What Our Kids Really Hear When We Yell

On the day after Christmas, we shoved three days worth of clothes into overnight bags for a trip to my in-law’s farm. We had enjoyed every bit of Christmas Day and put off packing until the next day.

And then the morning of our trip, we overslept.

While my husband loaded five duffle bags and a box full of gifts for his side of the family into the back of the van, I barked the last few orders at my kids.

“Someone needs to feed the cat.”

“Brush your teeth.”

“Get your boots for the farm.”

“Take this out to your Dad.”

I locked the doors and opened the van door. I was met with some pretty nasty morning breath by one of my kids. “Did you not brush your teeth?” I asked in disbelief.

All three of my kids answered no and I about lost my mind. Because. This is not the first or tenth time. You know what I mean moms? I pointed them all back towards the house and ranted, “Why didn’t you brush your teeth? This is not optional. You do this every day, do you hear me?” I yelled as I dug thru a bag for toothpaste.

My girls climbed back into the car after they brushed and I found my 11 year old son still looking for his toothbrush.

whatourkidsreallyhearwhenweyell

Oh, frustration, we meet again.

“Son, where is it? You should have already taken care of this…I am not going to like it if you have a cavity….” I huffed and puffed.

After he’d finally finished and was heading back out to the car with me following, he stopped and looked at me. “Mom, I know I should have brushed my teeth. I’m sorry. I forgot. We were hurrying… But why are you so angry?”

Do you ever have those parenting moments that feel like a kick in the gut? I stopped long enough to realize my heart was pounding and I was gripping the toothpaste with white knuckles.

While I thought I was lecturing about dentists and hygiene, responsibility and obedience, all my kids heard was an angry mother.

I hate that I yell. I try not to. But some days, I do.

I remember the first time I got angry with my oldest daughter. She was just a toddler when she totally defied me and ran towards the street. My anger sort of shocked me. I was scared to death. I don’t know a mother who hasn’t been angry at her kids for something. It sort of comes with the job.

But this was hardly a life-threatening situation, even for plaque fighters. I started thinking about why I was so angry and when I peeled back the layers, I realized I was fighting for control. I want things done my way. Or at least done. Most of the time, I lose my cool because I’ve lost control: I can’t control my child’s actions and I don’t control my temper.

But I know there is a better to communicate with my kids and encourage them to make good choices. I struggle in this area. I’m not an expert, but  I truly believe it comes down to self-control.

Here are 5 things I’m trying to do when I feel like I’m about to lose my temper: 

  1. Walk away for a couple of minutes. Take deep breaths. Think about this post :)
  2. Ask God for self control often. It’s a gift of the spirit and He loves to give gifts.
  3. Pick my battles. A lot of the time, I’m irritated over messes and things that really don’t matter.
  4. Remember I’m the role model. My kids take cues from me.
  5. Wait to discipline until my anger passes.

When I think about what my son was really hearing–anger instead of instruction, I’m reminded that lecturing and losing my cool isn’t accomplishing anything. It only makes it worse. With God’s help, I’m going to do better.

Do you struggle with this? 

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    I struggle with this EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I completely agree that it’s a matter of control–of your children and their actions, and the lack of it that you display yourself. I’ve been working on that self-control thing more and more because it occurs to me that I can’t teach my children to display self-control when I’m not displaying it myself. I’ll remember this post as well!
    ~Jennifer
    http://www.mommylifeafterphd.com

  2. 2

    says

    This is a long and constant struggle for me. I could hear the same thing happening in our home. My husband is always so calm and laid-back. Me? Not so much. Thank you for the 5 tips. I will definitely be putting those into action.

  3. 3

    Michelle says

    I avoided reading this post because of my guilt. My kids have been home for 16 days in a row and now school has been canceled for tomorrow because it is unbearably cold out. (Like -50 windchill cold, here in MN it takes a lot for us to stay inside.)

    I feel like I am thisclose to losing it and today I did. Not fun, not proud of myself. I will try your tips and hope for a better tomorrow!

  4. 5

    Sheila says

    It’s like you’re living my life. I struggle with this all the time. Thank you so much or the tips I will use them

  5. 6

    Karen says

    I had a similar “awakening” numerous years ago when my 3 man-children were still home. God used my oldest son to speak hard truth in to my life that I have never forgotten. I allowed God to use that moment to change me. It was a process and it was hard, but it was worth it! Have come a long way….still have a long way to go!

  6. 7

    Sara K says

    I struggle with it too and find nearly immediately confessing to the kids and apologizing helps-a bit-with the guilt. And, have you read the blog “Orange Rhino”? She has a 365 day challenge to stop yelling to kids with some really great, practical tips-similar to the ones you’ve listed above. I love the idea of praying for self control.

  7. 8

    Shannon says

    Thank you for this, Kriten! Had quite the morning yesterday with my little (she’ll be 3 at the end of the month). Why oh why is it alwasy when we are getting ready for church???? Not my finest mommy moment as she did the toddler drop about 4 times as I was trying to get her ready.

    We finally made it out the door and as we were driving to church I was feeling awful. I apologized to her for losing my temper and that I would work on doing a better job. Without even missing a beat she said “it’s ok, mom I’ll pray for you. And literally starting praying, “Yord Jesus, I yift up my mom….”

    I almost started crying…felt like the biggest jerk but also the proudest mommy moment ever!!

    • 8.1

      Leann says

      How precious for your little girl to pray for you! Some of our worst moments are getting ready for church too. My mom always told me that it was the devil on the prowl, trying to put family member against family member on the Lord’s Day. I think she’s right. My son is 3-1/2 and is a very active, high-energy child, so combing his hair and helping him brush his teeth nearly makes me lose my every-loving mind every single day because he is always pilfering with my make-up or my toothbrush or the toilet paper or running off down the hallway. I’m getting worked up just thinking about it. Definitely a control issue on my part. God has a sense of humor, I guess, by giving me this precious child! :P

  8. 9

    Manda says

    Yes. Yes. and Yes! I am a yeller. On top of that, I tend to belittle my kids when I yell, and you are absolutely right, it’s about control. My kid s are young, and we homeschool. I went before my church about a year ago and asked for prayers for self control and peace- and it worked. Every now and again, I can feel myself losing it, and can feel that self control push threw, and I say a prayer for whomever it is has said that prayer for me. But, I need more of them!

  9. 10

    Kit says

    Thank you for this post (and so many others like it), you write in a way that convicts but without condemning. So many “don’t yell” advice seems like it sets out to make me feel bad, then I just end up more angry! You write as someone that people can relate to. Thank you for your humility and honesty about these things. It is encouraging!

  10. 11

    says

    I’m not a yeller but I can lecture for days! I’ve tried to institute the 30 second rule. After 30 seconds my kids don’t care what I say so why do I still talk? With kids with attachment issues this is a lifesaver! And yes, it’s all about control. Great post.

  11. 12

    Connie says

    Thank you so much for this post. I struggle with this – partly because it was how I was raised. Thank you for not making me think I am a terrible person or mom.

  12. 13

    says

    Ouch! I didn’t even know I had a temper until I had children. I didn’t know I was capable of yelling and being that unkind. It isn’t that my kids are so awful that they bring it out in me; it’s that my sin is so awful that it simply needed the right trigger to be released. After almost eighteen years of mothering, I have many moments I wish I could go back and change, and nearly all of them involve my lack of self-control. But God doesn’t allow us to change the past. He only promises to redeem it. And then He offers forgiveness and grace as we move forward. Thank you for this much needed conviction and desperately desired promise of hope and grace.

  13. 16

    Sarah says

    Great post. I have been here. I don’t think I know any parent who hasn’t. I really struggled with this last year during the morning school run. After I dropped the kids off to school I would feel so guilty. Poor things would go to school with me having yelled at them all morning. I prayed often about our mornings and felt God tell me to get a grip. Through prayer and Gods grace I was able to take a step back and see what was bothering me. It came down to me waiting until the last minute to get things together (being lazy) and rushing the kids expecting them to take a cue from me to hurry up (that never happened lol).
    Another big thing I felt God telling me was to ask my little ones for forgiveness.
    This year is completely different. I am more organized and don’t put so much pressure on myself or the kids. I am learning to choose my battles. And when I fail I am quick to recognize my issues, ask for forgiveness and explain to the kids that I am frustrated for falling short of my own expectations. It’s a work in progress… :)

  14. 17

    Audra Catlett says

    Yes yes yes!!!! Something I struggle with and then the guilt afterwards. Thanks for the honest post!

  15. 18

    Diane says

    Someone once wrote that the root of anger is fear. Now when I’m angry and I start to tell I (sometimes!) try to stop and say “What is your fear?” Is it I’m afraid of cavities and the physical and financial pain? Is it that they will always be this way, that nothing will ever change? Is it that they will go to school smelling bad and kids will make fun of them? Once I can identify my fear I am able to verbalized it. If I can tell my child what I am afraid of they realize that I am only human and have ways to express my fears. And although yelling, screaming, etc are not the best ways to express them, the point seems to stick. For a day or two anyway. One of our biggest struggles is teeth brushing. When I started doing the math (Let’s see, you’ve been adopted into our family and have lived here 18 months. The expectations for teeth brushing is morning and bedtime every day for the past 18 months. So if you take 30 days x18 months and it equals 540 days, take that x 2 times a day….that means I have told you approximately 1080 times to brush your teeth. More probably because I have to tell you many times! Don’t you think that’s enough times to remember on your own?”) lol! It worked for a few days! Now all I have to do is ask once, usually!

    My gut moment was one night at bedtime when one if my girls prayed that God would help me to stop yelling. Gulp….then same sweet child a few months later thanked him for helping me to stop yelling so much. I realized that I would not want to live with someone who yelled at me all the time. I know I wouldn’t work for someone who yelled at me and never said positive things to me. By Gods grace I have done better, but it can be a daily struggle!

    • 18.1

      Deborah Baumgarten says

      The Lord also spoke to me about fear being the root of my anger. It IS about lack of control, but it’s based on fear that somewhere down the road, my kids are going to be damaged by the wrong choices they made. Hmm… they’ll probably be more damaged by my yelling than not feeding the dog or putting their clothes away neatly in the drawers after spending 30 min. folding them. Here’s how my conversation with the Lord went:
      The Lord: “Why are you angry? What is the real basis of your anger?”
      Me:”I’m scared that my kids will …”
      The Lord:”So, what have I told you about fear?”
      Me: “Um, not to do it.”
      The Lord:”And what is it called when you don’t do what I’ve told you?”
      Me:”Um, disobedience/sin.”
      The Lord:”And what have I told you to do instead?”
      Me:”Trust You, fear not, believe.”
      The Lord:”So what are you going to do next time?”
      Me: “Discipline with love in a calm manner, trusting You to deal with my kids in the details.”

      Now, to just do it EVERY DAY!

  16. 19

    says

    Thanks for sharing. This is something I too struggle with. I know I”m not alone, but it’s often discouraging that the battle is SO HARD to fight and win. It’s been struggle (of varying degrees) for me since becoming a mom over 17 years ago. We have 6 kids ranging in ages of 5 – 17 and it can get chaotic. Thanks for the reminder that it’s MY self control that I need to work on. God has put on my heart that this is something I need to be much more intentional about. I love your points to work on that you listed.
    Prayers for all of you moms who are also struggling.

  17. 20

    says

    “Most of the time, I lose my cool because I’ve lost control: I can’t control my child’s actions and I don’t control my temper.” It’s sad, but very true. At least for me. This was a great reminder. Thanks so much for your faithfulness to share candidly. It is such an encouragement to me!

  18. 22

    says

    Oh my gosh, yes! I am a mother. That’s it. I feel the out of control moments but I think it’s also the pressure of being “mom, responsible for all things”. My oldest daughter asked her dad why it takes him so long to get ready in the morning. After all, mom has three people she gets ready to get out the door….he’s only responsible for one person. See? We are responsible for everything! So, when things don’t go smoothly I feel out of control. And why do my kids think they don’t need to brush their teeth on the weekends?

  19. 23

    Stacy says

    I too delayed reading this out of guilt! My ‘favorite’ moment that brought conviction is when I was yelling at my very headstrong eldest son to stop yelling! Awesome mom moment ;). I’m trying and have come to realize I’m usually upset due to my own bad planning or time management. I tell both boys I’m working on it and it’s a struggle. They help me out (often more than I appreciate) by pointing it out. I figure they get to see God refining me and it’s a process, then they can reflect on that when they need to allow Him to refine them.

  20. 24

    Sarah Heaston says

    Thank you for this! I was a bit afraid to read it, just because of how I knew God would use it to convict me……just had a meltdown moment with my sweet children today, and am disappointed and in shock at how truly angry I can get and feel in my heart towards to these sweet children that I love more thank life itself. Thankfully by God’s grace they are forgiving, and I am able to gain back control through God alone…..I hate myself for screaming/yelling at them. It’s encouraging to hear I’m not alone in this, and that it is indeed possible to overcome through Christ, and through using the mind/heart He has given me for planning and understanding what exactly brings about that anger. Again, thank you for sharing….and to all the other women who are willing to say that they to struggle as a mama!

  21. 25

    Kendra says

    Do I struggle with this?? Oh my word! I totally just saw my life in 10 years flashing before my eyes as I read this (my littles are 4, 2 and 3mo at the moment…). Yeah, so, the other day I barged angrily into my little girl’s room *yelling* at her while slamming things myself about why we don’t throw things in anger. Nice. Grace grace, and more grace. Thanks for this post and for the reminder. I’m realizing as I look forward this year that Paul’s reminiscing on the whole ‘my grace is sufficient for you” is going to have to be a mantra for me. Knees on the ground pressing into Him for wisdom. every. stinkin. day!

  22. 26

    says

    The hardest one for me is remembering that I am a role model. I love it (sigh) when I find myself yelling for them to stop yelling, or something very similar. It’s always nice to know that others struggle with the same thing!

  23. 29

    Marie says

    Well, it’s after dinner and I’m ecsaping to the office, since my husband is home now. I click on your page and “SMACK”! just the reminder I needed! I just had one of those “bad mom moments” before dinner that sent everyone to their rooms!! I completely lost it on my three year old for her many antics and almost 7 year olds who can’t stop fighting. But really it’s about control. I was just thinking in my head how I am failing as a parent. How can I have waited and wanted something for so long and now be doing such a poor job? I feel like I’m drowning in constant caos. Thanks for being so real. I keep praying that somehow my children will know I love them despite my many mistakes.

  24. 30

    Debbie says

    This is something I struggle with and feel terrible about it! Thank you for sharing your story and the tips. I love your blog and how I can relate to so many of your posts.

  25. 31

    Heather M says

    It sounds weird, but when I get mad and consider yelling, I go get in my bed. The physical change helps me…but there’s something about being in my favorite cozy spot that helps me keep my mouth shut. It’s also just harder to yell lying down. :)

  26. 33

    Xochitl Elizondo says

    Can we be friends so that I can call you and tell you I “lost it AGAIN”. This is a struggle for me it is so difficult. Thank you for your honesty and allowing us to see this side that most of the time as moms do not talk about. ~Blessings

  27. 34

    says

    When I was first married I yelled a ton, and stormed off. It was my trademark answer.
    The other day my son was riding his bike in our basement…he’s 3. I was exercising and explained where he could ride and not to run me over. After several attempts at doing just that, I stopped him and said “boy, I told you not to ride your bike over here. You need to ride it over on the other side”. His simple response proved to me that sometimes God is the only reason we don’t impulsively throttle our children. ” I know that’s what you want mommy, but you just have to get over it.”
    Breathe.
    I thought…first about screaming, then about the humbling fact that my son was repeating what he had heard from me. So…I gave him a second chance. “I will give you a chance to say that again Lucas, in a way that isn’t so rude.” I deflated my anger as my son simply asked if he could ride his bike where I was.
    The answer was simple, kids are impulsive and learn there sin nature honestly. Second chances with words is a good way to teach someone the value and impact of what we say.

  28. 35

    Katie says

    um..struggle…yes! Today it happened in Trader Jos..the kids…they just kept on running thru the store…and out it came, bleh. Yes to asking the Spirit to out pour his gift of self-control, and to help me loosen the need to tighten that control grip.
    I was at a doctors appt (who also happens to be a family friend) and one of my kids came in and demanded something from the friend, obviously feeling very comfortable in his environment…I was mortified, and my friend (who has no kids) said the most profound thing…He is his own person, He made his own choice to say those words and it is not a reflection of you.
    right???! Ofcourse there is always need for correction and forgiveness, but that has always stuck with me.

  29. 36

    Margie says

    I just got off after face timing with my college freshman daughter who needs to find an apartment for next year. It is crazy that kids need to do this after only three months of school…making a decision for the following year. I kept telling her this is so stressful!!I can’t believe this has to be done right now. I am getting worried about this. As the conversation went on I could see her face and shoulders drop, now she is really stressed out! Thanks mom for the vote of confidence. After we got off I started. Complaining to my husband, I then sat down and opened your blog and there it was…. lack of control, my control…. Now we both feel lousy. Yes, I struggle with control.

  30. 37

    says

    I am that Mom! Trying to control my need for control. Praying I haven’t done too much damage. Thanks so much for your post. It was shared on FB by a friend, now I will be following.

  31. 38

    Amy says

    Thank you for being so real, open, and honest. it is a struggle for me here too. Your five things listed above are something I need to start using when I feel myself getting angry.

  32. 39

    AmyG says

    I don’t normally comment, but this post hurt. Anger is something I have struggled with for such a long time. God has been working with me, but I have such a long way to go. I have noticed I was “getting better”, but the last couple of weeks, it’s been creeping back & I need to get it under control again. Only way I can do that, though, is with God’s help. I know if I take over, oh what a mess it will be. Thank you for this post, Kristen!

  33. 40

    quiltnmama says

    Thanks for sharing this, how I relate in these busy days with my kiddos. I think we all want control and that often leads us down this painful road. Thanks for the tips, I copied them off and put them in my planner to move to the top of my week each week with a paperclip.

  34. 41

    says

    I just had a moment this morning with my oldest and I came back to my computer to find this post in my email. I called my husband this morning asking him what to do that I’m so frustrated with this daily occurrence. I guess this was God’s way of answering my plea. My oldest always knows how to push all my buttons and I end up yelling and it only makes things worse rather than accomplish anything. Thank you Kristen for these 5 things. I needed this post today, and I’m writing them down and keeping them where I can see them always.

  35. 42

    says

    I am so thankful for new mercies and for the repeated chances I get to get it right (or better, I should say) with my kids. I just made little cards out of your “5 Things” and am tucking them into spaces around the house (and my car) as visual cues to combat my fear of losing control, because you hit the nail on the head– that is exactly what it is. Thanks (as always) for sharing your struggles and giving so many of us moms a virtual partner in working through these cracks! Much love.

  36. 43

    says

    This is not just a challenge for moms. It’s one us dads face. I face the challenge every day. Sometimes I win and so do the kids and my wife. Sometimes I lose and so do the kids. I’ve had those moments when my kids kick me in the gut – not just one of them. They both challenge me and complain to their mother. I’ve blogged about it (Why Do I Get Angry), even sought a Christian counsellor to help ferret out the root of the problem. Now I am more self-aware and keep things more in check. As you said, many times we lose control over the little things. As I have to remind myself…don’t sweat the small stuff.

  37. 44

    says

    I think you touched on something really important and true too: fear often goes out as anger.
    usually when I hear my voice starting to climb to that octave….I know it’s because I am afraid of something.
    often more than just not having control, but deeper rooted.

    but sometimes, when it’s just about defiance….oh, those times are tough. that’s when I definitely have to walk away and cool down a moment.

  38. 45

    Kate says

    I am so guilty :(. Most times I say things I shouldn’t be saying and I feel so bad afterwards particularly when my son tells me “mum am sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you”, it makes me cringe inside and at times to some shedding is silent tears!
    Thanks for your honesty and friendly 5 tips, will continue praying for self control and implement them. God bless.

  39. 46

    Liz says

    Been there. Oh, how I have been there and needed this acknowledgment that I’m not alone and God can help. Thanks for being open about your own story.

  40. 47

    Beth says

    Thank you for speaking your heart! I have 4 little boys ages 7,4,2,1. I find it very difficult to “control” my environment most days and to someone who is very type A, that’s hard! I want them to act as I taught them 100% of the time. I want them to want to please me. I want them to not be little boys but be men with complex thought processes and thinking ahead. Truthfully, I am asking too much from these little people. But even though I know what I’m doing, there are still those bad days. We all have them! I’m so glad we can encourage one another through this motherhood journey. Knowing we are not alone in this fault truly helps us rise and conquer! With Gods grace, power, and might His spirit can and will transform us into the mothers he created us to become!!

  41. 48

    Laura D says

    I try to remember that our God is slow to anger, a virtue I struggle with as a mom. If I am to be more like Him everyday, than I too, must be slow to anger. Praying for this virtue as often as I can!

  42. 49

    Kelly Carter says

    Thanks for being real. We have all been there more than we’d like to admit. I appreciate your blog.
    God bless you in your mothering,
    Kelly C

  43. 50

    carolyn says

    I am so glad you wrote this post, and I am so glad I am not the only Christian mother that struggles with this. I grew up in a home where yelling and screaming was the first language and English came next. I hated that about my childhood. Well, unfortunately I do the same thing,but not to the degree that I heard when I was a kid. I am a single parent, and I have been one for 16 years. I had to be both parents, and to me most days I was frustrated with my kids. You are so right it is a sign that we aren’t in control if we get that upset, because our kids didn’t do what we asked. I have often asked the Lord why I am like this, because I hate it. I am not a horrible mom or go on tyrants all the time, but it doesn’t change the fact that when it happens I feel horrible. The look in your child’s eye as you are screaming at them doesn’t make a proud parent moment. I have learned a lot in the last 10 years, but sometimes I still do that. I just thank God that we have his grace, mercy, and forgiveness. I do go to my children and apologize to them for yelling at them, and I tell them that I could have done that differently. They watch me and what I do. And if I act like that and not treat them with love I can’t get upset with them when they treat their siblings in the same manner. I am also trying everyday to be very mindful of everything I do and say, because I know I have little ones and big ones watching my every move. I have taken my kids to church, since they were newborns, and they preach back to me what they have learned. Talk about a walking “mom-o-meter.” They don’t let anything slide by. Thank God that they forgive so easily, and I forgive them so easily. Thank you for sharing. God Bless you and your family.

  44. 51

    Liz Moran says

    Thank you for being transparent. Isn’t that what God wants us to be with each other? I think this is a common battle for a mom. I am often reminded , when I fail in this area, that I serve a God who is LONG-SUFFERING and Patient with me. I need to be the same with my children. Reminds me that we need to continually encourage one another daily as believers in the Lord.

  45. 52

    Stephanie says

    Thank you for your honesty!! Reading this and so many of the comments on this post are God trying to wake me up. I so often feel like a hypocrite when trying to teach my boys self control and healthy anger because I know I am not a good role model of it. Thank you for speaking love through this post and encouraging us all to be better moms and better daughters of our heavenly Father. He entrusted us with these lives who will, God-willing, grow up to be parents themselves. I want the cycle of anger and yelling that I’ve seen in my lifetime to end here and I thank you for helping equip me to do that. Life (and parenting!) is stressful but our biggest battle has already been won. God bless.

  46. 53

    Tiffany says

    This is my problem! I do the same thing. I have been saying that I know I am in control of myself and my actions, but it some days it doesn’t seem to help. It is like a losing battle of mom emotions. Up and downs! Where we have to say do this, do that, did you do this, did do this, did you do that?
    Then when it doesn’t get done within a certain time frame and you ask again, and again you lose your patience. Then they start running their mouth or getting attitude, then boy oh boy…….. no breathing techniques will help me. I try I promise!
    I was diagnosed with Severe Epilepsy 2 1/2 years ago and of course stress is a trigger for my seizures so I have to try to stay calm and my boys know that. So we have gotten so much better. They are now 11 & 14, and of course know everything :) . They are good boys just lazy when it comes to some things. But they say, I just expect to much. So that is what I think I need to do stop expecting everything to be my way.

  47. 54

    Sophia says

    This is a great reminder for me because it helped me recognize my motive for raising my voice, or even getting angry at my kids and grumbling in my head about them (which I believe it equally just as wrong as venting my wrath). As much as I may desire it, I do not claim to be a perfect mother, nor would I ever claim it. Instead, I recognize that only by God’s tremendous grace do I do anything ‘well’ in life, and It is equally by His tremendous grace that He is allowing me to do very poorly at some things so that I can understand even more my great need of Him and how to depend entirely on Him. I know that in spite of anything, good or bad, that I do, my children are in HIS hands; He has their futures already planned, and I am merely the woman who is blessed with the job of raising my beautiful babies and learning more fully my desperate need for God’s amazing grace, along the way.

    It also my great privilege to show them when I mess up, (yes, by yelling sometimes, or even by being lazy in my parenting) a real-life, in person example that I am a sinner, I need grace and I’m so grateful for my Savior who is changing me from the inside out! I am thankful for reminders such as this article that help me put things into perspective. Thank you for your honesty, transparency and encouragement. Why DO we get so upset about all the truly little stuff?! I guess honestly, because in that moment I’m desperately trying o be the god of my life, and get my children to worship me through their obedience to my word. And it never works. For that I am TRULY grateful; that is God’s wonderful grace on display. :-)

  48. 55

    Liz says

    Aloha and thank you for your post and for all the comments that so speak to my heart. I kept this email for awhile and didn’t open it because I knew that it would convict me of my sin and honestly most of the time I don’t want to be convicted of my sin because it hurts too much. I appreciate your tips so much!!! I am trying to watch for signs that seem to trigger my anger, i.e. not feeling well, tired, rushing, too much on my mind, over-scheduled. I feel so alone when I “lose it”, thank you all for sharing and giving me hope that God still loves me and continues to change me from glory to glory despite my failures, desipte myself.

  49. 56

    Marilyn Huber says

    Sure wish I had your expertise and insight 45 – 47 years ago. Just remember that we forgive our children for any and everything and they pretty much the same (we hope). Love you all much, “Aunt Marilyn”

  50. 57

    crystal says

    i struggle with this all the time. i am born perfectionist and having a toddler in the house means losing all sense of control and order. i would yell so i avoid spanking her. but i noticed lately that she’s yelling to us when she wants something done as well. note to self: ROLE MODEL. i love my kid beyond anything in this world. i die a thousand times when i need to spank her. reading this article makes me reflect on my anger when i’m losing sense of control over my kid. i will keep this in mind and try my best to practice walking away for a breather when i’m about to lose it. thank you for sharing.

  51. 58

    says

    I struggle with my frustration and, dare I say, anger, every day. Why do such simple and really unimportant things send me to the edge!? THANK YOU for your continued honesty, transparency and advice. I am new to your blog but have found it to be a sanity and life saver. Most days I read your posts and cry….I mean weep…at my desk and think “Thank you Jesus for these words that show me I’m not alone..at all!”. My strong-willed 7yo has me mesmerized with love and frustration…such a tangled mess some days. Thank you for helping me make sense of the chaos. I am truly so grateful for you.

  52. 59

    Beth Rose Gamble says

    I’m glad I’m not the only one….

    It’s definitely not just for moms, I know when I feel myself losing it that I am about to become my father’s daughter. My poor kids! At least my not-yelling voice is somewhat soft & youthful (to my chagrin, because dangit, how do you respect Minnie Mouse as your mom?!), instead of a booming preacher voice like my dad’s…his yelling was Something To Behold.

    Anyway. I’m working on it. In the meantime, I have sat down with my kids and told them, “Mommy just yelled at you and lost her temper. She threw a fit, and we’re not supposed to do that, are we?” Kids: “No!” Me: “Well, I am sorry. Instead, Mommy should have taken a time-out like you guys have to take sometimes. You should obey me, but I shouldn’t throw a fit. Mommy is a grown-up and knows better.” Kids: confused silence. Me: “So since I know better, I will try to do better. Can you forgive Mommy?” Kids: “I forgive you.” Hugs and temporarily obedient kids follow.

    This makes me be even more accountable, because now I’ve owned up to it in front of incredibly honest kids. There’s speaking firmly, and then there’s yelling. There is nothing firm or disciplined about yelling, and it does not elicit respect from anyone when I lose my cool. I know that ultimately, I fear being disrespected by my kids, and that drives my anger at them. That’s when I yell at them. But I just gotta take a deep breath & try to actually behave respectfully, and when I’m able to do that, I find that my kids behave better and I can breathe easy.

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