Help for Yelling


It happened again. We had another rough morning and I feel horribly guilty for yelling too much, too loud, too mean. Why is it that one awful parenting moment can so easily make me doubt my worth as a mother? Why can’t I stop the cycle of yelling at my kids? I don’t want them to remember their childhood years as a pile full of broken memories of their Mommy screaming at them. Just typing that makes me so sad.


This Sunday at church, one of our priests stood by the baptismal font during communion and offered healing prayer to anyone who wanted to pray with him. I walked over after receiving communion, and asked him to help me pray for patience. Patience with my kids, my family, and myself. I needed to start somewhere and this perfect opportunity gave me hope.


But I’m quickly learning that I need a whole lot more than hope if I’m ever going to fix my yelling problem.




8:15am this morning. I looked up from the sandwiches and fruit I was tossing into lunch sacks for the kids to check the time. From the other room, I heard her big brother giving a lesson on Lego firemen and how they help people in trouble while she ohhhed and ahhed and asked questions here and there. For the most part, they were playing happily together while I rushed about the kitchen assembling healthy lunches. I was grateful in that moment.


With the lunch task completed, I ushered the kids upstairs so that we could all get dressed and ready and out the door.


The kids couldn’t agree on a show to watch together on the ipad while I got ready. He wanted Lunar Jim and she wanted Calliou. There was no compromising and so I took the privilege away. That’s when it happened.


My little man told me, in the middle of our angry, rotten argument over the fact that I took the ipad away, that he was going to get rid of me. (He also told me that he loved the ipad more than he loved me, but that’s a whole different post altogether.) The kids were still in their jammies, I had no time to take a shower, and it was apparent we weren’t going to get there on time. I should have just given up on trying.


“I’m going to get rid of you, Mommy! he threatened, with all the power and might of his little four-and-a-half-year-old voice.


His words were like a dagger to my heart.


And when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did.


“Oh, really? How are you going to do that, bud?” I retorted as I pulled my sweater over my head.


“I’ll put you in the trash can!” he screamed as hot tears spilled down his cheeks.


And with that, he forced the dagger in further and twisted it sharply. I knew in that moment that I was failing him as a parent. I could sense the anguish behind his words. I could feel his anger squeeze my heart and wring it out. I had become so worthless to him that he wanted to throw me away.


Right then and there, in my mind, silently to myself I vowed to make some serious changes.


I finished getting dressed and then got down on my knees and pulled him to me, wrapping him with all that I had left. I cried with him, and we both whispered over and over again our vows to stop fighting and yelling. Baby girl timidly walked over with open arms and joined in on our big hug.


This is where the healing begins.


I dropped them off at school and came home to start writing. A good friend of mine had forwarded me an email about an upcoming program at her church. I couldn’t believe my eyes as I read the description of the free workshop. “The instructor will demonstrate ways to eliminate power struggles and yelling, get kids off video games/screens without a fight and create stress-free mornings.” I immediately signed up, thanked her for inviting me, and breathed a sigh of relief.

I can stop beating myself up. I’m putting a plan in place. Help is on the way and I’m excited about the future.

My fourth post for’s Word of Mom Blog went live yesterday. Please check it out if you have a chance.

Thanks so much!


  1. I admit, I think I lose my temper and yell too much at my toddler at time. No parent is perfect and you can’t be too hard on yourself. You are doing a good job.

  2. I think this is on most parents “to do” list. Stop yelling so much. I know it is on mine. It is something I always struggle with. I know I want to show my kids a good example of how to handle their anger and yet so many times I fail. And when I do, I make sure to apologize. There is a lesson in that for them as well. They know I make mistakes, I am human. That is a valuable lesson for them to see. No one is perfect. And when I do wrong, I apologize.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. It isn’t always all bad when our kids see us lose our tempers. They see we are angry and they learn that their behavior affects other people. And that no matter if mommy gets mad or not she always loves them. Yes, we need to control ourselves and not let it get out of control, but again, no one is perfect.

    My best friend lived in a house where anger was never shown. Being angry was considered evil. So she was not allowed to express that and that was equally if not more damaging than yelling.

    In short, too late, go easy on yourself. Your children know you love them. You are doing a great job!

    • Thank you so much, Kat, for showing me that I’m not alone. I try so hard to be the best mom I can be for my kids that I think I forget to allow myself to make mistakes. It’s something that I think I’ll be forever working on.

  3. When my kids were your kids’ ages and I was the one yelling, I bemoaned the fact at our weekly mom’s morning out. One of my very wise friends said the more you pray for patience, the more life will throw trials at your to test that patience. You’re ok…don’t be so hard on yourself. And quit praying for patience :)

  4. Thank you, thank you for this post. It brought tears to my eyes as I have found myself in this exact position too many times to count (this morning being one of them).

    I can relate so well to the loss of control and regret that happens each and every time a morning doesn’t go as planned. I don’t know about you, but mornings are the hardest for me to manage my moods. They always have been. And my kids unfortunately take the brunt of my ugly mommy mornings. This morning my husband got a shot of it too.

    I share my post with you on this very same topic (

    I really appreciate your beautiful blog and get a lot of comfort out of reading your posts. As I read them it feels like you are describing my life!

    Keep writing – you are helping many with your insights.

    All the best,


    • Thank you so much, Sarah! I’m so glad that you found this post helpful. I thought your post was so wonderful, the way you shed light on things we can do in order to avoid ugly-mommy. They were all great suggestions.

      Thank you for connecting with me and for putting yourself out there. I know we’re both impacting many lives through sharing ourselves so honestly via our writing.

      Keep in touch! xo

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