Parenting

Hello. My Name is Zoot and I’m A Yeller.

Okay. I started an entry where I wrote about my YELLING! as a response to my misbehaving kids. And I don’t just mean raising my voice a notch louder. I mean, YELLING. As in – if I did it for a sustained length of time I’d lose my voice. If you’re not a yeller, you probably don’t know the difference, but if you are, then you know exactly that line I’m talking about. The entry babbled on and on about how I’m an instinctive yeller and that I have tried to change that the last 13 years of being a mother because as a child – I hated being yelled at. I mean – I hated it. Nothing would bring me to tears quicker than being yelled at. Which is why it’s pretty stupid that I fell back on it so naturally as a Mom.

But then I thought – before I hash out this topic in my own life – I’d love to get feedback about it first. I’ll admit, the thought crossed my mind that YELLING may be like spanking and something no one does anymore. (If so? The child-Zoot is grateful.) I mean – people talk about the anti-spanking shift in parenting all the time. But what about the YELLING? How does the typical Mom (or Dad) feel about that? I feel like my readership is a very normal set of people. I don’t attract a lot of extremes. No one attacks me for using disposable diapers and no one attacks commenters who don’t nurse they’re kids. So – I thought you all would be the best audience to field test this topic.

I’ll admit it. I’m extremely embarrassed about my YELLING. Seriously. It’s not pretty. When I yell…my kids cry. Period. End of story. LilZ had it a lot worse because I had to re-train my odd instincts (WHY was that an instinct?) – and I’ll always carry the visions of bringing him to tears with my voice around in my nightmares. I’m almost ashamed to admit that. But – it’s not something NikkiZ has been spared either. THE YELL. It comes out of me sometimes. And I wish it didn’t.

So – I want to feel you guys out before I bare my crappy-parenting soul to the world. Mainly because I’m not sure what the world thinks about this topic. It may be the one parenting topic nineteen million people haven’t written about already.

Remember: YELLING. Not simply raising your voice. I don’t know how to spell out the difference, but if you’ve YELLED, you know it.

Also Remember: I’m embarrassed about a lot of these things. SERIOUSLY. Please don’t judge me. And if you fear judgment on your responses – feel free to be anonymous.

1. How did you feel about getting YELLED at as a kid? Did it traumatize anyone as much as it did me or am I a giant wuss?

2. Do you YELL as a parent? How often does it happen? Or maybe – how bad does the crime have to be to warrant a YELL? I’ll admit, I used to be a frequent YELLER.

3. How do you feel after you YELL? Does it make your kids cry? If it does – do you feel like a total asshole like I do? Do you apologize later? Or do you just consider: Mission Accomplished. (Because sometimes I’m angry enough to feel the latter. I’ll admit.)

4. Do you think YELLING is not a big deal at all and trying to not YELL is one of the many ways we’re over-pampering our kids? Because sometimes I wonder that too. Am I babying my kids too much by trying to spare their feelings when their in trouble? I mean, shouldn’t they be upset if they’re in trouble? Isn’t that the point?

Update from 2020: I hardly yell at all anymore. It took time and learning how to best parent Wesley but I did stop yelling and now if I even raise my voice a notch or have an irritated tone my kids are all, “DO NOT YELL!” and I’m all, “YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT REAL YELLING IS!”

66 thoughts on “Hello. My Name is Zoot and I’m A Yeller.”

  1. I will answer has much as I can, since I don’t have kids…

    1. Honestly? I got spanked more than yelled at when I was young. As I grew older that obviously stopped, and the yelling came. I didn’t like the yelling. I realize now it wasn’t the yelling I didn’t like, it was what I DID to get yelled at. I obviously was doing something wrong and I didn’t like the fact that I disappointed my parents somehow. I don’t get yelled at now, but I still fear the disappointing part.

    2. Since I don’t have kids, I can’t really state much. I do know when babysitting I do find it hard to restrain myself when one of the boys is jumping on the couch while the other is crying. I don’t want to yell at them because they aren’t my kids, but I do know what they are doing is wrong. It is hard to know what you can and can’t do as a sitter.

    3. I have yelled in the past when babysitting and I have apologized to the boys, and also let the parents know what had happened and why. I usually feel like an asshole. Once maybe even thought “mission accomplished”

    4. I do think a lot of kids are pampered these days. You see it more and more in how kids behave, especially as they get older. I always think “I would never behave that way, I would have gotten in so much trouble.” I don’t think yelling is a bad thing at all. I do think there is a time and a place for it, but sometimes it just has to happen.

    You aren’t a bad person for yelling at all.

  2. 1. My Mom was a yeller and I HATED it. It wasn’t so much the yelling though, it was what she said. I’ve actually taken a lot of lessons of what not to do from her in parenting, sadly.

    2. I raise my voice, I’m just loud by nature but I’ve only yelled (at him) a couple times. For my son running out near the street or coming into his room after a nap and finding POOP everywhere.

    3. I don’t feel guilty, he doesn’t cry about it so I don’t think I’m an effective yeller, haha.

    4. I don’t think yelling is a big deal in terms of child development. I USED to be a yeller before I had children and was married before. And, I think it’s because I didn’t learn how to communicate effectively because I grew up in a house of yellers. It took some time to get out of that habit and learn to just chill the hell on out.

    Now, I will say that I am a stern talker. My tone is not pretty when I tell him to do things he knows he should be doing. I sometimes envy the mothers I hear who have the sing-song voices, they just sound NICE. That is not me.

  3. My father was a Yeller and it terrified me. He yelled for everything, he yelled over spilled milk. My house had a lot of yelling in it even after the divorce. To this day, hearing people yell at each makes me cringe.

    As a Mom, I swore I would never raise my kids around the yelling and would keep the tone of my voice in check. I have not completely succeeded with this and have found myself loosing my cool and yelling at my daughter. I always feel terribly guilty about it b/c it does bring her to tears. I think since she’s not used to it, the times I do yell upsets her even more. After I cool down I always apologize to her and tell her it wasn’t nice of Mommy to yell. Luckily, I can count on one hand the times I have really yelled at her, so that makes me feel a little better!

    I think it’s a matter of opinion. Obviously, for someone like me who was raised around it and found herself upset by it, I don’t like the yelling. I would wish that I could raise my daughters learn how to communicate appropriately and respectfully to each other but sometimes, kids just press the wrong buttons!!

  4. I’m a yeller and I wish I wasn’t. I was yelled at too, which I think is why we fall back on it. I actually started counting the days I didn’t yell when I first got pregnant and hormonal with my 3rd this summer (like industry style – 100 days no accidents! 10 days no yelling!). I ALWAYS feel guilty about it because I always feel like it is my frustration that causes it rather than my kids’ actions. If I was a little more patient I could deal with their misbehavior in a more appropriate way.

    I’ve gotten much better, but just yesterday I yelled for the first time in a while – out of sleep-deprived frustration. And made both of my kids cry. I calmed myself, apologized and hugged them and tried to go on with our day. My 3 1/2 year old has taken to sometimes saying “I yove you mommy, even when you yell.”

  5. I don’t have kids, so I can’t rightly say what I’d do and what I wouldn’t – I have a flash temper, but it’s over with quickly.

    However, my dad was a HUGE yeller when my sister and I were kids. He’s much better with our brother, who is significantly younger than us and the only kid left in the house.

    Chalk me up to being a wuss as well, I cry when I’m yelled at, I get teary when I see OTHER people get yelled at, I flap my hands and panic and say “Don’t yell, don’t yell!” whenever someone seems close to raising their voice.

    I don’t know if I’d yell at my kids – I mean, if they made that mad, I guess it might just poop out. But I hope if/when I’m a parent I remember how skittish and nervous it made me as a child and try to keep it to a minimum.

    But who knows, maybe I’ll have a bunch of brats, if my mother’s dire threats somehow come true.

  6. I taught first grade, and learned how to not yell. Yelling is quick management, but oh boy can you do so much more without ever raising your voice. I found I was more effective in getting kids to understand what and why their behavior needed to change without ever raising my voice. Somehow the calm disappointment was more threatening.

    Growing up my parents were yellers and i got to the point where I simply tuned them out. I didn’t respect their yelling at all.

    I have no kids of my own, so of course this could all change in the role of parent instead of teacher.

  7. 1. I do not really remember getting yelled at by my parents, but I did get spanked. Maybe I blocked it? Momma is gone so I can not ask her, and I do not have any siblings.

    2 & 3. I am a yeller, and it makes me feel bad after I do it. But damnit those kids will not even listen to me unless I am yelling. I swear!

    4. I am a firm believer in consequences. There are better ways to deal with kids that yelling, I know that, but like you I think its just instinct. The yell gets out before I even think about it. I have apologized to my kids for yelling before. I suppose that makes me look bad in their eyes, but I think it makes them realize that I know I scared them and I am sorry. This parenting stuff is hard!

    Linda

  8. 1. Yes, I was yelled at as a child. No, I didn’t like it but I don’t think it tramatized me. At least not enough that I don’t yell at my own kids.
    2. I am definitely a yeller. I try not to. I don’t like the person I become when I yell. When I yell, it is more about my behavior than the kids behavior. One day a crime may warranted a yell whereas another day I am more able to go with the flow and react calmly. If I am PMSing, it gets much worse. (yes, I have thought about this too much.)
    3. After I yell, I feel horrid regardless of if the crime deserved that punishment or not. I will apologize if it was my own frustration that caused the yelling and not my children’s behavior. Somedays I feel all I do is apologize. I mean really is spilling juice worth getting yelled at. And I don’t want my children to fear me either.
    4. If I only yelled when the kids were being punished then I wouldn’t worry about it. Or if I were more consistent about what behavior got yelled at and what didn’t, I wouldn’t worry. But that isn’t the reality so I am trying to work on it.
    Sorry if I have been too honest. This is one of my traits that really bothers me and I hate that there are days where my kids look at me with fear on their faces. I don’t excuse my behavior. Thanks for an open place to talk about it.

  9. 1. How did you feel about getting YELLED at as a kid?
    My mother yelled all the time when I was a kid and I was an only child.

    2. I used to yell when my oldest was younger then I realized it did not change much. One day I was yelling and my youngest was a baby it startled him and he must have cried forever, that put an end to my yelling days. I do raise my voice – I have a squeeky voice – so I have to raise it to be stern.

    When I did yell – I would feel like a total loser. And feel quilty about how it made my family feel for days afterwards.

    I am the strict parent and have found that I can achieve better results by not yelling. But if you hear me raise my voice and use your middle name you better be listening! 🙂

  10. 1. I got yelled at and felt horrible. There is nothing worse (except perhaps actually getting hit) than hearing your parents yell at you. I felt like I wasn’t worth their respect or kindness, since at that moment I was getting neither.

    2. I don’t yell at my kids. I DO raise my voice in frustration at times, mostly because it’s me having a temper tantrum and not being able to make my kids do what I want.

    3. I totally feel like an asshole when I yell (or get as close to yelling as I do). I feel like I am just stomping my feet and trying to be the loudest one to be heard so I will get my way. It’s stupid, childish and never works. It only makes my kids feel awful which makes me feel awful and like a bad parent.

    4. I think yelling is an awful way to parent (Sorry. I really don’t mean to make you feel bad, I’m mostly just talking about my own experiences). I think children can be dealt with in a kind, respectful and authoritative manner that doesn’t involve losing control of one’s own emotions. I think it is healthy to let your kids see what you are feeling, to let them know you are frustrated and disappointed/disapproving of their behavior. But I think when there is yelling all the kid hears is, “I HATE YOU I HATE YOU YOU SUCK YOU”RE A BAD PERSON!!!” regardless of what is actually coming out of the parent’s mouth.

  11. 1. How did you feel about getting YELLED at as a kid? Did it traumatize anyone as much as it did me or am I a giant wuss? Oh yeah, grew up being yelled at all the time. I wouldn’t say it traumatized me, as it was the relationship behind the yelling. My father was a very angry person, so usually the yelling went hand-in-hand with not-nice-words and THAT was the part I hated.

    2. Do you YELL as a parent? How often does it happen? Or maybe – how bad does the crime have to be to warrant a YELL? I’ll admit, I used to be a frequent YELLER. I think, personally, it’s natural to YELL! Sometimes that seems to be the ONLY way to get a kid’s attention, especially when they’re on the verge of killing themselves or the family pet. That being said though, I too have tried to curb my enthusiasm. I often start out yelling his name, and then I realize how awful it sounds and I say the rest of the sentence in a very strained, lower decibel range. I’m not perfect and there ARE plenty of times I just lose it and yell my head off at him, but when THAT happens I always try to apologize and let him know it’s not cool to lose your cool. This usually only happens in pretty serious situations though. I’ve gotten better about not letting things get to me as much.

    3. How do you feel after you YELL? Does it make your kids cry? If it does – do you feel like a total asshole like I do? Do you apologize later? Or do you just consider: Mission Accomplished. (Because sometimes I’m angry enough to feel the latter. I’ll admit.) Ooops, kind of addressed this in above comment. If I’m really pissed off, the yelling makes me feel better…until I calm down and I feel like a schmuck. Especially with a 3 year old who says through tears, “You’re making me sad! You’re making me cwy! We are best fwends! Pease be happy Mama” and I instantly feel like a jerk..although he plays that line up a lot and it’s lost a lot of impact on me. I usually turn it right back on him, “Well YOU are making ME sad because you’re not listening to me.” I feel absolutely NO remorse at “holy crap don’t run out in that road!” yelling though…it just has to happen sometimes…

    4. Do you think YELLING is not a big deal at all and trying to not YELL is one of the many ways we’re over-pampering our kids? Because sometimes I wonder that too. Am I babying my kids too much by trying to spare their feelings when their in trouble? I mean, shouldn’t they be upset if they’re in trouble? Isn’t that the point? In some ways yes, I think our generation has gotten really soft on how we discipline our kids and I look at the Lindsay Lohan’s of the day and I cringe. BUT…I think we can learn BETTER discipline. I think the whole “being consistent” type of learning will make a bigger impact than yelling/spanking/whatnot…and the boy’s been known to get a good swat on the tush from time to time.

    END POINT: You’re not a horrible mother, you’re not alone, and we’re all in this together 😀

  12. 1. when my mom yelled, I hated it, but knew I probably deserved it. she never yelled, but my step dad yelled over every last damned thing, and I hated that too, but for totally diffrent reasons. His yell was one I could ignore and laugh at. My mom’s yell…that one hurt me.

    2. I YELL a lot more than I’d like to, but it depends on the day. Somedays I’m just in a better mental place and can cope with things MUCH better, other days, it doesn’t take much to set me off. I realyl hate those days because I find myself YELLING at my kid, or the dogs way more than normal, and about really stupid sutff.

    3. , Like you MOST of the time I feel like total shit after I’ve yelled at the Girl! She’s only 18 months but I still apologize to her and then beat myself up for the rest of the day and vowe to try harder next time. But yeah, every now and then, while I may not always be proud of yelling, I feel liek it was the onyl way to accompish what needed to be accomplished.

    4. I think if I only yelled at Girl when the situation warrented it, I wouldn’t beat myself up over it as much, but I yell a lot more than I’d like. And maybe we ARE spoiling them a bit by trying to spare their feelings, but at the same time, IN MY OPINION, they don’t deserve to bear the weight of our bad moods. I am the adult here, it’s my bad day, I shouldnt’ take it out on her, it’s (most of the time) not her fault I’m having a bad day, anyhow. I wish I coudl save my YELL for only when it needed to come out – like say when she won’t make me mah hotdog :). I’m working on it.

  13. I don’t have kids, but I’ll comment anyways… Neither of my parents were really yellers… my dad fussed a lot (A LOT), but he didn’t really yell… he would raise his voice sometimes, but most of the time he mumbled… my mom would spank us and she hardly ever raised her voice.

    Now me, I am a yeller… I yell at my nephews and niece. I yell at my boyfriend…. I rarely feel bad about it though. I yell when necessary… If I yell, it’s because the person did something that I feels warrants it.

    I don’t think the yelling will scar the kids… I have been yelling at my nephews and niece for years, but they don’t seen to hold on to it… they just correct whatever they were doing wrong and don’t do it anymore.

  14. 1. How did you feel about getting YELLED at as a kid? Did it traumatize anyone as much as it did me or am I a giant wuss?

    I yelled I don’t remembered getting yelled at but I was terrible to my mom I used to tell her I hated her and paint it on my easel…

    2. Do you YELL as a parent? How often does it happen? Or maybe – how bad does the crime have to be to warrant a YELL? I’ll admit, I used to be a frequent YELLER.

    I am not a parent

    3. How do you feel after you YELL? Does it make your kids cry? If it does – do you feel like a total asshole like I do? Do you apologize later? Or do you just consider: Mission Accomplished. (Because sometimes I’m angry enough to feel the latter. I’ll admit.)

    n/a

    4. Do you think YELLING is not a big deal at all and trying to not YELL is one of the many ways we’re over-pampering our kids? Because sometimes I wonder that too. Am I babying my kids too much by trying to spare their feelings when their in trouble? I mean, shouldn’t they be upset if they’re in trouble? Isn’t that the point?

    i don’t think people are upset that yelling makes kids cry or get upset… people or “nanny experts” believe the more attention you give to negative behavior the worse the behavior may be (in some cases) children act out to get the negative attention because IT’S ATTENTION and they don’t get enough praise or attention when they are acting normal or behaving extremely well.

  15. My parents were not yellers, but they had a mean stare when I got in trouble. Ouch.

    I don’t yell. I hate yelling, and hate being yelled at.

    I married a very loud man, who is loving, but sometimes I think he is yelling when he is just really loud!

    I don’t yell at my kids as a practice.

    But, last night to get my daughter to stop screaming at the dog I yelled “HEY STOP THAT.” And she was so stunned, but she stopped. It was actually one of the very few times I raised my voice loud enough and strong enough to be considered yelling.

  16. Maybe I shouldn’t comment on this as I don’t have kids (yet), but I have pretty strong opinions on the subject.

    1 My mom was (is) a yeller, but that’s just the way she talks. My whole family is a bunch of loud talkers. The yelling didn’t bother me as much as, say, the whacking me in the mouth in public. Yeah, my mom was (is) old-school.

    2. I don’t have kids, but I have thought about how I would discipline my kids. I’d like to think I wouldn’t resort to YELLING unless they’d done something really, truly awful. Then again, I might just fall back on what I know. I don’t think it’s at all odd that you have an “instinct” to yell at your kids. Even though you hated it, that’s what you were familiar with as a kid.

    3. I have yelled at my younger relatives when I was babysitting them. Later I could see that I’d done it because I was really at my wits’ end with them. I only felt bad afterwards if I felt like they hadn’t really deserved it.

    4. I do think people are spoiling their kids nowadays. I think the punishment should fit the crime, and yelling (and spanking) should be used as a last resort. I don’t believe in being hurtful to kids on purpose. But I DO believe in yelling. I DO believe in spanking, when the situation calls for it, as a last resort or if the child is doing something truly awful or dangerous.

    That’s my two cents.

  17. As a kid, my parents (mainly my Dad) were spankers. And they were old-school (leather belts). Therefore, I always prefered yelling to hitting.
    The yelling sometimes hurt too, but to me it made more of an impact that I’d been/done wrong. After a spanking I was usually just angry & resentful.
    I think as long as it’s not abusive (like you’re so stupid, you’re ugly, etc), and not done every time, yelling is okay. It shows a real important mistake was made & shouldn’t be done again.
    Of course that’s easy for me to say; I don’t have kids.

  18. I just wanted to make sure that all of you non-parents know that your input is JUST as valuable. We were all kids and can at least talk about how our parents choices worked for us. And how that can shape our future parenting decisions – so don’t be shy! Chime on in!

  19. I’ll admit it, I yell. I try not to but when I am in the moment (usually frustration) I forget that I am trying to get better at this. My parents used to yell. It usually did not bother me much when my mom yelled but my dad’s yelling was awful. He did not do it often so when he yelled you knew you were in trouble.

    I find that I resort to yelling when my daughter is just not listening. She is 3 so that happens just about every day. And yes, I feel awful when I do it. But sometimes I feel it is warranted and is followed by a timeout (usually for both of us).

  20. 1. My mom is a yeller. I usually cried. I hated it.
    2. Hello, my name is heidi and I’m a yeller. A frequent yeller. At least once a day (spread out over 4 kids)
    3. For the most part the kids don’t seem too affected by the yelling. Sometimes the youngest cries. Sometimes I feel bad. Like when I REALLY YELL. Like the lose my cool completely, PMS induced hormonal craze yell. That one is rare, maybe once a month. But I seem to be naturally loud too – actually, that may be a side effect of trying to be heard above 4 boys.
    4. I think you can parent affectively without yelling. But it takes a certain personality (one I don’t have) and depends on your child too. When I taught young kids I didn’t yell at them, occasionally spoke firmly and loud but didn’t YELL. My kids though, different story, different setting, different expectations.

    In all, I think you’re fine.

    On another note: (I know, shut up already) It depends on WHAT you are yelling. I’m usually asking why no one listens to me or isn’t doing what I told them to do 15 times previously. I don’t attack them personally, call them names or other such stuff. I think that makes the difference. Yelling about the behavior not the child.

  21. 1. I hated getting yelled at, but I guess I remember pretty much always knowing that my mom loved me so it bothered me but not too much.

    2. I yell a lot…but mostly when I am really stressed about something else. Of course, like most people, I think my yelling is directly corresponding to the amount of patience I have at any given moment.

    3. Sometimes the kids cry….most of the times they just look dejected. I always feel bad and wished I had gotten my point across by communicating in a patient and caring way.

    4. I kind of do think that. Yelling is going to happen. Its not the end of the world. It is not beating your kids. I always try to appologize if I truly went overboard or took out other frustrations on the kids. But, that being said, if it is strictly their behavior causing the yelling….I don’t feel bad at all.

    The way I see it, my mom used to bring out the belt. My kids have it great most of the time. And NOBODY is perfect. I think it is also a great lesson to say “Mommy is stressed out trying to get out the door and you have not been listening. I’m sorry I yelled at you, but you need to get your shoes and coat on.”, etc.

  22. My mom was the YELLER in our family. But that usually just made me mad, not upset. What completely tore me apart was when my dad would look at me with tears shining in his eyes and say “I’m very disappointed in you”. That I could not take. The man never actually cried, but DAMN could you see how much you had hurt him with what you had done.

  23. I’m not sure how I felt when I was as young as NikkiZ though… Obviously the YELLING didn’t leave any big crazy bad emotional “marks” on me, or I’d remember. I do YELL at my animals though. So I have a feeling, if I had kids, I’d YELL at them, too.

  24. I have tears in my eyes right now. Sigh.

    1. I do not remember being yelled at as a kid. My parents would give me a look and that was scary enough.

    2. I did not start yelling until Kid #2 came along. It usually happens when they are both crying or freaking out and there is not a way in hell I can appease both of them at the same time.

    3. I feel like a big, gooey piece of stinky poo when I yell at my kids. I usually end up crying myself and then apologizing to them.

    4. I think yelling is NOT a good thing and I am trying to get better at saving it for Real Serious Situations – like accidents about to happen, etc.

    Great post, Zoot.

  25. Interesting that you would bring this up, since I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.

    1. Honestly, I can’t remember. I imagine that it probably upset me a great deal when I was little, but when I was older (6+), I think it just pissed me off.

    2. Yes. I think I yell a lot. I raise my voice at my kid at least once a day (“Get your shoes on. Get your shoes on. GET YOUR SHOES ON, DUDE, COME ON!”), but I think I YELL at him at least twice a week (“WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT? THAT IS NOT OKAY. YOU ARE BEING PUNISHED!”)

    3. I always feel bad and like a monstrous old witch, especially if I make him cry. But I also often feel like I don’t have any other option if he is hell-bent on not hearing/listening to me. I feel like sometimes I have to intimidate him so that he’ll understand that I am the parent, and he WILL listen to me. Especially at this age (6).

    4. I don’t like yelling and I often wonder if I had better parenting skills (was more patient, a better communicator, etc.), if I wouldn’t have to yell and I’m sure some snotty perfect-parent person will gladly confirm that for me. But again, I sometimes don’t see any way around it. And I see a difference between yelling and spanking. Spanking seems to use humiliation and pain to make your point, whereas yelling is more about, “OMFG LISTEN!”

  26. 1.My parents were spankers. As in break a wooden spoon over my behind spankers. Don’t rememebr a lot of yelling as a kiddo. I mostly got “the look”.
    2.I am a yeller. I hate it and I’ve calmed down some on it, but I’m still a yeller. To the extent that I have given myself headaches doing it. I even scared that cat once. My kids know the mean voice. Generally I save the mean voice for the worst offenses when mommy is just gonna crack with the insanity.
    3. I feel like crap afterwards. Even if it totally warrented a yell(painting the carpet on the stairs and the baby from head to toe in purple paint all while I was going potty) I still feel awful for making the kids cry. And yes my kids cry with the mean voice. I usually end up saying I’m sorry and we all end up in a big cuddle mess on my bed watching movies and leaving the mess to clean up till later.
    4.I think yelling is a big deal. I think anything that scares the crap out of my kids is a big deal. If I saw someone else yelling at them and making them cry like that I would soooo go mama bear on their butt and kick some booty. So why do I do it myself? Oh see Zoot now you opened up a whole can of worms that I will have to discuss in detail with my therapist, which BTW is my one hour a week of me time. WooHoo for me time!

  27. The only times I have YELLED at my son were when I was angry and pushed past my own limit of control. I try not to YELL because when I’m YELLING I’m a little out of control and that’s scary for kids, and I think that’s why we feel so terrible when we do it. I try not to parent out of that really angry place – I try to go into the bathroom and count to ten or twenty or seventy five and get myself together before I deal with the issue. Sometimes I’m able to do that…

  28. 1. I was totally traumatized by my mom. She’s not even what I would call a yeller, she is a screamer. I shrivel up inside, I get very quite, and I start doing everything in my power to make things “okay” when people yell even now as an adult. (This includes quietly cleaning someone’s house for them post party if they start a fight with a spouse and I’m trapped there for some reason.) I’m actually jumpy around loud noises and in crowds because of the screaming.

    2. I am not a parent. I do, however, have 14 nieces and nephews and a whole passel of pets. I never yell at my nieces and nephews. Even when I have them for an extended period of time (a weekend) because it pains me to see how they react when anyone else yells at them. (I was, apparently, the only kid that valiently tried to NOT carry on this tradition. My sister is the half of the couple I’m talking about in 1.) I do, about once every 4 months, lose my marbles when walking through the kitchen to make dinner and am tripped by a cat for the 17th time. I yell, they run, and 10 minutes later I’m hunting them down to apologize.

    3. I feel like the most terrible human being on earth. Especially because animals don’t KNOW any better.

    4. I think there’s a difference between a strongly toned reprimand and screaming. I think that screaming can be very demeaning, where as a firmly worded correction is appropriate.

    The thing is, you recognize that it’s not the most appropriate action or the most effective parenting tool and you’re trying to create better habits. Crap happens, we’re all human. I don’t judge you for yelling, because you recognize it’s something you want to change.

  29. 1. How did you feel about getting YELLED at as a kid? Did it traumatize anyone as much as it did me or am I a giant wuss?

    My mom was a yeller. I believe because her father was too. My dad, on the other hand, never raised his voice that I can remember, but he could reduce me to tears in a heartbeat. I hated being yelled at, it just made me mad and I yelled back and nothing was accomplished.

    2. Do you YELL as a parent? How often does it happen? Or maybe – how bad does the crime have to be to warrant a YELL? I’ll admit, I used to be a frequent YELLER.

    I admit it. I am a yeller. Again, I believe it was a learned thing. Nurture, if you will. I HATE that I yell. It doesn’t happen every day by any means, but more often than I would like. At least once a week I would say.

    3. How do you feel after you YELL? Does it make your kids cry? If it does – do you feel like a total asshole like I do? Do you apologize later? Or do you just consider: Mission Accomplished. (Because sometimes I’m angry enough to feel the latter. I’ll admit.)

    After I’ve yelled I feel AWFUL. Plain and simple. I usually do apologize, but really I feel like it’s an empty apology since it happens so often. My kids don’t cry. I hate to admit it but maybe it’s because they are used to it. Ugh. I HATE that. HATE it!!

    4. Do you think YELLING is not a big deal at all and trying to not YELL is one of the many ways we’re over-pampering our kids? Because sometimes I wonder that too. Am I babying my kids too much by trying to spare their feelings when their in trouble? I mean, shouldn’t they be upset if they’re in trouble? Isn’t that the point?

    I don’t want to intentionally hurt my kids feelings when they get into trouble, but I want them to know what they’ve done wrong and not pussyfoot around it. I do think, for me, that yelling is a big deal. Because it happens too often. I do believe that yelling is warranted sometimes, but as I said about my dad, his calm “you’ve disappointed me” demeanor worked much better than the yelling.

  30. 1. I didn’t really get yelled as as a kid. My single mom had no rules and she would just curse at me when she was mad.

    2. I hate to admit it, but I am a yeller. I have been trying to stop but its like an instinct or something. Lately I try to only use it as a last resort when Eric will not listen to anything I say when I have asked him 3e453453 times calmly to get out of his baby sister’s face.

    3. I feel like a jerk after yelling. Sometimes Eric cries. Most of the time though, he just does what I say.

    4. I do not know how I feel about this. I prefer yelling at my kid to spanking him. I have been reading a lot of parenting books lately about not over-pampering and think it should not be done at all.

  31. i am not a parent yet so let me tell you about when i was a kid. my mom YELLS. Serious stuff. As in, whatever small or big the crime, we got yelled at. And as a child, it was very difficult not to compare others mothers to mine and think about what a sad life i have and not feel self pity. I am sure becuz of her strict nature we all turned out great (yes i say so myself). but.. it has affected me. now, when my fiance tries to get a lil stern (he never yells, hardly raises his voice or even gets angry with me) i break down. it has made me a sensitive wreck of a person. actually, shudnt it be the other way around? when you are yelled at a lot, you should be used to it and get good at taking it, but it had an adverse effect on me, or so i think. so dont yell unless you absolutely HAVE TO. Thats my two cents..

  32. I am a yeller. It doesn’t work it just makes me feel better. My husband says I yell with hysteria not authority. Whatever, somedays I just need to yell.

  33. I am a yeller. I hate myself afterwards, call myself a terrible mom, feel so guilty. But then I do it again. Sometimes it seems that my son only listens when I do yell. I usually do apologize for yelling afterwards, especially if it makes him cry.

    One of the biggest thing I like about reading blogs is the solace I get from knowing that others feel just like I do. I still feel guilty when I yell but at least I know I’m not the only one doing it.

    I always want to be like those calm, patient mothers I see at Target, speaking so quietly to their kids. Then one day it dawned on me that I am calm and quiet when we are in public. So maybe those moms are yelling at home, too!

    I do think kids are over-pampered these days. There are just some things I am not going to let my son get away with, even if it means I have to yell.

  34. When I was growing up, my parents didn’t really yell at me, unless I was being either very bad or very stupid and about to get myself really badly hurt. The real threat in my house growing up, was getting a “talking to” from my father, he would talk for ages in his “I am very disappointed in you” voice.

    I have been yelled at by teachers and former bosses, and have found that I just shut down and tuned them out. I feel that at work or in school the authority figures should be better equiped for the job, and should never have to resort to yelling, it is very unprofessional, and you lose the respect of your team or class.

    Now when visiting my in-laws, on the other hand is just crazy. My husbands family are the hands down the loudest people I have ever met – I mean – they just bellow at each other. I don’t think that they have ever had an actual conversation where they take turns speaking and listening to what each other has to say. They just yell at each other, getting louder and louder, like it’s a contest or something.

    I have found that, at 7 months pregnant, I seem to have developed quite a temper and I am yelling much more than I ever have. It’s very much a catch-22 – I feel good when I am yelling (all that frustration being released) but then once I calm down, I just feel awful!

    I think that this has gotten rather garbled… I am sure I had a point in there somewhere!

  35. My dad was a yeller. So much so that it really lost its ability to impact me.

    I am by instinct a yeller, but I really try to hold back, partly because I do think it loses its power if it’s used too often. There have been 2 times in my son’s 2.5 years that I have lost it enough to yell. Both times it was because he was being so totally rude (doing a bad thing while looking at me telling him to stop and LAUGHING HIS HEAD OFF) that I felt like it was the only thing that would get through to him. Honestly, both times I wanted to make him cry, only to know that he got it. It didn’t. Instead, it made him cower and look at me like I might snap at any minute and bite him or something, which was really even worse than if he had cried. I felt like I had lost his trust. So now, I try even harder not to yell. Sure, I raise my voice plenty (because I SWEAR- he acts like he’s freakin’ DEAF all the time!), but, like you said, the yell is different.

    I think yelling is a way to display the power we have over our kids, and shouldn’t be used more often than totally necessary. Otherwise, we just become bullys, and who wants a bully as a parent?

  36. Just delurking to say…

    1. How did you feel about getting YELLED at as a kid? Did it traumatize anyone as much as it did me or am I a giant wuss?
    I was raised in a household where my parents did not yell; they spoke softly and carried a big stick. So the two times I can remember “yelling” happening in our house, it scared the ever-loving crap out of me. It was the long discussions about my mistake and the feeling that I had disappointed my parents that really did me in.

    2. Do you YELL as a parent? How often does it happen? Or maybe – how bad does the crime have to be to warrant a YELL? I’ll admit, I used to be a frequent YELLER.
    I am not a parent yet (well, I operate as one 75% of the week, I guess…) My boyfriend, who is an amazing father, never ever yells EXCEPT when one of the kids has simply not listened the first two times. On the third, the Daddy Voice comes out. It is loud and surprising, but even that I would not call a yell. I will say that both kids (a 7 seven year old boy and 3.5 year old girl) respond with lightning speed to the Daddy Voice because it makes rare, one-night-only appearances. I use my teacher voice when they won’t respond. Now, again, these voices only come out when they should immediately do what they’re told and don’t listen as immediately as the situation requires.

    3. How do you feel after you YELL? Does it make your kids cry? If it does – do you feel like a total asshole like I do? Do you apologize later? Or do you just consider: Mission Accomplished. (Because sometimes I’m angry enough to feel the latter. I’ll admit.)
    It’s a Mission Accomplished feeling because I only “yell” when there’s a huge need (as in, KAITLYN JEWELL. STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING BEFORE YOU LOSE YOUR HAND.). On rare occasions it’s compounded with anger because I’m being ignored by two children who have known me as a disciplinarian almost their whole lives, but usually I just have something to get across and the teacher voice is the only way. They rarely cry afterwards (although I do on occasion).

    4. Do you think YELLING is not a big deal at all and trying to not YELL is one of the many ways we’re over-pampering our kids? Because sometimes I wonder that too. Am I babying my kids too much by trying to spare their feelings when their in trouble? I mean, shouldn’t they be upset if they’re in trouble? Isn’t that the point?
    I was not babied growing up. We were disciplined in several ways…yelling just wasn’t one of them because it bore no real consequence. We were spanked young (consequence=pain), then grounded(consequence=stuck in my room without my computer or books), and then had certain privileges removed (consequence=no way to get away from the parental units). Usually the consequence we suffered matched whatever suffering we had caused someone else.

    I read your blog every day and from what I see your children are bright, sweet kids. Yeller or not, you seem to be a great mother who is willing to open herself up and learn. I hope I can be as open to advice and help when my time comes to be a mom.

  37. 1. I hated getting yelled at as a kid and I was very sensitive so I heard “yelling” in the tone as much as the volume.

    2. Because of how I felt as a child I tried very hard not to yell, but my kids might not think I was too successful. Actually, one is just like me so he feels I am “yelling” at him when I don’t think I am. He once said I was yelling at him in my head.

    3. Usually I feel worse after yelling but on Christmas day as we were trying to get going, my son (same one as above) said I hadn’t given him enough notice and I was hissing at him. I thought I was being calm and just stating what needed to be done. I got upset (I felt unjustly accused) and went off to cry and I could hear my husband and other son telling him that he should apologize to me. I could hear he didn’t feel the need. I came out, he said he was sorry, I said he was not and then proceeded to yell at the top of my lungs about how I wasn’t mad before but now I was mad… with a lot of swearing thrown in (he is 17 by the way). When I finished I said “I feel much better now”. I did apologize later.

    4. I think yelling is a big deal if it is upsetting for the child. My older son was not phased by my yelling but as I said the younger one felt I was yelling by my tone just like I did as a child (and still do). We have had fights over the years with him saying you’re yelling at me and my saying well you started yelling at me first and probably neither one of us are technically yelling.

    I don’t think trying not to YELL is a bad thing because for me just like with spanking, I was prone to yell when I was my most angry so it was better for me to have the policy of trying not to do either and being successful most (but not all) of the time.

  38. Oh, god – as soon as I read this post – I teared up!

    You have no idea how much regret I have about yelling (yes, I know the difference and I am a yeller) at my oldest daughter. It was awful. When I picture her little face, in my memory, I cringe. She is 18 now.

    My two younger children have not had it as bad. They have seem me ‘go off’, of course and they too have been brought to tears, but nothing like my oldest.

    My temper is the one thing I have begun to overcome in my old age. I’m turning 40 this year and I can honestly say, my yelling has subsided. Not completely – piss me off too much and it will rear it’s ugly head – but I don’t yell nearly as much as I used to.

    Do I think yelling is like spanking? Yes and no. I think it can hurt as much, but spanking seems worse to me. I used to do that too – again, my oldest, not the two younger ones. I’m not against it for other people – I completely understand if parents choose it as a form of punishment. I just found it started to be more about my frustration and less about the offense.

    I came from a mother that was a yeller and it made me feel like shit. Sadly, I didn’t use that knowledge on my kids.

    Like everything, wisdom comes with age. Lucky for me, my oldest and I have talked about it, I’ve apologized, she’s forgiven and still likes me, but every once in awhile, I see the damage it did.

    If anyone could explain how difficult parenting is, in words, many people would think twice. Hardest job ever.

    You do a great job, Zoot – no matter what your faults, your kids know they are loved unconditionally – that’s what counts.

  39. widgete – College student just trying to make it to the other side while majoring in education, practicing her cooking and make-up hobbies, marching in the band, and living the sorority life...
    E! says:

    1. My mom rarely ever yelled at me but my Dad was a yeller. He was also emotionally abusive and would pair that with yelling so I think my brain connected the two and whenever I get yelled at by anyone, I feel that synapse fire…I guess it did really effect me but perhaps just because of the severe negative connotation that came with.

    2. I’m not a parent.

    3. I feel terrible when I yell at someone else. I’m the President of a sorority and sometimes I have to yell. I’ve yelled at kids I’ve babysat. I’ve yelled at my boyfriend. I always feel like I could have accomplished the task some other way that was more logical.

    4. Sometimes yelling just happens and you can’t control it, but I think there are many more productive ways to deal with all kinds of people (kids, parents, friends, etc) than yelling.

  40. 1. Honestly? I don’t remember, and that is sad as I’m still in my early twenties. I know I got slapped at least once. I think my mom went more with the quiet disappointment with me and yelled at my older sister. For the most part, I was a pretty good kid. I got into things a lot, mostly my sister’s stuff. Since she was 6 years older, she was my babysitter when my mom went back to work when I have 5 or 6. Her method was to beat me up, so my parents just took care of my wounds and punished her for not letting them take care of the problem.

    That said, they yelled at my sister cause nothing else seemed to work with her.

    I was friends with a kid whose dad was a yeller, and that was never fun. But I also remember thinking, as my friend did something, that he was going to get yelled at, why doesn’t he stop? I was uncomfortable around the yelling, even though it was never directed towards me. But I tell you this story because it shows that some kids KNOW what they are doing (or someone else is doing) is going to result in trouble and others don’t and seem to really need the reminder. (Also, said kid had ADHD and wasn’t very quick on the uptake. I cried in front of him once and he wasn’t sure if I was upset or not. He had to ask me.)

    I’m not sure what I’ll do when I am parent. Whatever works best, I guess? No point in yelling over spilled milk, but I also think you need to teach the kid somehow that spilled milk is not ideal and we should try not to spill it cause have you ever smelled rotten milk from when it was spilled on the carpet and no one really cleaned it up? From fighting with friends and the boyfriend, I realize that yelling is not my default method of expressing disappointment. So… I have no idea. I’ll let you know in 10-15 years, if you’d like?

    (again, I apologize for the novel written right before I must dash to class.)

  41. 1. As could be expected, it didn’t feel great. Although, it didn’t happen very frequently so I could always bet that I pretty well deserved it. Still, not so much fun.

    2. I’m embarrassed to say that I do – though, not that often. Still, more often than I’d like. The crime usually has to be pretty steep, but it depends on a few factors like: a) how many times I’ve told them before to STOP RIGHT NOW the exact same thing, b) how dangerous it is for them or someone else, and c) embarrassingly enough, what kind of day I’ve had.

    3. Not so great. It doesn’t make my kids cry, unless I couple it with taking something away from them, but I do feel like a total asshole. There’s always this inner voice saying, ‘well, I could have handled that much better, couldn’t I?’ Although, I do have to say that sometimes the Mission Accomplished feeling does creep in. Usually, though, it’s overwhelmed by my incredibly shitty feeling of making my kids want to distance themselves from me.

    4. I think yelling IS a big deal. It should definitely be reserved for very few occasions – certainly fewer than those in which I utilize it. I think there probably exist far more productive ways to discipline a kid, but yelling often gets top billing because it’s the easiest (and often the most knee-jerk) reaction to have. I think the bottom line for me is this: Even without yelling, my kids usually know when they’ve done something they shouldn’t have. They’re pretty sensitive and intuitive of other’s feelings, so my yelling likely doesn’t serve them in any way whatsoever. It most likely only serves me, which is not the best of priorities when trying to raise kids.

    Ms. Z, you know, I have to thank you for asking these questions. They have forced me to analyze some of my own behavior that I’ve never taken the opportunity to verbalize before. Awesome insights. Some stuff to work on, no doubt. Really, thank you!

  42. my mom had a degree in yelling…so i was YELLED at as a kid…and so by nature, i’m yeller. comes naturally to me. i TRY so hard not to yell first. i count to ten a lot before reacting…sometimes that helps. but i think when it’s in your nature…it’s hard to fight!

  43. I was yelled at tons as a kid, just tons, it was just something that was done in our house. I don’t think twice about it most of the time – I focus more on what’s being said and what isn’t being said (body language, that sort of thing). It didn’t traumatize me as a kid, I mostly just shrugged it off, and I think my kids do, too. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve made any of them cry by yelling at them, and after 8 years with 4 kids I’d say that’s pretty good. I think it’s much more important to be careful about the words you say rather than the volume – name calling and shaming hurt at any volume, even a whisper. It bothered me more when my parents called me a bitch than when they yelled – light years more. I make sure I never call names, I do not call anyone bad, I make sure that anything I say is focused on the behavior at hand, not the child.

    I don’t like to yell, mostly because it loses its effectiveness over time, and it just pisses me off more if it appears the kids are ignoring me. I’ve been working on trying to use my hands more, touching them on the shoulder to make sure I have their attention, hugging them to me, using my hands on their shoulders to steer them where they need to go, that sort of thing. It works much better for now, but we’ll see what happens when they are too big for me to do that (my oldest is 8).

    I think it would be the very rare parent who never yelled, Zoot, and very rare one who it didn’t bother on some level, at some point in time. But it’s the job of kids to push our buttons, and eventually they all hit the combo that makes us go nuclear. Some of them seem to enjoy that more than others, like my oldest.

    I just try to make sure my kids always understand that no matter what they do, no matter how mad Mommy gets or how loud she yells, I love them more than the sun. And even when I yell, I always go back to them later after I calm down so we can talk about what we both did to contribute to the situation. I think that helps them cope, and it gives them valuable life skills for later, since eventually they will encounter yellers in some other setting.

  44. My name is Mar and I am a yeller.

    I don’t feel good about and not to make excuses but I come from a long line yellers.

    Not too long ago my daughter was upset because she “thought” I was yelling at her. I sunk back into my own 12 year old self and started almost screaming that I was not yelling and if she wanted to hear yelling I would be happy to show her the difference. I felt like crap for days but am happy to report I have not yelled since that day.

  45. My parents and I share a very, very close relationship and I love them dearly. But both my parents were yellers (we’re ethnic, too, and traditional ethnic parenting can be…less introspective than all y’all bloggers show me on a daily basis). I have no memory of my mother and father laying a finger on us-but part of why I don’t care about many material things is that my father had a terrible tendency to descend into one of his tantrumy rages and destroy stuff we liked when he was in the midst of it. I know that makes him sound horrible and abusive, but it’s like when they descend into yelling they can’t help themselves and get carried away.

    Was I traumatised? No. I mean, it sucks that he ripped up my Atlas but my mother and father have given me more love than I’ve received from anyone in my life. Every decision they’ve made was made with the intent to help me and my sister along in life. The yellery is a character flaw, but it is something I’ve forgiven. This is how they were taught to communicate by their parents. It’s a cycle I intend to break.

    I am not at ALL blaming my parents for this-but I ended up in a very verbally and emotionally abusive relationship as an adult (that descended into physical violence at the end) and part of why I kept giving the guy so many chances is that I’d grown up watching my dad pull these tantrums out as a means of communication (now, granted, my father’s yelling WAS in response to disobedience or disappointing choices I made). To me, yelling as communication was normal…and so I kept blaming myself and trying to figure out what I had done wrong even though the guy was just…freaking crazy.

    This is why I hope that I can break the yelling cycle with my own kids-because I DON’T EVER EVER want my children to view an adult peer screaming at them as “normal” or appropriate communication. Fortunately I got out after 6 months, but I think I’m one of the lucky ones.

  46. 1. You are not a giant wuss. However, it’s a good thing that you recognized both sides of the way yelling is perceived – and every kid will have a different interpretation. I guess the key would be knowing your child, and knowing your own limits. Growing up, I didn’t like being yelled at (and BOY, did my dad have a short temper), but because I knew my parents “meant business” when they yelled, I knew to behave so that I wouldn’t get yelled at/make them upset. And isn’t that the point of it all?

    2. I am not a parent, but I am not naturally a yeller as an aunt/babysitter/person. I yelled once (more out of fright) when my niece tipped back in a chair and fell. Had I kept my composure, I could have scolded her gently. But instead, I was caught off guard, reacted harshly because I was scared for her, and she freaked out as a result of my yelling – had I not communicated my own fright of the situation to her, we probably could have averted the drama.

    3. Of course yelling makes me feel like an asshole, but mostly just because I personally feel yelling is a loss of control. And since I’m NOT a laidback, mellow gal, I hate to admit when I’ve lost control of a situation. Usually, I debrief with the child/yell recipient later (when both parties have cooled off, but not too late, or they won’t remember why you were upset) to discuss the disobedience. Even though I sometimes lose my cool, I always try to leave the interaction on a neutral or positive note. That way, all parties walk away having learned something.

    4. You try to spare their feelings because you are their mother and you love them more than anything else in the world. Kudos to you for even worrying about something like this – most people (parents and non-parents alike) aren’t even aware of their own empathic skills, so you’re way ahead of the curve there. If you’re upset, yell if you want to! Whatever it takes, the message still needs to be communicated to the child – and by that, I mean, if you’re too soft, the disobedience goes unnoticed by them and will most likely be repeated. It’s all an issue of balance, which is (of course) the most difficult part of the entire topic at hand.

  47. 1. I was yelled at as a kid by my mom. It was very traumatic for me. The look on my mom’s face and the sound level just scared me.

    2. With my first one I did yell. I think we revert to what we know and because I was yelled at as a child, in the moment when I was upset I would just automatically yell. With my second child, who is 17 years younger than his sister, I’ve mellowed a little bit. I’ve also been through tons and tons of therapy. I caught myself yelling at my son once. The fear I saw on his face just killed me. I try even harder now.

    3. Yup, yelling makes me feel absolutely horrible. I will stress over it for days. I’ll even cry right after because I feel so bad for having lost my self-control. I always apologize afterwards.

    4. I think nowadays people are over pampering their children, but I don’t think not yelling at them is over pampering. Obviously we are all human and we are gonna lose it sometimes. We control what we can and apologize when act human. I think our kids learn more from that than us being perfect.

  48. hotfessional – I'm a female I.T. executive whose specialty has somehow become organizational transitions. We've been bought by a rival, which means although I'm helping with the transition project, I'm really working myself out of a job. I am surrounded by males (including husband, son and pets), so I'm definitely not prim and proper. Bitchy and Ballsy, maybe. Hot according to some.
    Ree says:

    Oh, I’ve yelled. I’ve actually come close to the screech that absolutely killed me as a child. But then, I found out that it does no good and hurts my throat like hell.

    I now walk away. It seems to have more of an impact.

  49. 1. I did get yelled at but I think I got spanked more. My dad would punch me anywhere he could and then I just got used to being spanked so much that it didnt hurt anymore.

    2. Yes, I hate it but I do yell a lot. It happens almost everyday.

    3. I feel horrible. Yes it makes my daughter cry, my boys probably got used to it already. Yes, I feel like the worst Mom ever. If I apologize later, I try to explain why I got so mad at them in the first place.

    4. I think yelling is a big deal. I wish I didnt do it as often as I do.

  50. You know, I think, like everything else you tend to do what your parents did. My parents were yellers but I don’t think it scarred me or anything. I also am a yeller after repeated instances of telling them to do something etc. Like Sarah said though, I think they now just tune me out. I then get to the point where I “scream” and give an ultimatum for something do be done within seconds. Then I get action. I am not proud of my yelling but I have tried to quit and it really is just habit and very hard to break. Lord help them if I am PMSing!

  51. 1. I don’t remember getting yelled at much as a kid-I’m sure I did though. If my mom yelled it wasn’t near as bad as when my dad yelled.

    2. Sadly, I yell. Not all the time-I’ve gotten better. I usually tend to yell when it’s been a long day and I’m frustrated at myself, the world, my son, anything. It can something tiny or something huge.

    3. It makes me feel like crap because I shouldn’t ever really be yelling at him. It doesn’t phase him too much unless I’ve yelled quite a bit in a certain day. I’m afraid that if I keep it up though, it could affect him somehow.

    4. At certain times, I think yelling is appropriate. Like when he’s running off and will not stop for nothing, oh I yell like I’m dying. But when I fly off the handle for stupid stuff, I think it’s terrible and feel terrible.

  52. I go thru periods where I really try not to yell, but it’s my first instinct to resort to when I am at the end of my rope and getting no positive response from discipline.

    I would call myself a yeller but I’m conscious of it and try to maintain my cool…what can I say, I’m a work in progress but it’s hard when the frustration is at a boiling point.

    I’m not the perfect mom, but I’m working on it. That’s all I can do, try harder.

  53. margalit – Writer, mother of 14 year old twins, living life in the slow lane and working on making the internet a safer place to hang out.
    margalit says:

    1. Both of my parents were SCREAMERS, which is actually one step ABOVE yellers. They screamed, they hit, and they did anything else that we now consider to be bad parenting. Yes, I hated it. But yelling was SO much better than getting hit that the yelling was almost secondary.

    2. Yes, I yell. Hell, I have two 15 year olds. Of course I yell. They wouldn’t hear me otherwise. But I don’t yell anywhere near as much as I did years ago. What made me change? Antidepressants. Seriously, dude, I completely relaxed in my parenting once I was a bit calmer myself.

    3. Yelling is a part of our family. My kids both yell like crazy. We’re loud and we like it. OK, we don’t like it, but it’s our family dynamic. We are Jewish. Jews yell. Period. My kids do not cry when I yell. They yell back.

    4. Yes, I think yelling IS a part of parenting and we all do it. The people that try to reason with their kids are literally kidding themselves. They have the kids that don’t know that the law applies to them. Ugh.

  54. I was yelled at as a kid by my father and I hated it, made me piss my pants litterally. And I sooooo turned into a yelling parent – I try to give the “3 strikes and your out” rule but sometimes the only way my 4 yr old listens is when I YELL. She knows I mean business then. With my 14 yr old it has gotten to the point where he tells me to stop yelling at him then I feel like a big ole asshole. I am trying hard to change that but sometimes- like you it just slips out. What to do Zoot?

  55. i HATED being yelled at, but of course, it always made me think twice about doing the thing that caused the yell again.

    my dad didn’t even have to yell. his eyes just had to get wide like he *might* yell and i’d burst into tears. he was actually pretty proud of that. he always claims i was a tougher kid to discipline than my brother, because my brother was never really sure my dad wouldn’t hit him (he never even came close) but it never even crossed my mind that my dad could hit me (and i say, why should it have?). but really, i don’t think he had it THAT hard, because all he had to do was the eye thing and i would burst into incontrollable tears.

    i found out later that my mom hated yelling at me as much as i hated it… i’d run away to my room crying, but on one occasion i came out a little sooner than i was supposed to to find *her* crying. no one likes it. it happens.

    but i turned out fine. and so did you. i’d say do your best not to, but don’t be too hard on yourself when it does happen…

  56. My parents yelled at me and my sisters while we were growing up and I don’t think its had negative effects on us. We we’re never really spanked, sometimes we’d get a slap but it was mostly yelling and I think its because both my parents are from huge families so they were used it to and by nature me and my sisters are loud. However, my parents yelling didn’t have any effect on us really because by the time we hit 14 upwards, we would just yell back at them

  57. Ok, I did not read the other comments. I will but heavens, there’s 56 and a girl could lose all train of thought by the time she finished. So, here’s my 2 cents worth.

    1. How did you feel about getting YELLED at as a kid? Did it traumatize anyone as much as it did me or am I a giant wuss? The yelling did not really traumatize me, but I would prefer a spanking any day to being yelled at…

    2. Do you YELL as a parent? How often does it happen? Or maybe – how bad does the crime have to be to warrant a YELL? I’ll admit, I used to be a frequent YELLER. This is the honest truth. I’ve yelled at my kids 2 times. Honestly, I had 2 teachers that I inherited from the previous owner that were yellers and I would cringe and pray that they would quit. I finally got rid of them and that was defiitely one of the reasons.

    3. How do you feel after you YELL? Does it make your kids cry? If it does – do you feel like a total asshole like I do? Do you apologize later? Or do you just consider: Mission Accomplished. (Because sometimes I’m angry enough to feel the latter. I’ll admit.) I did feel bad after I yelled at my kids…most definitely, the guilt will kill you.

    4. Do you think YELLING is not a big deal at all and trying to not YELL is one of the many ways we’re over-pampering our kids? Because sometimes I wonder that too. Am I babying my kids too much by trying to spare their feelings when their in trouble? I mean, shouldn’t they be upset if they’re in trouble? Isn’t that the point? I want my kids to be upset when they are in trouble. Most definitely. And, I want my kids to feel remorse when they do. I don’t think anyone can really over pamper their kids. I think kids are only kids once and they need to know you love them and they can always come to you. (I have no clue what the last part has to do with yelling, just consider it icing on the cake)

  58. I linked to this post on my blog. I’m telling you so if you get a bunch (I mean 2) of hits, you’ll know why.

  59. My mom was a yeller. It was normal for me, so I didn’t think anything of it. Now that my brother and sister both have kids, I see how the yelling is. My sister-in-law doesn’t yell. She’s the most patient person I know. My sister yells A LOT, to the point I feel so bad for my nephew.

    But when I babysit, I yell. And the last time, since I have a much louder voice, my poor little niece was on the verge of tears and that’s when I knew I wanted to not do that again. Because I don’t like to make kids cry! It was heart-wrenching. But that is my first instinct every time.

  60. I know I’m late to the conversation here, but I wanted to chime in…

    My parents were total yellers and would spank sometimes. As a kid, I always felt stupid after being yelled at, but I much preferred it to spanking. Honestly, I don’t think it was the yelling that was traumatizing, it was the words that were used.

    As a parent, I am totally embarrassed to admit, that I am a yeller. I’m not a spanker, but I do yell. A lot. I try not to, because I feel like crap after I do it, but I do it anyways. I will say that I never say anything “mean” or demeaning to the kids.

    I do feel guilty after yelling most of the time. Occasionally, I feel like it was justified. I do wish that I could be more calm sometimes. The kids rarely cry when I yell at them, but they do know I mean business when I do it.

  61. First of all I want to thank you so much for writing this. I’ve been dying to talk about it, but can’t because my mother reads my blog and that would mean a whole lot of yelling from her if she read it. It’s also so relieving to know I’m not the only yeller, I feel awful about who I am.

    1.When I was little getting yelled at was the worst. I was spanked twice and I didn’t like that either but yelling at me made me feel small and demeaned. It made me feel like I couldn’t trust my mom, like I was always on egg shells and unsure of myself.

    2. Yes I yell as a parent. It makes me feel like shit and it makes me cry. I spend every night thinking of what an asshole parent I am and feeling like soon my son (who is 2.5) will be old enough to wonder why mommy yells all the time and why she is mean. I also worry because I have an infant that I don’t yell at (who yells at infants?) and I’m terrified my older son will feel like the bad rotten child because only he gets yelled at. I probably yell every day, the same way that every night I go to sleep hoping to wake up with the strength to be a better mom and every single day I wake up yelling.

    3. Like I said I feel like shit yelling. I don’t really apologize because I think he is too young to understand and honestly, the yelling doesn’t phase him, he still goes about doing what he is doing which then brings on a wrist squeeze or something because I don’t hit or slap or tap on the hand and he just looks at me like a moron and keeps doing what he is doing. However if he is home with dad is is a model of perfection and dad has no reason to yell leaving me to always be the asshole parent, because around me he is just insane.

    4. I think yelling is terrible. I am 26 and still afraid of my mom because of her yelling. I don’t want my kids to ever be scared of me, I don’t want them to ever think they can’t tell me something or admit when they make a mistake for fear I will yell. To this day yelling at me by anyone is the ONLY thing that makes me cry (besides stuff to do with my kids) I want to stop yelling, and I feel like I have spans of 3 or 4 days where I think I have it all figured out and I don’t yell and then I just forget and start yelling again. As I’m tryping this I’ve already yelled at my son about 5 times for touching my computer and giving me a book I don’t feel like reading right now because I must comment on your post.

    The final flip side of yelling is that I’m terrified people will think I love my kids less because I yell. Which isn’t true, I firmly believe my kids are the only reason I was born, they are the only reason I live and they are my entire life. Yet I can’t help thinking that others or even my kids will think I’m just some mean bitch who shouldn’t have had kids.

  62. Dude,

    I am a total yeller and it makes me feel horrible and never works. I think the only good thing about it is that I am totally comfortable when someone is yeling at me. It doesnt sway me from what I am doing, and that seems to have helped in proving my leadership. Oddly.

    The terrible aspect of yelling is that it destroys anything personal. In fact recently my best friend explained to me that its either no-yeling, or our friendship. So out they go. Kidding. In all seriousness, it has to stop. No excuses.

    If you cant sit the person (or people) down and discuss the situtaion, there are bigger problems that yeling isn’t going to fix. Granted, it still feels almost mandatory to release that anger before I can logically think about “discussing” anything, but it has to stop, so you have to figure out how to release.

    Check out my website for more tips.

  63. I don’t have children, but I can tell you a little bit about my experiences of being yelled at as a child.

    First off, you’re not a wimp. My mother yelled sometimes, but when she did it we (my 2 brothers and I) always knew it was for a reason….like telling my little brother that bees won’t sting you if you ask them not to. She kept it about what we did, and it was clear that she was only angry at our particular actions.

    My father? He wasn’t so much a yeller as he was a screamer. I felt like he always screamed at us. Didn’t load the dishwasher right? That’s a scream. Didn’t brush your teeth? Yep. And like someone else posted above, it aways felt like what he meant is “you’re such a waste and I don’t love you.” He still makes me cry when I hear his voice get louder….and we live on opposite sides of the country!

    I don’t know what I’ll do to my own kids when I have them, but right now I DO yell at my dog, and frequently threaten to sell her to the puppy farm when she pees on my goddamn couch. She takes it in stride and tries to lick up my nose to apologize.

  64. I was yelled out and spanked, with whatever was handy at the time..belt, broom, hickory switch..didn’t matter. My mom was not just a yeller, but a screamer too..unfortunately, she passed that trait down to me.
    I am not adversely affected by it…but I hate when I yell and scream at my kids. I don’t spank….God forbid that we do that in this day and age…CPS would come calling, but my heart hurts after I have a screaming/yelling match with my kids. If they would just listen, I tell myself and them…I wouldn’t have to yell so much. What to do? I have no idea..but I sympathize with your plight and I totally understand.

  65. My parents yelled. I swore I never would. I do of course now that I have kids.

    I heard somewhere to “use the Voice of Authority” (which is a low, calm voice) instead of yelling and you’ll get better results. Guess what? It works SO much better!

  66. 1. You know, I don’t think I was yelled at all that often. (And boy is the word “yell” starting to look really weird.) My Dad was only around at home until I was 7, and I don’t remember that much about him being angry, ’cause I was only young. I still saw him after he moved, but he has a more formiddable way of being angry rather than yelling. I honestly think he is the scariest person I know. That being said, whenever he’s mad, he ALWAYS apologises after, or comes and makes things okay. My Mum yelled occasionally I think, but I remember the biggest punishment was being hit with a wooden spoon. haha. I used to run away from that spoon. I think yelling went with it but I doubt I had a whole lot of respect because I remember yelling back just as much, although it would make me cry.

    2. I’m not a parent! But I still yell occasionally. I’ve stopped yelling at my boyfriend though…he’s the first boyfriend I’ve had who I’m actually scared of enough NOT to yell. He yells himself and I’m scared of that, plus if I yell at him, he’ll start punching things (not me) and that scares the crap out of me so I don’t yell at him anymore.

    3. If I yell at someone and they listen to me, I think Mission Accomplished. But I feel bad after. lol

    4. I think kids have been brought up different ways…I mean things were way less politically correct years ago, with the spankings and whatever, and especially in Pacific culture…hidings are a BIG part of growing up haha…and the kids normally end up really well behaved adults. I would rather have discipline that was a little harsh and well mannered kids, rather than no discipline and little brats. That being said, I don’t think its NECESSARY. I don’t think forceful discipline/yelling is NECESSARY exactly, but I don’t think its necessarily the worst thing ever, either. Like anything, there are different ways to do things…its just one way with its own pros or cons! Whatever anyone does, theres always going to be scary thing and good things one remembers about their childhood (hopefully) and thats the way it should be.

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