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Episode 62 // Dealing with that burst of mom anger… What to do after you’ve yelled at your kids (and a few ideas to stop it from happening in the first place)

What are we talking about today?

Mom guilt, mom anger, mom anxiety… there can be a lot of stress involved in motherhood! We love our kiddos so much. There is a lot of emotion involved in loving them well. 

And sometimes, that emotion boils over and we wind up yelling at our kids. We don’t mean to… but our voice rises, our face gets flush, and the next thing we know, we feel awful. 

So what do we do? That’s the focus of our conversation today. Dealing with the “mom anger” that can rise up even for the best of us, and looking at 6 action steps to take after the yelling has occurred. (Or, really, any sin has occurred.) Plus, we’ll look at a few ideas for how to prevent the yelling from happening in the first place! 

Let’s dive in.

Listen to Episode 62:

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Snag your resources here!

If today’s topic is meaningful to you, you’ll also want to check out these earlier podcast episodes that connect with this same topic:

  • Episode 31 // Keep your cool, mama! Here’s my quick 4-step process for handling frustration and impatience with my kids… no yelling, door slamming, or anger management necessary.
  • Episode 38 // One simple strategy that will reduce your kids’ temper tantrums and help them (and you!) manage emotions better and develop good coping skills: less anger, less yelling, and MORE bonding
  • Episode 47 // 7 powerful Bible passages to help you manage impatience, anger, and emotional control

Let me also offer a FREE resource that I know will be helpful:

If you’re feeling stuck in your family relationships, make sure you get the 5 Tools Every Busy Mom Needs to Move Her Family From Autopilot to Intimacy. In this FREE 5-day email course, you’ll build skills and strategies that help you get out of the rut and reconnect!

And if anger, impatience, or yelling is something that you struggle with, you definitely need to check out our 40 Day Devotional on Anger & Emotional Control!

40 Day Devotional on Anger & Emotional Control

Learn biblical strategies for managing the hard emotions of life, to become the woman, wife, and mother God has called you to be. Grab the devotional here.

[This post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.] 

Today's Episode Highlights

We’ve all been there. Our kids are driving us up a wall, we lose our cool, we yell… and we feel horrible about it. 

Ohhh the mom guilt. So powerful. And so right! This is definitely a time where some “mom guilt” is biblically appropriate – because it will point us toward the right steps of what to do next. 

First: a definition

When I talk about “yelling” at our kids, let me clarify what I mean by yelling. In my experience, all of us yell at some point in time. We lose our patience and we raise our voice, saying things that are either pointless in the moment or that we regret afterward.

This is different from “screaming” at our kids. I’m not talking today about a situation where you might totally lose your cool and scream your head off at someone for twenty minutes. I’m not talking about name-calling or belittling our children. 

These behaviors enter into the realm of verbal abuse. 

If you’ve had this type of experience with your kids – and certainly if that has happened more than once – I would encourage you to seek professional help. (You can always review my disclaimer policy, and see more of my general thoughts on Christians and mental health counseling.)

Yelling at our kids is – unfortunately – a very common mom experience. We lose our cool, raise our voice, and within a few minutes we get our brain on straight and we try to move forward. Screaming at our kids or abusing our kids is a whole different level, and professional help is needed. 

6 steps to take after you've yelled at your kids

With all of that in mind, let’s look at 6 steps to take after you’ve yelled at your kids. 

(But as you’ll see, these steps are actually helpful for responding to any sinful behavior toward another person. They are steps that help us restore relationships and make things right. )

    1. Confess to the Lord. Tell him what happened. Apologize. Pray for wisdom in understanding anything you could have done differently. This can be quick!
    2. Apologize to your child. Keep it age-appropriate. Boundaries still matter: it will not benefit your kids for you to take 20 minutes explaining all the stressors in your life that just boiled over at them. Focus on what you did wrong, apologize, and try to make it right. 
    3. If you’re still upset and not yet calm, take a short break to calm down. Yes, you still need to make sure your child is safe and supervised. 
    4. Try to make it right. This likely will include a verbal, emotional reconnection, such as saying “I love you,” or saying “thank you, you are very kind” if they say they forgive you. This can hopefully also include a physical reconnection, such as giving them a hug or a kiss. 
    5. This is not the time to “give in” if they were requesting something. They don’t need a cookie to feel better. They don’t automatically deserve a late curfew just because you yelled. Don’t let this become a moment of childish manipulation.
    6. Especially if this is a recurring pattern, or you yelled in a bigger-than-usual way, take time when you can to think back and reflect. What happened? What heart issues need to be laid before the Lord so the Holy Spirit can work a change?

A few ideas to avoid yelling in the first place

  • First, check out Episode 31 for my 4-step process that helps me keep my cool when my kids are driving me crazy.
  • Try to keep your baseline stress low. If you know you are in a stressful season of life right now, you’re more likely to yell. Get more sleep, cancel some things in your schedule, or do what you need to do to respond to the season with extra grace. (Extra time with the Lord will help!)
  • Keep your daily spiritual habits going! Daily time with the Lord is KEY for growing in the Spirit. We need the patience, compassion, wisdom, and self-control of the Holy Spirit in our most difficult moments! A great resource for this is our 40-Day Devotional on Anger & Emotional Control.
  • Stop pride in its tracks. If you think you don’t yell, pray about that. Ask the Lord to show you what behaviors you might be struggling with. Ask him to help you see your frustration and impatience from your children’s perspective. Never think that you are too mature, too wise, or too anything to give into the temptation of yelling. We always need to be humble before the Lord, and with our family.

Friday Faith Follow-up

In this quick follow-up episode, I’m sharing the raw truth about my motherhood: This past week, I yelled at my kids twice. I didn’t mean to. I certainly didn’t want to. But, that mom anger got the best of me. 

So let’s all learn from my mistakes. This is a Real Life Case Study of my experience yelling at my kids this past week. I hope it will help and encourage you, and give us all some ideas to help us yell less in the week to come!

If you want help and support to handle your mom anger and stop yelling at your kids, make sure to check out the 40 Day Devotional on Anger & Emotional Control!

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A reminder of the Disclaimers & Disclosures Policy: I am an affiliate with many of the resources I recommend, which means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through my provided links. I never recommend products I don’t love! Also, I am a licensed therapist but this podcast is not therapy. It is not professional or personal advice to your specific situation. Get info about professional counseling here.