SLAMMING DOORS & TEMPER TANTRUMS: HOW TO STOP A CHILD FROM YELLING
December 08, 2021
Discipline and relationship issues with children are common, and you’re not alone if you’re earnestly trying to learn how to stop a child from yelling without resorting to drastic measures.
It’s difficult to address common approaches for how to stop a child from yelling without a lot of understanding, empathy, and nuance. Because this issue affects all parents at some point, we have put together some of the best available resources and recommendations for how to prepare and react when the yelling starts.
However, these practices may not be suitable for all parents and/or children - especially if there are extenuating circumstances that require the advice of a psychological or medical professional.
With caveats out of the way, let’s chat about some of the most common things that cause children to have difficulty regulating their emotions, and how to to stop a child from yelling even when it seems impossible.
Common Triggers for Children
Sometimes it’s quite clear what will (or could) cause your child to have an outburst and struggle to regulate their emotions. It could consistently be the same trigger that causes an issue, and you might be able to anticipate when and where a problem will arise.
In other cases, the instances that cause your child to react can feel wildly unpredictable. The emotional and physiological factors involved can be different each day. Here are some of the most common triggers that, if addressed properly, can help you develop an actual plan for how to stop a child from yelling:
- At a young age, children who have unbalanced diets or poor sleep patterns can seriously struggle to self-regulate their emotional responses.
- If parents have created an environment that feels unstable (e.g., irregular rhythms for mealtimes, school pickup, work schedules, babysitters, etc.), children don’t know what to expect and they are more likely to act out.
- A continual lack of discipline or consequences will make it almost impossible for your child to understand the acceptable boundaries of their behavior.
Expert Tips for How to Stop a Child from Yelling
The tips that we’ve summarized below are general, but they should provide great starting points for any parent that needs practical advice and next steps for addressing problematic behaviors with their children.
- Stay calm. The most important thing to remember when trying to figure out how to stop a child from yelling at you is that they will respond to how you react. Most parents struggle to not yell back at their kids, but this only makes things worse. Matching their intensity level is always less effective (long-term) than clearly explaining consequences and practicing calm disciplinary measures.
- Be consistent with consequences. Children are prone to push boundaries and continually see how far they can get without a consequence. If they know (or even sense) that you won’t be predictably follow through with punishments, they are much more likely to immediately escalate if they think it will help them get their way.
- Try to prevent issues before they occur. Set your child’s expectations properly if you know that they are likely to act out based on something they need to do or how the situation is likely to unfold. Explain how things are going to work so that they know what to anticipate, and that you (or another authority figure) is in control.
- Don’t immediately give in to their requests. Instant gratification is a recipe for disaster, and it only prolongs figuring out how to stop a child from yelling. Giving a disobedient or disorderly child exactly what they want when they yell is quite literally training them to use this technique when a parent says no.
- Don’t always barter. There are times when it’s easier to barter with your child, particularly when they are older and you are actually able to achieve the desired behavior. However, like the previous point, be careful about the precedent you’re setting. Even though your child is technically obeying, the need to constantly come up with incentives is exhausting and unpractical. Rewards are a powerful incentive, but when you can’t provide one you’ll have a much harder time maintaining control of the situation.
- Have public and private ways of dealing with yelling. Sometimes it’s difficult to admit that “my child yells at me in public.” Dealing with behavioral issues at home is completely different than trying to stop a meltdown in the checkout aisle. Sometimes it’s simply best to cut your outing short and remove yourself and your child from the situation before addressing behavior.
Is there a perfect solution for how to stop a child from yelling? No. But the most effective way to address behavioral issues is with a consistent, calm response that lets your child know who’s in control and what the outcome will be. Beyond consistent and measured reactions from parents, the help of a qualified therapist can also be helpful for understanding and communicating with your child.