As I mentioned in my previous two blog posts on this topic of yelling:
There are big reasons you are still yelling at your kids.
And there really is only one way to stop yelling at your kids.
And all of it comes back to creating systemic change in your family culture.
As promised, I’m offering this Abundant Mama Project lesson and giving it to you right here for free.
It’s the only lesson on yelling I offer because in order to really live a yell-less life, you have to be prepared to take on some pretty big holistic changes. Those changes must happen across all parts of your life — not just in the single act of yelling.
However, a very good first step in changing a culture of yelling is understanding your family’s anger triggers.
That’s right. Not just you’re own. Your entire family unit’s triggers must be understood.
One of the first steps you can take in changing your family’s reaction culture at home is figuring out what makes you all get so dang upset.
- This goes for sibling rivalry and communication that creates those squabbles that are often a trigger.
- This goes for the mean hands and mean words kids toss out during moments of frustrations.
- This goes for adult temper tantrums.
- This goes for adult relationships and marriages.
These triggers are the spark — the fire — of any conflict in a home.
These triggers are the superficial reasons we get mad, angry, sad, upset, jealous.
Of course, triggers are often the symptom of something bigger (lack of sleep, hungry or my favorite the mix of the two — hangry!)
That’s why the inner work to being a more peaceful parent is so essential here.
So, what are YOUR triggers?
They are THOSE things that set you off, that aggravate you to no end, that get you so worked up you can’t help but want to respond with a scream or running away — for good.
They can be anything for anyone but there are many we can all relate to as well. Children often know just what to do to push our buttons and aggravate our triggers.
Consider direct actions and indirect actions that might be triggering your own anger.
For instance, you might be mad that your son hit your daughter. That’s a direct trigger.
Or, you might be dealing with a child’s issue while also under stress because there’s not enough money to pay the electric bill this month. That’s an indirect trigger.
No matter what they are, list them all on a sheet of paper. Knowledge is power.
And, what are your child’s triggers?
Help your children understand their own triggers. Explain in a gentle — non-accusing way — and see if you can nudge them to start considering their own.
Once we had the language for what made my daughter angry, she suddenly could verbalize when something was bothering her or when it was about to bother her. This was a big turning point in our ability to avoid power struggles and keeping peaceful measures in place.
Perhaps your child’s trigger is something really simple that can be changed quickly and easily. Or, perhaps it’s something that will always bother them — at least until they realize they don’t have to let it bother them.
One of my daughter’s triggers was when her twin sister ignored her. For the longest time this would make her so angry and she would fly off the handle almost all the time.
Oddly enough, one of MY triggers was when she would fly off the handle for what appeared to be no reason. Once I understood that the very thing that was sparking her anger was actually a quiet, not-too-obvious situation between her and her sister, it became easier for us to understand — and the issue was immediately solved.
We must not only understand our own triggers but everyone’s triggers and how they play off of one another. Understanding these internal dynamics in your own family is essential.
And, here’s the kicker: these triggers and family dynamics will change over time as your family evolves.
This is why a 10-point plan to yelling less is not always helpful. This is why a 30-day plan to stop yelling isn’t sticking for the long term.
So what does work?
What has worked for myself and many other well-intentioned mothers is a mixture of inner work and family work. Learning to both embrace and release the good and the bad that is thrown at us every single day.
I call it letting go.
If you’re the only one who tries to change, nothing will ever change. It has to be a whole-family experience.
DISCUSS: WHAT ARE YOUR TRIGGERS? WHAT ARE YOUR CHILD’S TRIGGERS?