How To Discipline Without Yelling: 12 Effective Strategies
Ever have one of those days where you are just done? DONE!
Of course you have. We all have.
The days where you are pretty dang sure you must be speaking a different language because there is not an ounce of listening going on.
Discipline? How do I do that? The idea of how to discipline without yelling seems like an impossible task.
What happens on these days when we are frustrated beyond belief and not sure what to do?
Has yelling become the go-to method? Sometimes it seems like that is the only option.
But does it work like a charm? Not usually. At least not in my house.
So where does that leave us?
What the heck can we do? More specifically, what can we do besides scream at the top of our lungs? Something that is going to get us somewhere. Besides hiding in our bedroom closet crying.
Yelling is like that glass of juice that got spilled. It happened by accident and you really wish you could take it back as soon as it happens. No such luck.
I want to yell less. Do you?
That is a realistic goal.
Reading this will not miraculously banish yelling from your household. But hopefully, it gives you some tools to use which help in making yelling the exception and not the rule.
These are things that, on my really good days, create some calm instead of adding to the chaos.
Let me say one more thing. A tantrum is a powerful thing. It can bring you to your knees. Make you want to walk out the front door and not come back.
Some days feel like you are in the ring going round after round no matter what you do. Just keep trying. Keep doing your best. Which involves making mistakes. And then going back in for more.
BTW: Come connect with me on Instagram! We can share real aspects of mom life!
Here Are 12 Tips on How to Discipline Without Yelling…
1) Check on Yourself
OK, first thing first here, friends.
How are you feeling? Yes, you. I know we tend to get pushed to the back burner.
But take a look at the times you lose your cool. Some of those times may have very little to actually do with your kiddos.
My fuse is extremely short when I am tired or hungry. Or especially when I have been go go go and can’t remember the last time I took some time for myself.
The better you take care of yourself has a direct connection to how you take care of others.
Look at the times you have a hard time not turning into Momzilla. Is there an underlying reason that this particular situation really gets you going?
2) Check on Your Kids
Kids have this special ability to push our buttons like it is their job. I know.
But pause and do a quick little check-in.
Are they not feeling well?
Are they tired? Hungry?
Tired and hungry? We all know that is a terrifying combination.
Doing a little check-in to see if there is a simple underlying issue can put things into perspective.
You know those days when a snack solves the issue? Those are my favorite days. They are not nearly as common as I would like. But I take the wins whenever I can get them.
It is much easier to stay calm and deal with an issue in a productive way when you look at underlying issues.
I tend to be able to keep my cool more easily when I take a second and think about what’s going on.
3) Take a Second
Make sure your kids are in a safe place. And then go take a second for yourself. Go scream in a pillow. Yell at a stuffed animal. Run in place for a quick minute. Put on a song that brings your rage down a little.
My daughter is at the age now where I can tell her that mommy needs a minute (or five minutes).
Walking away to cool off will always be a better option than screaming.
That four-letter word may just be my arch-nemesis.
When people say stay calm, it usually makes me feel the total opposite.
But hear me out. If I look back on all my parenting adventures, the times I stayed calm usually had much better outcomes. Notice I say usually. Some days will be a sh*t show no matter what.
The times I yelled and made my mean mom face were the days where things got way worse before they got any better.
This takes practice. There is not a magic calm switch.
Check out these ways I practice patience and staying calm.
5) Validate Their Feelings
Sometimes, an issue really can be made much smaller just by validating feelings.
Letting them know that you understand how they are feeling. You see them. Not just brushing them off.
“You really wanted to stay and play longer.”
“It is hard to leave when you are having so much fun.”
Just a simple acknowledgment can make a big difference.
6) Be Consistent
This may be the most important topic on this list. And it just happens to be the one I struggle with most. I think a lot of parents struggle with this.
Have you ever given 27 warnings in a matter of minutes? I seem to always be trying to set a world record?
But listen up! Consistency is key.
Our kids are smart. And they can call our bluff better than professional poker players.
When we say things with no follow-through, it basically makes our words useless.
You know the famous line that says something about having to tell them one more time.
Oh, and then we usually throw in a threat that we are not planning on sticking with. We are just really hoping it knocks some sense into them.
Yeah, who is really getting one over on the other one in this situation. I will give you a hint. It is not us.
I am all about giving anything a fair shot. Try a behavior chart. Taking something away. There is not a one way only sign when it comes to parenting and especially when it comes to discipline.
Sit down with your partner and come up with a plan. And then stick to it.
This is a perfect way to create boundaries. Being consistent shows kids that you mean what you say.
Then they will know that when you say last chance it actually means something!
7) Get on Their Level
My daughter once told me I looked like a big scary monster. And looking back on it later, I did.
Standing over her yelling is not a good look for me.
I TRY to always get down on her level. Look her in the eye.
Does this make her miraculously listen to me? Maybe once in a great while when the stars align.
But do you know what it does do?
It doesn’t make things worse. It is a little tool to use to not aid in escalating the situation. Even if it only brings things down a notch or two. I will toss it right in the pros column any day of the week.
8) Firm Voice
You do not need to speak to your child like they are a delicate flower. There is a middle ground between screaming and that weird whispering. You know when you are trying to stay calm but the way you are talking is really just coming across as creepy?
Heck, all my mom had to do was look at me. My sister and I still talk about the look. When mom shot us the look, we knew she meant business.
I obviously have not mastered the look. I try it with my daughter and she looks confused. Like I am trying to play a game of funny faces but mine is not at all funny to her.
The point is you can use a firm voice. A voice that is not scaring anyone. A voice that is not causing the neighbors to stare out their window. But rather a voice that says to stop, look and listen up!
9) Quiet Chair
This does not have to be a chair. Really just a quiet place.
This is a place you and your child decide is their special place to go if they are feeling very frustrated or angry. A place where they go to cool off a little.
Give your child a choice. They love choices. Have them choose a spot where they will go when they are feeling some “big” feelings.
10) Deter With Something Else
This is my husband’s go-to method. When one situation is causing frustration, he introduces a new idea.
Flip the script basically. This can diffuse the situation.
I really like this method when you are out and about. We all know those discipline strategies that work at home are not always able to be used when you are not at home. I don’t think the grocery store would appreciate my child walking in the back and finding a quiet place to cool off.
Sometimes you just have to dangle a new idea and hope your kid takes the bait.
11) Point Out The Positives
Our kids do not enjoy making us angry. I know it feels like that sometimes. But I do not think they are evil little creatures plotting to drive us nuts. Maybe on Mondays! But for sure not the rest of the week.
Make sure to point out when you see good behavior happening and good choices being made. And cross your fingers and toes that pointing this out will create more of that goodness!
Kids give us so many opportunities to point out things they are doing wrong or things they could be doing better.
This makes it that much more crucial to point out the good we see them doing.
12) Accept the Hard Days
The bad days are going to happen. Every single parent out there has them. Those days where you would rather be anywhere that does not involve your kids.
Part of parenthood is accepting these days for what they are and moving on when they are done.
Try to have the “today is a new day” attitude.
Maybe yesterday was hard. OK, maybe it totally sucked and had you questioning why you became a parent in the first place.
But if you hold onto those feelings, it can add negativity to a new day before it has even started.
If you are a parent, then you are well aware that some days you can pull out every tool you have in your mom belt and things will still be a hot mess express.
Every child is different. And something that works well for one situation may not work at all in another.
My parenting toolbox feels like it is overflowing and I am still not sporting a very good batting average. But I keep on trying. I keep going.
When it comes to parenting, it is vital to let go of the idea it is supposed to be this way or that way.
I am not a perfect parent. Far from it. No one out there is rocking the parenting game 24/7.
But you can rock the “never giving up” game. The “damn, this is hard but I’m here for it” game.
And if you ever feel alone, don’t! I am sitting right beside you on that imaginary struggle bus. Offering up high fives and wine!
Share away any tips you have on how to discipline without yelling!
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