a friend in a no- yelling challenge this summer and I pray that God will transform our homes as a result.

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    sam p says

    Saw this posted on a friends fb page. This is me. wow. I am a work in progress, but with a 6 & 3 yo at home, i yell at random times. my kids dont deserve it and my family doesnt deserve it. I have seen that look in my kids eyes when they mess up. realization for me. thank you for your braveness in posting this and thank you for the other suggestions. May God continue to bless you.

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    Amy Horrocks says

    HOLY COW! This is SO GOOD! Thanks for posting this. I am a yeller by nature and have struggled with it for years. Just recently, not through my own power, has it started to change. Your post will help me continue to do better by my kids. Thanks!

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    Nikki Bean says

    This is a beautiful reminder. I am a new mother to a 22 month old boy and a 9 month old girl. I don’t have an issue of yelling, but maybe the opposite, which can potentially be close to as damaging. A little mistake is made, and perhaps I shut down my response for fear of not wanting to lash out. When really, a kind, thoughtful, response is needed to propel my babies to independence, empathy, and understanding.

    My mom has sometimes recalled a story of my childhood. I came to her as a young child, and I was crying, and obviously very upset. I told her I had lost a tooth, and I was very sorry I had gotten blood in the bathroom sink. She walked into the bathroom, anticipating blood shed, only to find a tiny string of saliva laced with red. You can imagine the back story… it is probably all too familiar. That was her AH HA! moment. She decided to change for me. I have never recognized the struggle and charity in this story until seeing it paralleled to yours. I do want to be an attentive, loving, and unplugged (my biggest struggle) mother. If my children aren’t worthy of my best, then no one is.

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    Cheryl says

    I just want to say thank you for this. I had a moment just a few days ago but felt lost in how to move in a different direction. I feel hopeful now that I can make changes to be a more a patient and empathetic mother. I will be printing and saving this little gem to remind me of how important it is to take a breath and that it’s never too late to change our parenting behavior. Thank you thank you thank you.

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    Amy says

    My parents were yellers, and still are. I have become that which I hated the most, a yeller. I do it when I cannot seem to grasp upon anything to control.

    Thank you for giving me hope that I can learn to control my rages. In Luke 6:45 it says “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” I do not want to be a yeller.

    Thank you again for sharing this with us.

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    Kristin says

    Oh, my. This is so similar to my story. So similar. And I’ll also add that had you (I) not been a yeller, your (our) children wouldn’t know the sweet ring of transformation, the beauty of forgiveness.
    The sting of frustration is followed by release and brings us to clarity where we find our source. That part is critical.
    I would venture to say that the whole ball of wax is what brought about the great empathy, not just the softness, but the whole big mess of it. Your (our) children have learned very early what were all doing here on this rock. They are prepared now with the armor of love. They will do great things. ❤

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    Natalia says

    Growing up, my mom would go from spurts of yelling to long moments of silence. Both can be detrimental when abused. I certainly inherited those traits, and it has been a long road learning different ways of being with others. I am expecting my fist child, but even before we even considered getting pregnant, my husband and I decided that there would not be yelling at our house. When frustrated, we take a walk, together or separate. I also take time to cry out my frustration on my own before engaging in a conversation. Often, the block to learning is the belief that by adulthood, especially by parenthood, we should know better and have developed the necessary coping skills to handle our feelings. I think your post is a perfect example of how there is never a perfect time to learn to be better, to become aware of how we do things and change if we want to. Thank you for sharing this and validating for others that there is no shame in learning as an adult and as a parent. Thanks for validating the point that as parents we learn from our children as much, if not more than we teach them. This brings me great hope for the world my son will be coming to.

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    Becky says

    Ugh, my fb friends have been sharing this post and I did not want to read it. It knew I’d be convicted and I just wasn’t ready. Well, here I am broken and convicted and I haven’t read the whole article because if I do I will be the one blubbering at her desk. I will read the rest later, but God got His point across. I find myself annoyed at my 3 year old more times then I care to admit. I am distracted and she is trying to get my attention. I’m so glad you let God use you to write this post, I know it couldn’t have been easy.

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    Wendolyn says

    …though, after the day I had… your story is beautiful because in your time of need, there was a response from the universe – your kids noticed. Maybe I’m in a moment of despair, but I think my elder son’s response would be, “oh. And, you packed the wrong kind of raisins in my lunch today” and then try to kick his little brother because he’s mad at my error.

    I’m going to read up on the Orange Rhino… and hope that this storm passes soon, because it seriously stinks.

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    Elise says

    I was a yeller. Then I realized how it was affecting both my son and my husband. I also realized that the yelling did nothing to solve the problems, and in fact only made them worse. I work really hard to not yell–and think I’m doing better. My husband tells me I still do, but I keep trying–really hard. What I have been doing, when I find myself in that situation with my family, is to stop, and looking at them apologize. I talk to my son about how hard I’m trying to change, and that I don’t like yelling. I ask for his forgiveness and explain why I think it happened and commit to trying harder the next time. Hopefully, I’m teaching my son that we can’t always be “perfect” and that when we aren’t we need to own it and work harder the next time. It also helps me to help my son problem solve and identify better ways of doing things. I keep trying–and am getting better. My mantra has become–it is what it is. I can only do what I can do and that helps to calm me! Thanks for this–needed the reminder today and recommit myself to no yelling!

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    Sarah says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am so glad a friend shared this on Facebook. You have described my life perfectly. Right down to the spilled bag of cereal (though this morning it was a plate of shredded cheese all over the floor as my kindergartener tried to make her own lunch). I’m so relieved to learn I’m not the only one that yells, because in this super-mom society, so few of us are willing to talk about our flaws. And I’m relieved to know there is a way to get better.
    But most of all, thank you for reminding me it is not too late to give my girls the mama I want them to have.

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    SuZ says

    Thank you so much for sharing this… sometimes you don’t realize your problem until someone else shares it and then a lightbulb clicks on… and you are never the same. I cannot thank you enough, seriously.

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    well crap, I’m sixty where was this wonderful thing when I was raising and yelling at my kids! Thank You so much for being such a great person and also thank God for having given you the gift of being able to pass it on.. It’s not to late for the rest of you folks that still have kids to not yell at, Bless You Rachel

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    bridgett says

    you’ll never know how important this was for me today. i’m on a journey to stop yelling and this was exactly what i needed to keep me going. i fail miserably some days and i fear the damage can be irreparable. This was a hopeful reminder that it can change and for good. thanks…

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    becky says

    I just rad your story and it struck a chord with me as I was a yeller too, and reading this story reminded me of the look on my daughters face when I would yell, scared says it all, I think yelling at your children hurts them to the core, we have to remember we were children once too and made mistakes and had accidents and still do as adults, this really hit home for me. Life is to short to sweat the small stuff, we only have them for a short time we need to cherish every single second….thank you for sharing

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    Jenny says

    Thank you for sharing! The timing could not have been more perfect for me. I am encouraged by your words and they were just what I needed to hear.

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    Bird Moses says

    That is a powerful post! I hope that many benefit from your wise words. Scaring a child is not the way to raise them and your children sound like they have indeed inherited your wisdom already…peace and joy to you all

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    Rachel Andres says

    Growing up in a household where yelling was a daily and sometimes hourly constant, I know first hand the damage that yelling causes a young child. I admire you for discovering this issue early on and actively working on solving it to give your kids a safe place to call home. I’ll be referring back to your post as my own kids grow up and I want to lose my patience with them. You will help serve as a reminder to me not to stack so much on myself that the ones that matter are left in the background.

    Your story is so inspirational and made me tear up wishing my own family had ever realized what you did.

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    Ashley says

    This is just what I needed to read! I tend to yell because I am busy on my computer or phone and not just going and talking to my girls! Thank you so much for this post!!!

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    I’m ashamed to admit that I’m a yeller. I came from a family of them. I really need to break the cycle. I’ve noticed my oldest yells at her younger brothers much more than I’d like. 🙁

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    Andrea says

    I am on the verge of tears, this is so me. And I can see the effect my yelling has on my 7 year old daughter, she is the same, lack of patience. I so want to change for her and hopefully together we can become better people.

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    Karen says

    I found your blog a few weeks ago and it has truly inspired me. I have been feeling convicted for a while about “distractions” in my life and what is truly important. Your posts affirm what God has been telling me. Thank you. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for using your brokenness to encourage and help other “distracted” mama’s. I read your post about yelling yesterday. It certainly spoke to me. I have been where you were. I am happy to say that I am changing – getting better – enjoying my children more and more. I am blessed.

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    Mary Jo says

    Thank you so much for this post. Both my children are adults now and I am so sorry I was a yeller when they were younger. I know the feeling in the pit of your stomach when you realize your children are afraid of you and dreading the next time you yell. I realize that we all make mistakes and to take a deep breath and walk away is the best thing sometimes.

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      K says

      Can you apologize to them? I’m an adult child of a yeller (and hitter and shamer and…) and I think an apology from my mother would go a long way toward my healing. I would probably have a hard time accepting that she was being sincere, but I would love nothing more than for her to convince me. You can’t take it back, but you can probably almost make up for it.

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    E L says

    Thank you for your beautifully written post, which helped me articulate all the fears I have about being a yeller! I am trying to show love and BE there, although there are days when I feel like harsh words are the only way of getting through )):

    May I link your post in my blog? Would like to share this with everyone, ESP my husband hah!

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      Thank you so much, please link away! I am grateful to everyone who is reading and sharing so more people can feel not so alone in their daily struggles. There is so much hope in these comments. I am so grateful for everyone who is bravely stepping forward and saying, “Today begins a new way of handling the anger. Today I choose the peaceful response.”

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    Jennifer says

    I yell. Alot. I hate myself for it. I too have realized I am over-burdened and am working hard to de-clutter my life. Thank you so much for this post – I see so much of myself in this and it is encouraging.

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    Frances says

    What a beautiful article. My father was a yeller and even at the great age of 63 I still have problems, although I’ve let a lot go. Although I don’t have children, I need to bear this in mind when I deal with people who frustrate me. Thanks for the insight.

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    kaitlin says

    This explains the problem with yelling so well. I remember resenting my parents when I was little because I was so afraid any time that I made a mistake. I was an obedient child overall. I rarely got sent to my room, grounded, or spanked (they stopped spanking when I was very young), but I remember being yelled at for every spilled drink, forgotten permission slip, and sometimes things I didn’t even do. I hated yelling and it always made me cry even when I wasn’t the one being yelled at. It did make feel like my mother wasn’t proud of me and that neither of my parents had any self-control. I realized as best as a child can that the punishment didn’t fit the crime.

    That said, I recognize that I could just as easily become a yeller. I think you gave some awesome perspective on how to stay away from that, and your daughter’s behavior is an outcome that I would love to see in my future children. I want a home of peace. I want my parenting to be intentional.

    Also, I loved how you aren’t advocating for no discipline, but instead, you helped your children learn to fix mistakes instead of running away from them. Those seem like some pretty special moments!

  185. 338


    This post was a direct answer to my prayers this week on how to be a better Mother. Thank you for giving me hope that there is still time to change. My heart aches so very much and my inappropriate responses to innocent mistakes. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  186. 339

    Mark says

    Congratulations on not being a “yeller.” Also, congratulations on an lengthy post that is over-emphisizing a problem that doesn’t exist. Sometimes as a parent, you need to raise your voice to your child. They need to understand that you are in charge and what you say goes, otherwise they will run all over you, or worse.

    If your child is running out into the street without looking and could get hit by a car or playing with power tools that could hurt them, you’d better raise your voice. Sometimes a little fear is a good thing, even if it is of you. Understanding right from wrong is the first step in helping children to learn how to not only fix mistakes, but avoid making them again because of the consequences. I fail to see how this would help your kids do that.

    Please try better next time.

      • 341

        Mark says

        You’re right. Her article is unbelievable. That’s why I took the time to point out the err of it.

        There is nothing wrong with being a more forgiving parent, but forgiveness can wait until later. Kids need to learn first. If they do not, unacceptable behavior will certainly continue. I’m sorry if that seems harsh to you or Ms. Rachel or others, but you cannot argue against it.

        Worry about minor issues like a “yelling” problem later. Deal with the REAL problem first…. behavior. And coddling a child (or anyone) will not change behavior.

        • 342

          Military Dad says

          I agree with the point your making, Mark. Children do need to be protected through training. However, there are countless examples where using patience and positive reinforcement can be more effective in accomplishing that, while providing a more constructive and nurturing environment. It may be more difficult to find other solutions, but kids our worth the extra brain-power that requires.

          • 343

            Mark says

            “Countless” is a very strong word, Military Dad. “Small handful” would be a much better description. The problem is not a yelling or punishing parent; the problem is undiciplined children who we are afraid to handle appropriately because we’ve been led into this silly gentle form of parenting that doesn’t work well. The result, from what I’ve seen, is lazy, undiciplined teenagers, and eventually adults.

            A little fear of the authority figure goes a long way to showing how much you truly love your child and value the person they’ll grow into.

    • 344

      Amy says

      I think there is a huge difference between yelling when a child is in immediate physical danger (about to run into the street) and yelling over frustrating, but ultimately insignificant things (spilling a glass of milk).
      My impression is that yelling over the insignificant daily frustrations is what we are discussing here. I can’t imagine a reasonable person having an issue with yelling if a kid is Bout to walk in front of a speeding car!

      • 345

        Mark says

        Actually, there is very little difference, Amy. Maybe a spilled glass of milk is insignificant, yes, but kids also need to learn from their mistakes. The way to do that is with consequences. (with rewards for the opposite behavior, occasionally, as well). Not through coddling.

        • 346

          Military Dad says

          Discipline is extremely important, Mark. I’m not discounting that at all, believe me. However, my experience tells me that when you’re teaching children positive reinforcement is FAR MORE effective than negative consequence. And, yes, there is always room to teach consequence. But if you lay the groundwork for discipline and obedience through positive reinforcement when you’re teaching, you avoid the necessity for as much consequence later on and you won’t even have to worry about an unruly, undiscoplined teen. The key is to consistently encourage obedience and discipline with positive reinforcement from the beginning.
          I agree with Amy, though, that this article is more about when we get frustrated with our kids and start out yelling to try and teach or get their attention, but it soon forms a habit where we do it unnecessarily. Does this make sense?

          • 348

            Mark says

            Positive reinforcement should ONLY be applied in conjunction with negative reinforcement. It is not beneficial to simply reward children and ignore discipline. Positive reinforcement does NOT end negative behavior. And, unless an unpleasant alternative is introduced, it does not bring about any positive changes in behavior.

            So positive reinforcement is not more effective. Does that make sense?

  187. 349

    Katie says

    I’m sitting here at work nearly sobbing because I know I’m a yeller. My dad was a yeller, his mom was, etc… my husband is always asking why I get so worked up. We now have a six month old, and the last thing I ever want is that fear that I had when I made a mistake and knew my dad was going to scream at me.

    Thank you for your post. I’m going to add it to my favorites and read it at least once a week. Thanks again. ((hug))

    • 350

      Alica says

      The higher being is really working today! Thank you for such a heartfelt post. Katie, I’m the same. My parents are yellers, and their parents before them were too. My husband however grew up in a totally opposite environment from mine. His parents are always calm, I’ve never once heard them yell in the 15 years I’ve know them.
      I get worked up really easy and homeschooling my 4 year-old does not help at all with curbing this habit. Thank you Rachel for the reminder of how our little ones perceive us and learn from us. I don’t want her to be like me. I want to be a better mother to her just like you are to your angels. I will have to print this out and frame it in my room so it can remind me constantly. And thank you for providing a starting point too, that’s fantastic.

  188. 352


    Many years ago, I too was a yeller. I had the same revelation and thankfully, gratefully, my life turned around. It wasn’t too late for my family and myself to recover. If your article can help just one person, you are way ahead of the game. I’ve shared this post on FaceBook and with your permission, would like to re-blog it on my blog, Unordinary Woman.

  189. 354

    Maureen says

    I wish I had had something or someone like this when my Children were growing up —- but thank you for sharing this will help me and a lot of other parents who want to change and STOP yelling at our children — they are the innocent ones.

    again THANK YOU

  190. 355

    Maria Malaveci says

    Thank you so much for writing this. I also teared up reading it, because I am a yeller. I feel so ashamed after I do it… I am aware of it. But reading this was so extremely helpful. I am going to really think of your article when I feel the urge and take a deep breath…..

  191. 356

    Julie says

    Thank you so much for writing this article. One of my friends posted it on Facebook, and I am so thankful. I cried throughout the entire thing. I am a yeller, too. My one-year-old still doesn’t sleep at night, and my body is completely exhausted. Trying to keep the house clean while doing other mom duties is frustrating when you’re exhausted. I yell way too much at my seven-year-old, and it has affected our relationship greatly. From this day on, I want to make a commitment to my boys to never yell again. Thank you!

  192. 357

    Estranged says

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so happy for you and your kids!

    My mother was a yeller, a rager, a perfectionist, a controller, a shamer, a guilter… and she never understood why I was never able to confide in her or why I did not trust her. And this pattern continued into my adulthood. Finally, at the age of 30, I decided I had had enough. After once last attempt to lay it on the table and change the relationship ( an attempt that resulted in her yelling at me and blaming me for being a spoiled brat and a selfish b*tch), To preserve my sanity… I left. I have not spoken to or communicated with her in over 13 years. I’ve spent a lot if time and energy in counselling to deal with the psychological damage that was caused. I have mourned the death of that relationship.

    Good for you that you were so brave to change your behaviour and to reestablish those bonds with your kids.

    • 358

      K says

      You’re brave, too. It’s much harder to walk away for everyone’s health than it is to follow the same old pattern of trying to appease and work things out. Sometimes, things just can’t change.

  193. 359

    Sharon says

    Thank you for this post. It was shared by a friend on Facebook and it was exactly what I needed to read today. For several months my 10 year old daughter (who is 10 going on 16) and I have been struggling with our relationship. I am a single mom and have raised her on my own since her father and I divorced when she was almost 2. He isn’t really in the picture since he lives in a different country. I could really, really relate to being so overwhelmed and frustrating, and ashamed at being a mom that yells. And she tells me all the time that she doesn’t like it when I yell. I don’t like it when I yell. Thank you for your honesty and for helping me see that there is a light at the end of the really dark tunnel. 🙂

  194. 360


    Thank you so much for writing about a subject that so many parents are ashamed to admit they deal with. I think I’ve progressed from yelling to screaming at times and I agree, it is because you feel a loss of control over your own life and when you can’t control your kids (when they don’t listen) you lose it. My son is 6 and I have to change the way I handle things…I don’t want him to remember me being mad all the time. I want him to remember all the great times we had and how loving I was. Also, thanks for the heartfelt mention for the victims in Oklahoma. I grew up in Tulsa, OK (NE of OKC) and my heart goes out to them as well.

  195. 361


    I have a tendency to yell sometimes and it leaves me feeling such overwhelming guilt. Honesty though, it was your description of supporting your children through mistakes without sighs, eye rolls and looks of disapproval that pierced me the sharpest. Those non-verbal “passive” attacks on my kids are where I know I’m guiltiest. Thank you for a touching reflection and gentle reprimand on an incredibly important issue.

  196. 362

    Britzie says

    Thank you. These revelations are the answers I’ve been looking for. I commend you for your openness and acceptance of the struggles we as parents (especially mothers) go through every single day. I will change from now on, for myself, for my son, and for my family.

  197. 364

    Kristi says

    Thank you for this. It brought tears to my eyes. This is where I am… Working full time, going to school part time, trying to get into grad school, full time mom to one of the most energetic kids I know, trying to plan a wedding… it goes on. I have become a yeller and it breaks my heart. I look at some of my friends and family who are stay at home moms and see the love and wonderful relationships they have with their spouses and children and wonder where I have gone so wrong. I never used to be a yeller. I have questioned so many times how I got to that point and how I can fix it and is it too late. Thank you for posting and showing me that it’s not too late. I have the most wonderful daughter in the whole world and I would love more than anything to show her that instead of seeing the pain in her eyes when I get frustrated. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I will definitely look into The Orange Rhino and start putting that to practice. Thank you again for the eye opening post and for showing me that it can be turned around.

  198. 365

    Stephanie says

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Before kids, we have so many things, in our minds, that we declare we will NEVER do, but I couldn’t really understand what it would be like until I was knee-deep, in-the-middle-of-it. No one aspires to be a yeller, but when the reality of parenting sets in and one’s attention is demanded constantly by your sweet little ones and so many other things, then it is easy for the yelling to emerge. I never imagined that I would be a yeller. I LOVE kids, I was an avid babysitter in my youth and a teacher for 10 years before having children, but once mine were old enough to talk and get into mischief, I found myself there, yelling, as well. I have been working on my reactions to my children as well- giving more of me to them than just my frustration and stress. What a beautiful blog. Thank you for being one more reminder and encouragement to me. Reading your post this morning has been a true blessing.

  199. 366

    Holly says

    Thank you for sharing this, I grew up in the home of a yeller and I can remember being so fearful all the time just waiting for my dad to explode, as a kid I always told myself that I would never treat my kids like that. I now have 4 little boys 8 and under and as you can imagine they get in trouble a lot. And I am ashamed to admit I yell at them often, when it happens I hate myself and always tell myself I need to quit but until now reading your post sitting here bawling like a baby I remember what it was like and what it must be like for my children, thank you for helping me see and helping me to commit to change! I don’t want my kids to grow up like I did afraid of their parent and to feel afraid when they make a mistake or do something wrong.

  200. 367

    J. Allen says

    Thanks for sharing this. I am a father of 5 beautiful children. I had become yeller as well. So had my wife. Because of that and other root issues that were the source of the yelling we are now in the midst of divorce. I have vowed to become a more patient and loving father. I can already see the difference in myself and my children as we are together. But there is a long painful road of healing ahead. God bless all of us who are seeking to be a little better. If we can do this we will save a generation.

  201. 368

    Julie T. says

    I’m not a crier. I mean I cry at normal things, but not usually at bolg posts. I cried so hard while reading this entry that one of my contact lenses fell out. Why? Because in reading about your dark time, I felt like I was reading about my I am in my life right now. Thank you for putting out there the things that no one wants to talk about, and more letting me know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that once a yeller doesn’t have to mean always a yeller.

  202. 369

    Liliana Grover says

    I had the same Kind of experience. It has been a long road and is something I have to think about every day. yelling does not teach it only hinders progress for myself as well as my children.. what is even more frustrating is when you can see your progress but no one else can and that one slip up is all anyone can remember .. But I have found that communicating to all that I am aware of this part of me and That I am trying to gain control gives them opportunity to help me.. It also helps Them to help themselves .. I say my prayers every night and thank my Heavenly Father for helping me get myself in control because it-is also teaching my Kids to know they can do the same.. l am not perfect but I am trying.. My Keds see that, my husband sees it but more importantly my Father in Heaven Knows it. Thank you for sharing. It was
    Written so eloquentlyand 1 felt the truth of your words. they have Inspired and motivated me to keep trying and also that I am not alone.

  203. 370

    Ali says

    I am thankful that someone shared this blog on FB today. I too was there a while back…. furious at everything and nothing at the same time. I realized that my relationships with my children are more important than the end result of homework, a clean bathroom, a perfectly made bed. In the process I learned that I like myself better this way too.

  204. 371

    Kimberly says

    It is really funny that I read this this morning. A friend posted it on FB and no more than 3 minutes after finishing it, my 3 year old knocked over her milk after she has been told countless times to put it in the center of the table. Most other days I would roll my eyes, and in a very frustrated voice tell her that she should have known better and go get something to clean up her mess and she would be getting another full glass of milk to drink. Today, I just chuckled and saw it as a test from God to see if I payed attention to your blog. I gave her a paper towel I had been holding and told her to start cleaning up while I got more. She then got to spray the cleaner on the floor (which she loves to do) so we could clean up more.
    Thank you for this post. It turned spilled milk into a nice moment with my daughter. No one was upset and we were both smiling. Since I am going to try not to yell at my girls I know God will help me by giving me plenty of opportunities to practice not yelling.

    • 372


      Thank you, Kimberly. Your story means more to me than I could ever express in words. Thank you for taking a moment to share it with me. I will be smiling all day thinking of your precious girl going to town with that spray bottle. 🙂

  205. 374

    Kristen says

    After reading this, I called my 2-yr-old daughter over to me. I was already tearing up and she asked, “Mommy, what the matter??” I told her, “I love you lots, and I don’t think I have been the bestest mommy in the world for you.” She looked at me, a bit puzzled. I asked her, “How does it make you feel when Mommy yells at you?” She looked as if she didn’t like to think about it, put her hand on her tummy and said, “It makes me feel sick…” :'( It was all I could do to pick her up and cry and tell her how sorry I am. She hugged me tight and said, “I love you, Mommy,” while I sniffled and kissed her forehead a zillion times. I imagine her feelings are compounded by the fact that her baby sister never gets yelled at – she is too little to do much wrong! She doesn’t understand when she is being difficult. But when I am not frustrated and irrational, it seems silly to assume that a 2-yr-old knows how important it is that we get out the door in time, or that she not leave all her sharpest toys all over her bedroom floor, or that she not bring every toy out to the living room right before Daddy gets home from work… She is very advanced verbally, and I have to remind myself that just because she talks like a 6-yr-old does not mean that she understands like a 6-yr-old. My excuses for yelling go out the door in a hurry when I really consider whether she is being malicious or being a child. While she does have “testy two’s moments,” 90% of the time, she is just being a (silly, loud, clumsy, imaginative, messy, goofy, careless, fun-loving) child. And 99% of the time, she does not need to be yelled at. As a final thought, I recall once yelling at the top of my lungs as my daughter wandered away from where I was loading her sister into our parked car, and into the path of an *moving* car. Her response: nothing. Surely this was no more urgent than unrolled toilet paper…because apparently that merited a shout. Her safety depended on someone else paying attention and hitting the brakes, because she was so accustomed to hearing me yell 🙁 Yelling does more than one kind of damage, and the consequences could have been a lot more permanent if someone else hadn’t stopped quick enough. It *could have* been too late for me to stop yelling. It’s never too SOON – thank you for helping me see not just that the yelling needs to stop, but what causes it, so that I can more effectively weed this habit out of my life.

  206. 375


    This may get lost in the mix of 277 other comments but I need to post it anyway.

    I. Needed. This.

    I’m a yeller too. Not necessarily the aggressive, disrespectful verbal attack type, but the exhausted, frustrated ‘ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?!’ type. It is extremely difficult to activate the mannerism filter when [insert completely valid reason to be worn down here]. I don’t have a problem controlling my words as much as my exacerbated sighs, frustrated glares and tone of voice.

    I appreciate the post, and your raw honesty.

    • 376


      I’m the same way Sara! Same reason for yelling… same non-verbal passive-aggressive tendencies. We can fix this. {{{{hugs}}}}

  207. 377

    Jo says

    As I read this, I feel hopeless. I have an extremely ADHD 16 yr old and a 13 yr old. I grew up in a houseful of yellers and have become one myself. I hate myself for it. I have tried to get help, thinking it was depression etc. However nothing has worked. It has gotten better, however I fear it is too late to repair the damage that has already been done. Please tell me it’s not too late.

    • 378


      Jo, it is not too late. There are countless people who have left comments here and in my inbox saying they yelled for years but found a way to stop. Slowly, they repaired the damage and asked for forgiveness. Many of them now have close relationships with the people they love even after years of yelling. Each day offers a chance to try again. Just take one day at a time, one hour at a time and celebrate each and every time you choose a normal tone of voice instead of a yelling voice. Each time is a success. Tell your family what you are trying to do. Tell them how they can help and support you. Tell them how important they are to you. Please don’t wait one more day. You will look back a year from now and this will be a day in your life you never will forget. You will be so glad you took this step. You are not alone. There is hope. It is not too late.

  208. 380


    Hey, thanks for this post. I don’t have kids, but I do have a husband that I get very frustrated with at times. This is a great reminder that yelling is not the solution, it only makes the issue more intolerable. I really appreciate the reminder to knock of the yelling.

  209. 381

    Tyra says

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I sat here and cried because I can relate to so much of what you were saying. The reasons I’ve turned into a yeller are many and varied but in the end the only thing that matters is what it’s doing to my children. I’m determining once again today that with God’s help I will change from this person I’ve become to one that is pleasing to Him and healing to my kids. Thank you once again for this post. It was convicting and encouraging at the same time. Just what I needed to read today!

  210. 383

    Marty says

    I am a yeller and so is my husband but our only child is not. I often think to myself, “when did I become a yeller?” and I believe it began long ago even if I didn’t recognize it until I had a child.
    My father was a yeller and I was part of a large merged family where peace and quiet was few and far between. I often bottled things up, cried when I was alone and then exploded when someone irritated me. This email reminded me that not much has changed in my life. Although now, I am aware of my behavior and I am trying to change it. I say to myself that I’m not going to yell. I take deep breaths. I go outside and scream to let things out and then I can go back to the situation with more patience and control but as the situation continues, I finally lose it….I scream, yell, say hateful things and I can feel my heart beating fast…and then I feel guilt, sorrow and disappointment in myself. I know I have hurt my child and my husband and myself with the things that I have said. So today…I thank you for this article. I’m going to read it daily in hopes that in those moments when I’m about to lose control, I will pause and your words will come to mind and help me through the situation. I’m also sending the web address to my husband!

  211. 384

    Eliza says

    Unfortunately the wanting to stop doesn’t cut it. I appreciate that you had this work for you but honestly I can’t stop. No matter what “trick” I think I have or could have. I am outspoken and tell it like it is always. I can’t keep quiet and I don’t see why I should have to. I had fear of my mom, never stopped me from loving her though. So what’s the big deal if the kids are afraid of you as long as in the end they love you. Kids don’t understand grown ups and the problems. Good for you, your one of the “lucky” ones if this is really true. Lots of people claim they don’t yell but they do. Lots of people claim happy home lives and they couldn’t be further from the truth either!

  212. 385

    Stacey says

    This made me cry. As a single mom to a smart, vocal, independent 8 year old I am far to often feel overextended and yell. I hate it when I do it and as of today I am going to stop. She deserves better, I love her more than anything.

  213. 386


    So, so good. Thank you for this precious reminder. i know when I am frustrated in other areas of my life, I tend to yell when something small happens. I lived in fear as a child, I don’t want that for my kids.

  214. 387


    Thank you for this post…brought tears to my eyes. I’ve become a yeller 🙁 and hate myself for it. I worry about what am I teaching my children and how will they turn out with me always yelling. It’s a struggle but after reading your story I hope to put an end to the yelling

  215. 388

    Amy Barrett says

    I prayed to Jesus last night to give me peace over a family member walking out of mine and my children’s lives. What the Holy Spirit did was put this blog about yelling, which I do a lot, in front of me. But, most importantly what it did was put your last words and lay them on my heart. The family member that has walked out of our life…..there is one last thing to say to her and that is this……The door is always open and we love you. Never EVER take one day for granted. If something was to happen to her and I didn’t get the “last word” as far as how my heart feels, I would have terrible regret. I plan to let her know immediately that despite what has happened we love her and when/if she is ready and willing we are ready to begin a “new” relationship with her. God Bless You for this blog posting. The Holy Spirit got me today and I am so thrilled and blessed.

  216. 389

    ANDREA says

    Thank you.

    I wanna read your books. If you where able to write this article, I’m sure It’s gonna be enjoyable. I’m mexican but I’m sure I´ll be able to find for your books at

  217. 390

    Valerie says

    Thank you, thank you thank you! I had a yelling episode at my daughter yesterday after she continued to kick the door after I asked her not to and counted to 3! I felt horrible! I too am swimming in a sea of commitments, to do lists and technology; feeling pulled in 1 million directions. This article has made me stop and think. I will be making changes in the future which will make my family my focus; not work or other gadgets.
    Thank you again!

  218. 391

    Ashley says

    We had a late start to our morning, causing things to be hectic and us running behind. I yelled at my 2 oldest boys, ages 6 and 7, in my frustration, frustration that I caused because I wanted 15 more minutes of sleep. I’ve been a crying mess all morning, feeling terrible for the way I acted right before sending my boys off to school. I’ve been contemplating going to the school to pick them up, only an hour and a half after I dropped them off there, to hug them tight and apologize for the way I acted. I decided to sit down for a breather first, and here I am on facebook, not really paying attention to anything I’m reading on there because I’m still crying, feeling like a failure as a mother because yelling has become such a normal thing in our lives and that’s not the mom I want to be for my children. And then I see this link ‘A Mama’s Story’ posted up called “The Important Thing About Yelling” Call it a coincidence or God putting me and your story at the right place at the right time. Either way, it’s exactly what I needed at the moment I needed it the most. This is the first time I’ve ever seen your blog, and I assure you I will be back frequently. Thank you for sharing your story, for helping me see that I’m not alone in my struggles to be the best mom I can be and God wants me to be, for helping me realize it’s never too late to change the way you do things and become a better parent, and for the reassurance that children are forgiving and if I show them now that Mommy is changing, they will appreciate that and won’t always remember me as the mom that yelled way too much. I have 4 young boys, and it is my desire to raise them up always, and never to bring them down. Today I turn over a new leaf, I promise to make a change, and I challenge myself to no more yelling. Thank you for being an inspiration!

  219. 392

    Jeff says


    I must say, that even thou I am a father, I too can relate to this. I find myself yelling at my 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter for what now are small, innocent mistakes that we all made when we were their age. I always feel guilty and ashamed that I can let my frustrations and lack of patients get the best of me.

    Your article has really inspired me to be a better father and even more compassionate person towards my children. I plan on sharing this with my wife as well so that our whole household can learn to be a more cohesive and yell free family unit.

    Thank you!

  220. 394

    mindy pitcher says

    unfortunately, i inherited my dad’s patience level, and sadly his ability to yell as well. my mom has always been such an example to me, but when my life became all too busy and hectic for me, i resorted to yelling too. i stopped over a year and a half ago, and life is SO much better!! it is one of the best decisions i have ever made. thanks for inspiring others and letting them know that there are other ways.

  221. 396

    Allyn says

    Wow. This was like reading my life story word for word. I was so exactly like this. Daughters same age….had a moment of “oh my God. My kids are scared of me.” Things are better now!

  222. 397

    Michelle says

    I sit here in tears because this is a part of my daily life, I often lose it on my 3 and 6 year old for simple mistakes of childhood. They are only trying to become more independent but if something spills watch out! I know why it happens and you ahve also pinpointed it in your blog, we are overloaded, everyone needs something including you. life is so demanding, I myself am the mother of 3, working full time and attending school. My husband has some medical issues as of lately and doesn’t help out as much as he used to, I feel as if all the pressure is on me, laundry is piled up, dishes don’t do themselves, and the kids need fed and cleaned up. School work for the kids and mama needs done and the baby is crying. But I have noticed as of lately the scared look in my 6 year old when I yell so I have tried to be better but the last 2 days something has just come over me, I feel like I am a sinking ship. Thank you for the blog, it really had me in tears. I hope to work on me, freeing up some things and showing my kids how to be kinder gentler souls.

  223. 398


    Amazing, inspiring words. AND deeds. I cannot thank you enough for this, as I so often find myself raising my voice only to hate myself for it later. I have seen that fear in my child’s eyes, and I am not proud of it.

    Again, thank you for putting this out there for those of us who want to learn. Who want to become better for our children. And for those of us who want to see that it’s never too late to change.

  224. 400

    B0bby James says

    The worse part of it all is that you only have to yell at them once for them to begin to make it a part of their relationships with their siblings, friends, and even with parents! No person is immune from the feelings of inner frustration and it takes great labor to conquer the urge to take command of a situation with your voice. I thank God for second chances and strength to restrain and conquer this in my own life. I also thank God for the healing He gives to me and my family.

  225. 401

    Cordel Haws says

    So many strong, brave, people sharing their stories. I am a stay at home dad of two. I used to pride myself on my patience, but slowly I think my kids ate away at it. I don’t know where my yelling came from, but I guess like a lot of you I just reached my snapping point. I’m not even sure when or what happened to make me realize I was being ridiculous, but I decided to try and calm down and think before I yell. It’s been a huge relief for me. I still get exasperated, huff, roll my eyes, and/or mutter cross words, but I always regret it. I need to get into a better habit of apologizing to them for it. Need to remember to give them hugs and calm words of support. Thanks to all of you for making me feel not so alone.

  226. 402

    Michele says

    Such a beautiful story and testimony for many. Huge confirmation and conviction for myself and I couldn’t wait to share with many of my mommy friends who have days of similar struggles, as we all do. Blessings!

  227. 403

    Anitha says

    I tumbled upon this post. Thank you so much for writing this up so wonderfully. As a mom of 2(6 & 2) I had tears by the time i finished reading this. I have bookmarked this page and i’m going to read this atleast 3-4 times a week to remind myself of the change i need in me. Thank you!!

  228. 404

    Dana says

    I am so thankful that I found your post today. I too am trying to not be a yeller!! I truly never thought I would turn into this but sadly I have. Your post gives me hope that I too can change and it is not to late for my 8 year old twins and my soon to be 6 year old to have the mother they truly deserve!!! Your words are truly inspiring and make me want to do better for my family!! Thank you!

  229. 405

    Christina says

    I think this is a wonderful message regarding priorities and how our own distractions and lack of patience affect our children and family in general. It reminds me of some of my favorite scriptures:
    1Th 5:14 “..speak consolingly to the depressed souls, support the weak, be long-suffering toward all”
    Pr 15:4 “The calmness of the tongue is a tree of life, but distortion in it means a breaking down in the spirit.”
    Pr 15:23 “A man has rejoicing in the answer of his mouth, and a word at its right time is O how good.”
    Pr 15:28 “The heart of the righteous one meditates so as to answer, but the mouth of the wicked ones bubbles forth with bad things.”
    Pr 16: 32 “He that is slow to anger is better than a mighty man, and he that is controlling his spirit than the one capturing a city.”
    Pr 15:24 “Pleasant says are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and a healing to the bones.”
    Jas 3:5 “So, too, the tongue is a little member and yet makes great brags. Look! How little a fire it takes to set so great a woodland on fire!”
    Jas 3:11-12 “A fountain does not cause the sweet and the bitter to bubble out of the same opening, does it? My brothers, a fig tree cannot produce olives or a vine figs, can it? Neither can salt water produce sweet water.”
    Eph 4:29 “Let a rotten saying not proceed out of your mouth, but whatever saying is good for building up as the need may be, that it may impart what is favorable to the hearers.”
    Eph 4:31 “Let all malicious bitterness and anger and wrath and screaming and abusive speech be taken away from you along with all badness. But become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate, freely forgiving one another just as God also by Christ freely forgave you.”

  230. 407


    Thank you soooooooo much for this post!!! Praise God you learned this earlier than I it took me until 5 years ago and I am now 40 with 7 children 19 – 8 and I too was a “yeller” and I believe many mom’s are we r tired, as you said over commited, our to-do lists are far to big and we believe this lie that we should be perfect and be able to do it all and that’s just not what God intended for us . Mom’s enjoy those precious life moments as hard as they may be from day to day life is fleeting and our children will grow up to fast and you will begin to miss the spilled milk, the spilled cereal and rice the messes and sleepless nights so take one day at a time and when you feel anger building up remove yourself and return to child when calm. Our children really do learn from our actions kids do what we do not what we say so that in and of it self is convicting. Thank you for openly sharing a piece of your truth that I believe if we are all honest most have or do struggle with this very thing. God Bless you ,

    • 408

      Patty says

      Hello Cindy, I too am guilty of being a yeller not so much with my son’s as with my niece whom I have custody of and deserves more patience…. so this article did touch me as well…but what you said about missing the finger prints and the mess….. I used to tell my ex husband that all the time …I would say someday we will miss these days!

  231. 410

    Lee says

    Wow! I’ve read every single post on here (sometimes twice) and this is hands-down my favorite to date. So powerful.

  232. 412

    Tracy says

    Thank you so much for a perfect timing post. I’ve always been a yeller, and as guilty as I feel I don’t know how to stop being one. Recently, my yelling has gotten worse and it’s really affecting my family, especially my daughter. I’ve been searching for all sorts of books, articles about anger hoping i’ll be able to control myself better. Your post is very relatable and exactly what I’m looking for. Reading it makes me feel I’m not alone and that yelling can be stopped. Thanks so much. I can’t wait to read more from you on this topic.

  233. 413

    Bridget says

    I feel like this article chronicles the experience I have been having for the past year. I work full time in a somewhat stressful job. For the past year, my husband has been working out of state, home only 8 days a month. So by default I became a single working mom. Add in all the distractions of modern life (perfectionism, devices, etc.) I was very overwhelmed and the littlest thing, especially at night when I was tired, (my daughter fights sleep like a prizefighter, too!) would set me off into a yelling episode. I knew that I would be causing permanent damage if I did not change my ways. One thing we implemented was a “do better next time” ritual. If someone loses control or yells, we go to the “do better next time” sign (which we made together), pause and reflect, say sorry to the person we yelled at, and vow to do better next time. One thing is true, kids really do respond when they see you trying, even if you slip up and aren’t perfect. I am still a work in progress, but I am much better. It’s been a spiritual journey.

  234. 414

    Melissa says

    Hi! I really liked this post. My mom was a terrible yeller, to the point that we just stopped listening. We had no respect for her and our relationship today is still damaged because of it. She would just yell, never listen or understand where we were coming from. I am not a mom yet, but one day I hope to be, and I have promised myself long ago to not be a yeller and to love and understand my children and reason with them instead. Your article made me cry because I know how the little girl on the foot stool spilling the rice must have felt. Thank you.

  235. 415


    Let me add my appreciation to all the others who have already commented. This was an inspired post and I am glad to have read it. Thank you for being a vehicle of change for so many. PS. I am still crying!

  236. 416

    Tiffanie says

    WOW! What an amazing piece of writing. Tears are streaming down my face. A very powerful reminder of how precious our children are. Finding a balance in this hectic world is a daily struggle for me. Thank you for writing this and sharing your personal story.

  237. 417

    AnnieH says

    I hear lots of ladies saying, “yeah, yeah, sounds good, but HOW?!” I was totally there. I didn’t say horrible words, I said things like, “SIT DOWN!” or “COME HERE RIGHT NOW!” Or I yelled some other command because it was ignored time and time again. It terrified my daughter and made her bawl and scared of me. She didn’t want me to put her to bed at night. So I finally realized that I hated that part of me, and I refused to let it rule me.

    My husband wasn’t sure what to do about it, so I started by getting professional help. After counselling and medication and continued struggle, I’ve had to very, very intentionally reduce stressors in my life. That means little caffeine, little sugar, whole grains instead of white bread, etc. Lean proteins. Vitamins. Sleep. Get rid of the TV. Don’t sit in front of the laptop when the kids are there. I’ve eliminated what I call “artificial deadlines,” which are self-imposed deadlines like, “we have to leave for the park by 10 am!” or “we cannot be late for this play date!” I mean, what is the worst thing that could happen if you’re late for a play date? Or “but I have to get home to make the chicken!!” Don’t let chicken rule the roost: just make sandwiches, sweetie.

    I have lower expectations. For example, I should fully expect for the kids to run and jump in folded clothes piles when I’m trying to fold clothes while they’re awake. Have a shorter time frame for achieving tasks, like give yourself enough time to unload the dishes, but don’t expect your kids to give you enough time to reload them immediately.

    Connect with your kids between tasks if you’re trying to get something done. We implemented two things that have helped tremendously: Time Ins and Time Outs. We have always done timeouts for kids…but sometimes mommy feel like she is about to lose it, and I go in my room and lock the door and hang out there for a few minutes while I calm down. Time Ins are when my kids, mainly my daughter, starts to become a stinker, I realize that she just needs some attention. and frankly, for a 4 y/o, that’s a perfectly healthy thing that I can provide. So I say, “do you need a time in?” She usually nods her yes, and I collect her into my lap and sit with her and rub her back, maybe only for a minute, and then she hops back up to go play. This gives her that connection she needs, and allows me room in my expectations to focus on her, give her what she needs and then go back to what I need to do.

    I’ve also started tracking the physical signs of me getting ready to freak out. I know that when my jaw starts getting tight, and I feel a nagging headache coming, when I start to feel confined or I’m having trouble concentrating because there is too much noise…that is when I know I need a break. I’ve learned to hand it off to my husband, to turn off the radio or the music or stop looking at apps on my phone or stop the task I’m trying to do. I’ve learned that my last resort is giving mommy a timeout in her room, and sometimes I just have to close the door and turn the radio on static so I can gather my thoughts.

    Constant distraction for the kids, low expectations, reducing stressors, listening to my body…none of these tactics would work in isolation. My health and that of my family are dependent on my intentional decision to change how I reacted, to heal my relationship with my daughter, and to meet the needs of my children.

    I still yell, and my daughter is getting really good at it, too. But I yell way less, because I’m choosing to prevent it in simple, manageable ways.

  238. 420

    lauren says

    Oh boy did i need this today. With a 4 year old and 5 month old things have been a bit crazy. My father was a yeller and I hated it growing up. Ive been seeing this come out in myself more and more lately and it makes me feel sick. I was in tears reading this. For the first time yesterday I saw the same look in my sons eyes. No More!!! thank you for your inspiration!! I will not give in to my frustrations anymore!

  239. 421

    Lynne says

    I come from a long line of yellers, and it’s definitely the thing I hate most in myself. I’m printing this out and putting it in my top desk drawer. Thank you.

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    Jennafer Chaddrick says

    Thank you for your transparency–many of us are trying to live up to that idea of being the “perfect mom” and driving ourselves crazy in the process. By slowing down and giving yourself a chance to be real with your kids, you have taught them priceless life lessons! I, too, was a yeller (transformation still in progress!), but didn’t realize how much effect it was having on my 4-yr old. Last June we moved in w/my in-laws while our new home was to be built. Several paperwork problems delayed the start of construction until February! During that time, then tension got the better of all of us. Thankfully, God directed me to His Word and showed me James 1:19-20. At my wit’s end, I knew this passage had to be the key to turning us around. I made up a little tune and we all memorized it, and sang it whenever we were ‘on the brink’: ” ‘My dear brothers, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen and slow to speak and slow to become angry. For man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life God desires.’…so be quick to listen and slow to speak, and slow to become angry. James 1:19-20.” I don’t need to describe to you how humbling it was the first time my son sang it to me as I was noticeably angry one afternoon! Keep up the good work–will be praying for you as you continue your journey!

  241. 423

    Tammy says

    Thank you for sharing.
    Thank you for reminding me that more than anything, these kids need a mom that they don’t fear.
    Love should be in my every response.

  242. 424


    Wish someone would have sen this lesson to the women who gave birth to me 40 some years ago. In early 30’s, she went to far- was 4 years until my Grandmother communicated with me that she would love to have her whole family together for Christmas. Christmas Eve was always at my Mothers house, so my Fiance, myself & the children showed up & made my Grandmother very proud. We never really discussed the differences that drove us apart to begin with- I would try & was shut down when she walk away- I kept thinking maybe she don’t know how to talk about it- waiting to see if i let it be, she would come about in her own time. In late 1999, My Grandmother passed, I seen a change in my Mother & I thought this was the wake up call she needed. Short lived of 5 years, the women I thought was reborn had went back into her wicked self. June of 2011, the last words I heard from her, staring me in the eye like a swards were, ” Don’t ever call her again, not ever for a Damn thing!” SO, as far as I’m concerned- she is dead to me & my life is less stressful & not having to deal with her criticizing or condemning me anymore. She has no Compassion other than material things or those who she her as being what she is not- Hypocritical to me , fake & have not one ounce of respect for her, as she has never shown to me either. She has shown me what love is not & I live a much peaceful harmony within. No more building, let that river run through it!

  243. 426


    My goodness, this post really touched my heart and was so relatable … right down to the writing/computer issues. 🙂 I actually teared up a bit as I read it. Thank you for this important reminder.

  244. 427


    Thank you, again. Tears…Please don’t ever stop writing these posts; I need them desperately to help me remember, remember, remember, each day, the mission I am on to be a better mother. To stop yelling at my precious son. To have more patience. To spend more time. To stop being so very frustrated so much of the time. I need help every single day; thank you so much for bringing it.

  245. 428


    Wow, this post really hit a chord and I am very grateful for your words. My daughter is only 9 months old but I already struggle to try to find a balance with lots of stress in different areas of my life. I would hate for her to be in the receiving line of any of my anger and I know that reevaluating some of my professional obligations would make things easier. Your story is extremely inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing it!!

    xoxo PARIS BEE kids blog

  246. 429

    liesl says

    I feel like you wrote this for me. Thank you. This was the wake up I needed. I had a cereal moment this morning. I yelled. Instead of: “It’s just cereal. And milk. And sugar. But we can clean it good as new.”

    Deep breath. I can only try my best. Thank you for writing this. Thank you for your courage.

  247. 430

    Kristen says

    As many others have said, I was in tears at the end of reading this post. I have just recently come to a place where I know I need to actively get better at my job, that of being a good mommy, and search out resources to help me to do so. Then someone brought this post to my attention, and I definitely feel like it was meant to be. Thank you for this incredible resource – your honesty meant so much, and inspires me to think that I really can change and that it’s not too late, that I haven’t done irreparable harm. I want to be the mom who shrugs off spilled cherrios and a tipped over glass of water because it IS so insignificant, but I find myself getting irritated all the same. Thank you so very much for this. I know I will be rereading it often over this journey of change I am embarking on.

  248. 431

    Kirsten says

    I have just read your article to my son who has just started getting in to trouble at school for being a yeller. He was simply copying the behaviour he’s seen at home for the last 8 years, so it’s not his fault at all. We shared your story and agreed that we’re both going to work hard at not being yellers anymore. We’re better than that. We’re going to do this together.

  249. 432


    This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for writing what was on your heart. It is such an encouragement to hear other moms being real and challenging us to take a good look at what we teach our children when we aren’t paying attention.

  250. 433

    Judy says

    Great post! I’m bookmarking it for myself – to read whenever I need to be reminded that people are more important than things.

  251. 434

    Candice says

    I am so grateful to you for sharing your experience! I am going to try so much harder to not yell so much at my kids. Your words gave me hope. Thank you

  252. 435

    AO says

    So did you write this for me? Everyday I say I will not yell. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am printing this to carry with me. Pray I too can overcome this!!!!

  253. 436

    Leah says

    I saw a friend post this on fb and I decided to read it. I am so thankful that I did. I grew up in a family of yellers and many other things. And I know that is who I am and it makes me feel horrible knowing that my three kids see such an angry mommy who is also a stay at home mom. I get so frustrated at my kids because I guess I feel like they should be acting like adults. They are so young and I don’t want to be the person you described because I know its me as well. What you wrote is exactly me and it helps to hear other mom’s who struggle with this as well. I know as a Christian I am not acting like the Godly mother my kids deserve. And I can’t wait to take on this challenge today. I am so blessed by your post I cried the whole way thru it. Thank you so much for shedding light on an issue that so many of us mom’s hate admitting but need to face for our kids sake.

  254. 437

    Ray Finkle says

    I saw your article on someone’s facebook page I decided to take a quick glance. I am a father of 2 beautiful and sweet daughter’s, ages 4 and 6 months. I joke the 4 year old is 4 going on 16.

    I am a yeller. My entire family is. I grew up in that environment. Through the grace of God, my wife has helped become better. But this article hit home for me. I am going through some stress outside of my immediate family and I find myself with a shorter temper and a louder voice. I should know better. Hell, I do know better. I am also distracted with work e-mail, twitter, facebook, all of it.

    I thank you, as a dad, for this particular blog entry. I have a lot of growing up to do myself and it starts tonight when I get home. Here’s to quieter times.

    Thank you.

  255. 438

    Rebecca says

    Boy, did I need this. I am a yeller and have been convicted of it recently. I don’t like seeing my kids wince and duck when they do something wrong. I know I need to change and your story may as well be mine up to that point. My kids (7 & 5) have started to minic the behavior and it is very obvious where they got it. I don’t like hearing it from them, and I know I have to be the one to stop first before I can expect them to stop. Dr. Misner quoted earlier something that hit me “…we realize that the other person, whom our anger is directed at, is only a secondary cause. The other person is not the real cause of our anger.” I have to apologize to my kids too often for this. I am feeling the pressure of work, home, kids, school, church…and I take it out on them. Let this be the day I start the change. Thank you for sharing your story. So many of us can relate.

  256. 439


    Thank you for writing this. My mother had an explosive temper, and she screamed at me every single day of my childhood. EVERY. DAY. I’m not even exaggerating. It was both horrifying and counterproductive, because her level of anger didn’t match the scale of my crimes and follies. Anything and everything provoked screaming so bad that the dog hid under our beds. After a while, WHY she was screaming stopped mattering. We just avoided her or anything that could set her off.

    And what does my mom have to show for it? Peripheral, distant relationships with her now-adult children… and I’ve spent hundreds in therapy, trying to undo the damage. Children need a stable environment. Even when parental frustration is well earned, a child doesn’t have the perspective to understand that. All they experience is that their parent is mad, and they internalize the anger as being their fault, that they ARE bad. So glad you recognized what was happening and turned that tide sooner than later.

    • 440


      I also had a mother who yelled, Christa. I’m not sure if she yelled every day but I never wanted to go home from school because I didn’t know what mood she’s be in.

      I ended up as a mother myself totally horrified when I heard my own mother come out of my mouth!

      So I’m glad you’ve done therapy ready for if you ever have your own children. 🙂

  257. 441

    Jenna S. says

    Thank you so much for this post. It is comforting to know other moms have the same struggles and I am inspired by your words to strive to yell at my children less. Thanks for being brave enough to share your struggles so that others can be inspired to be better moms.

  258. 442

    Mama who worries for her little one says

    Your post brought tears to my eyes…I can’t thank you enough for changing and being willing to write about that change, to help others and to give hope. I struggle, not with being the yeller, but with being married to one. I struggle, wondering what my little 22 month old is learning on a daily basis. I struggle with the distraction of not being in a healthy marriage. I talk about frustration with my little one by saying Mama is frustrated about x. Here’s what I need to do about it: …I hope I am making some sort of impact on her and am lessening what she learns from her father.
    My question is how does one get across this message to her spouse, how does one encourage someone else to not be a yeller, when the other person doesn’t even see it as an issue?
    Again, I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to write about this painful period in your life, but, most of all, for being willing to look deep inside and make the change for the better!

    • 443


      Yelling is just one way of letting go of steam. It is a learned response. In order to stop yelling you have to replace it with something else or else when you become frustrated it will rise its ugly head. Your spouse needs to have other ways of expressing himself. He has learned to yell, so he can learn to not yell, but if he doesn’t know what to do it will return. Sometimes just showing another different ways of responding can be enough to get them to change. But remember, as much as his yelling is a bad influence, your way of dealing with things is a positive influence, so don’t underestimate your own modeling.

  259. 444

    Dawn says

    Words cannot express my reflection, my sadness, my wishing I could unring those bells, & my love for my children and asking their forgiveness. Wow. Ouch!
    I believe that there should be “major qualifications” to being a parent…one must get licensed for so many other less than this important things.

    A job “at times I wasn’t qualified for”!

  260. 445

    Andrea says

    Thanks for this post… it made me tear up reading it, because I know I have the same issues in my home. You have inspired me and encouraged me with this post. So glad you posted it even though it was hard. I am so proud of you and thankful for this post.

  261. 446

    Emily says

    Thank you. I too am a yeller. I use to be a screamer. I have been working hard at being peaceful but not hard enough. I have been pleading with God to help me. Some days the anger just wells in me and I explode into yelling and it becomes very hard to stop. I see your post as a direct answer to my prayers, now on to check out the orange rhino. Thank you.

  262. 447

    Kim says

    Wow. That is truly what I needed after this last week of pure insanity. I myself have a six and three year old daughters and your article sounds like it was written about me and my girls.
    Thank-you for your truly inspirational words. You have given me hope for today and the days to come. I thank-you for that and I think your an amazing women to come out and write about what so many women go through on a daily basis. Not only with themselves being “yellers” but having do deal with spouses that are.
    I grew up with a VERY angry Father and it makes me so angry that his horrific traits have been picked up and used by me. How can I be so weak?
    I know how completely terrifying it was a child growing up but now i’m a full grown women with two beautiful little girls and I see more then I want of my Dads traits.
    After this I feel the weakness dissipating and my new strength shining through.
    Thank-you from the bottom of my heart!!

  263. 448

    Susan says

    Thank you for this post. You are so correct.For me; when I don’t get enough sleep and feel overwhelmed it’s easy to yell. And like you stated, it’s behind closed doors with the people we love the most. Thank you.

  264. 449

    Brooks Nelson says

    Thank you so much for this. I came across it on Facebook and I am so glad I took the time to read it. I am just about 38 weeks pregnant and I have been very crabby and short with my 3 other children. I was sick at the first, had a few weeks of feeling good and then my ribs started hurting as the baby got bigger, and the heartburn started in and I was always exhausted. It’s been a very rough pregnancy for me. Anyways, I’ve always gotten after my kids for stuff, but it’s been a lot worse the last 5-6 months. A few weeks ago I realized how bad it had gotten and I’ve been trying to be better, but WOW does it take a LOT of Love & Patience. I have the Love, Patience, not so much. 🙂 It’s a work in progress.

  265. 450

    Jen says

    Oh mama. Thank you for posting this. I am a yeller, or rather a recovering yeller. The other day I threw what was basically a tantrum, shouting, swearing, and turned to see my 6 year old’s son face contorted as he burst into tears. It was like a knife to the heart. I had been frustrated by my 3 year old’s playdough mess and constant whining and just lost it. Before that day I felt bad about yelling, but it never seemed to illicit a response from the kids so I assumed they pretty much ignored me.
    I’ve had 2 good days. I started to raise my voice today and I could see the fear and disappointment in my eldest child’s eyes. I calmed down. I let them eat popsicles in the garage right before dinner.

  266. 451

    Greg Carttar says

    I was a Dad in the middle of a divorce, and the disintegrating domestic situation was getting to me. The details are not important, but I lost it one day and started yelling like a maniac…not at my 4 year old daughter, not at something she had done – I was yelling at or about other people but she was within my sphere at the moment….I had the same epiphany: there she was cowering on the floor of the car behind the drivers seat waiting for it to be over. And it changed me.
    Now…..does that mean that when she became a teenager and made hideous decisions that I never fought with her? No. Does it mean that in those fights that we were not screaming at each other? No it does not.
    What it means is that when it was over, we both thought about it and within a few more minutes we were talking about the situation, and after a little while we came to an accommodation. Sometimes I won, sometimes she won. But we talked. As a parent dealing with a teen, there are times that you MUST win.
    With a teenager that can communicate with you, and who can reconsider their own actions, there is the luxury of stepping back and both of you thinking about it and cooling off. Then because you love each other, the possibility of talking it out. It’s part of the boundaries/expectations process.

    You don’t have that luxury with a small child, and you have to fight it. You run the risk of creating a person who is so adverse to conflict that they will learn to give in and not stand their ground when they need to.
    She is a parent herself now 20+ years hence, and finds herself in the same situation, grappling with the same self-realization with her own kids.
    In fact, I was driven to this blog by her posting her own epiphany about it.
    So, thank you for your post, and for revealing your journey.
    And yes, I teared up also remembering that day and that look, which I will never forget.
    All my best.

  267. 452


    Thank you for this beautiful perspective. I have a four-year-old son and twins on the way, and I was able to step back and see my son in a whole new light tonight. Thank you for that peace.

  268. 453

    Shannon Adams says

    Wow, I think God must be trying to hit me on the head with this subject 🙂 This is the third thing today I have read regarding this topic and I have been struggling with this myself. I have a 7, 6, 4 and 20 month old and have been finding myself getting more and more into those annoyed/aggravated yelling situations. I definitely notice it more when things become super busy in the household and that is a big reason why I only allow my children one sport/season. I really appreciate this blog and my eyes are now open. I definitely don’t want to shut out my kids and that is for sure the road I am going down if I continue. Thank you!!!! Hopefully now that I am really aware and my eyes are open I can begin the change. I know it isn’t going to be easy but it definitely is a change that needs to be made. My mom was a yeller and I was stuck as a 12 year old babysitting my younger siblings all the time and that is when the yelling started for me, who listens to their older sibling?

  269. 454

    Stefani says

    I am speechless because there are not words to describe my gratitude for your story. I am a yeller, my mom was a yeller and I HATED it! I am very inspired to changes! Thank you!

  270. 455

    Caity says

    I am also a blogger. I chose to write through my PPD after I had my son, and I had a lot of women tell me how inspiring my writing was.

    Now I know how they felt. Thank you for sharing this. You’re brave to open up like you did.

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    Heather says

    I am in tears right now after reading your post and so many of the comments. I am a yeller as well. When I do pause and think about it, I always end up in tears. I wonder, “Why do I yell all of the time?” And I do feel like I yell all of the time. When I’m yelling, it’s always someone else’s fault. It’s my exes fault for having an affair and leaving me as a single parent. It’s the children’s fault because I have already told them 100 times to do something and they didn’t (or vice versa). It’s the baby’s fault because he wants to be held just about all of the time. But really, it’s none of those reasons. Usually, it’s just because there’s something else I’d rather be doing. And usually it’s not at all important. And certainly not my children’s fault! All too often, I take my anger and frustration out on whomever’s around, and 90% of the time, it’s my children. But they didn’t ask to be brought into this world. I chose to have them and raise them. It’s my responsibility to teach them right from wrong. They’re not just supposed to know it. I mean, I didn’t just already know everything. I had to learn it. And I’m still learning, even being 30 years old! Also, It really hurts when my mom and sisters say something to me for yelling when they do the same thing. I’m not saying that because they do it, then it’s okay for me. But I don’t judge them or criticize them for it. I recognize it as them being frustrated and maybe needing someone to step in and help out by giving them a break. I need support from them, not fingers pointing at me. I HAVE to learn to LET GO of so many little things, too. I have OCD, so that’s a big issue for me…..Ugh! Anyway, thank you for sharing this. I now have “The Orange Rhino…” that you recommended open in another tab. Heading there next. Well, after I put the kids in bed. After reading this, I think I may beed to limit myself to getting on the computer only after they are in bed for the night. And only staying on for 30 minutes to an hour, max!

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    Sigi says

    Wow very deep and inspiring, I’m saving this on my phone so I can read it and have it as a reminder. I grew up in a house where yelling was just the way it was. My mother yelled at us kids so we yelled at each other and when I had my kids it just stayed with me. I hate yelling at them. I really don’t like the person I am when I yell! After reading this I was truly moved and I will do as much as I can to work on my bad “habit”.
    Thank you thank you
    Sometimes you just need to hear it from someone you don’t know. Hit home for sure

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    Kelly says

    You have NO IDEA how badly I needed this post today! Since becoming a mother to a very difficult high need child, I have become stressed out and a total yeller. I am not normally that way. However, the last 2.5 years have been horrible and I have also realized that my son fears me. Now we have a 7 month old as well. I hate that I yell and I can’t help but wonder if I have already done the damage. I really really really needed to hear this. It is so inspiring and wonderful to hear of your success and that it is not too late. I can do this! Thank you thank you thank you!

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    Sophie says

    Thank you. I had a good cry after reading this. I needed to read this and I’m so grateful that you shared your story.

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    EEO says

    Thanks for this. I know every mom thinks they are the only ones who yell and then feel horrible about how it makes them feel. So thankful that no matter what background we are from, all moms can support each other 🙂

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    jodi says</