Yelling In the Home: The Secret Ingredient to Rebellion

Uncategorized Feb 23, 2021

Yelling isn't ok.... and it is not for the reasons you may think.

A few weeks back I did a survey on my fb page regarding how often yelling is happening in families. The majority of all moms that answered the survey said it was a daily fact of life within their homes. Some moms noted that the bulk of the yelling happens because the children are yelling at each other, being silly, or yelling at Mom and Dad. 

So yelling is common place in MOST homes and yet, I suggest that it is both completely unnecessary and destructive to the health of both the individuals in the home and the family unit. Mamas, the yelling HAS TO STOP and it is not for the reasons you may think. 

Is yelling rude? Yes. Is yelling a poor form of communication to teach our children? Yes. Is yelling going to get louder and more frequent over time? Probably. Does yelling reduce the peace in a home? Sure does. But Mamas, the biggest reason to not allow yourself or others in your home to yell has NOTHING to do with these things. It is all about body regulation. 

You know by now that the work I do is trauma informed care for families. At the heart of this practice is a tool known as body regulation. When our bodies are regulated and in a neutral emotional state, we have full access to our intelligence, our discernment, logic and reasoning, and emotional/relational skills. The minute our emotional state transfers to anger, fear, excitement, sadness, or frustration we no longer can access the best parts of our thinking (prefrontal cortex of the brain) and subsequently our behavior declines (shifting to the amygdala).  

So from a body regulation standpoint, lets say that your child is angry at a sibling in the home over ipad time and they yell at their sibling in their frustration. This now takes the one being yelled at out of regulation and the lack of logic and heightened sensitivities escalate the behaviors accordingly between the kids. Now Dad hears the fighting and walks in to see them wrestling over an ipad while screaming and Dad is now triggered out of regulation. Dad yells, grabs the ipad from between the kids, and grounds the kids for the next 5 years... right? You have seen a situation similar play out in your home, no doubt. Dysregulated people create for more dysregulated people. Guilt and shame on the part of the kids and the Dad now set it, creating other feelings of dysregulation and ultimately, it is hard to move past the incident even though it no longer exists.  

When you hear children yelling do you immediately feel tension in your chest? Do you remember being yelled at as a child? Did you immediately feel fear and want to cry or scream? These are signs that your body is going out of regulation and your brain power is shifting from the "thinking brain" to the "reacting, emotional part of the brain". The first parts of the shift are an increase in heart rate, tension in the diaphragm, and increased respirations. Once those physiological changes have occurred, you are now falling further and further out of your "logic and reasoning" and into your "fight, flight, or freeze" emotional, reactive brain. 

So am I suggesting that you don't have the big feelings that take you out of regulation as a solution for removing yelling from the home? Obviously, that would be incredible if we could just shut off our negative feelings but clearly, that isn't going to happen. What I am suggesting is that we don't feed the roaring lion inside of us. When we allow the physical changes in our body to control us, we no longer behave in ways that are helpful or healthy. We also model for our kids unhealthy ways to engage our big feelings, and they repeat them accordingly. Kids yell to be heard. Kids yell because it is what others do to try to obtain power over others. Kids yell because they lack skills to get results with any other method. Parents yell for all of the same reasons... but ultimately, as people, we do what works. If yelling doesn't work, then people will stop yelling. 

Mama, it is time to take yelling out of your tool box and require your kids to do the same. Instead, when the tension is increasing along with the heart rate and respirations, attend THOSE THINGS FIRST. Slow down your breathing, consciously. Long exhales slow the heart rate and relax the diaphragm. Count your breathing by inhaling for 3 seconds and exhaling for 7 seconds. This will help keep you in the logic part of your brain. Then require space... "Kids, put the ipad on the counter and go to your safe spot to breathe until I come and get you so we can see what exactly is going to help this situation." We cannot logic with kids that are dysregulated. They do not have the ability to see their own situation or feelings clearly while functioning in fight, flight, or freeze.  We cannot help our kids develop problem solving skills until we show them how to respect the needs of their body and brains regarding regulation. 

Secondly, we cannot reward yelling by allowing it to work. If you are the mom that gives into the tantrums in the isle of Walmart, I encourage you to stop. Your child can never get what they are asking for if they ask for it incorrectly. When your child screams, whines, or pouts they must never get the thing they want until they choose the correct form of asking. If your children yell at on another, it has to be rule that yelling equals losing- you yell, your argument is no longer valid. Now no one wins even if you had a case for your side. And Mama, you have to hold yourself accountable to the same rules. If you yell, you lost. Your kids may have "deserved it" but in the end, none of us deserve to have someone exert their authority over us in unhealthy ways. Mama, you yell.... you lose. 

Playful yelling--- sure kids, go for it but only outside! Homes are a place where we respect people's need to have peace, joy, and love... and body regulation. Parks, sidewalks, and back yards are a place to play King of the Mountain or Tarzan. Homes are not. 

As a side note, adopted children generally fall out of regulation much faster than biological children in the same home environment. Because of this, parenting adopted children cannot be as "traditional" in disciplines and language. Adopted children need to. have parenting largely centered around body regulation and building up insecurities within them. Keep this in mind if you are trying to raise up a responsible adopted child. 

For more information on raising adopted children, please check out my Youtube channel by clicking here.



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