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Purposed Parent Connected Child Podcast Episode 064 - Stop Yelling So Your Child Can Hear You

Purposed Parent Connected Child Podcast Episode 064 - Stop Yelling So Your Child Can Hear You

Welcome to the Purposed Parent/Connected Child podcast – Episode 64 – Stop Yelling So Your Child Can Hear You

I was on a walk one evening when I heard the sound of screaming. Although I wasn’t close enough to hear exactly what the mother was saying, it was obvious she was reprimanding her son. The boy was young, perhaps only three or four years old, but that didn’t stop the loud and demanding words flooding from his mother.

I’ve never been a yeller, and I’m not judging her situation. However, I do have sympathy for her child. Although it’s definitely not the preferred way for a mother to communicate, what I can empathize with is the reason some women resort to yelling. Mothers yell when they don’t know what to do – it’s a reaction that comes when she is overwhelmed or maybe has had a history of being yelled at. The more a mother resorts to yelling, the faster the response becomes a reflex. Maybe she feels helpless, hopeless, or powerless. Or she feels stuck or unable to resolve a situation, Maybe she feels spread too thin.

Have you been there? Are you there now?

When a mother yells, it’s a red flag that she needs to stop and evaluate the “why” behind her tone and volume. What is causing the flash reaction directed at her child? 

Most mothers don’t set out to yell. Maybe she’s tried speaking in a calm voice, but feels like her child won’t listen unless she yells. Maybe she’s desperate for things to change and can’t help forcing that desire into a louder voice. Perhaps she feels disrespected. Maybe the kids really don’t listen or a spouse undermines her authority. Maybe she’s just plain exhausted and needs relief. But when a mother yells, she disrupts the natural bonding and attachment that is supposed to occur between a mother and child.

Did you know that yelling at your children affects them in many ways? When a child is consistently yelled at, he begins to think the problem is him. Most children place their parents on a pedestal, even when those parents are far from deserving. Naturally, then, when mom yells, they suspect it is because they are bad or stupid, or many other reasons centered around them. When a child is belittled or shamed by constant yelling, physical problems can also occur. Stress caused from a yelling parent (whether mom or dad) can cause anxiety, stomach issues, fears, insecurity, anger, and more. The long term effects may also create back and neck problems, arthritis, mental issues, headaches, depression, and other chronic pains. Many children move into the teen years and deal with destructive activities such as risky sexual behavior and drug or alcohol use. They may also grow up to yell at their spouse, children, and of course, their parents.

Studies have shown that yelling, especially when combined with other harsh parenting techniques actually change brain development. Because of the way our brains process language and sounds, and the fact that people process negative events and information faster and more efficiently than positive ones, activities such as repeated yelling changes the physical pattern of brain waves enough that you can see the differences on an MRI scan. Those are the memories embedded deeper into the brain.

Another important fact to remember about yelling is that while the act may shut down the undesired behavior in the moment, repeated yelling has the opposite effect. After a while, the child’s behavior worsens, which triggers even more yelling from the parent. Because of that, negative behaviors continue creating additional undesired behaviors.

You may yell because you think your child doesn’t listen and it triggers the response in you. You’re right. Sometimes kids don’t listen. They are easily distracted, but think about it, kids have different priorities. Most children naturally live in a world of creativity, imagination, and joy. As little sponges, they have a need to investigate and unravel the mysteries of life. This leaves them open to not hearing when you call or ignoring you because they are so engrossed in what they are currently doing.

There’s also another reason your child may not listen. If connection is broken between parent and child, there may really be a lack of respect and motivation to listen or pay attention to you. If you and your child have encountered disruptions in life and have lost the ability and time to laugh, talk, or play together, your connection may be off. Especially if they’ve been yelled at often.

When we adopted our youngest daughter at the age of nine, there was zero connection between us. We met her and less than an hour later she was leaving to begin a new life with us. It was challenging to guide and correct behaviors learned in an orphanage setting without that natural connection that most babies develop and grow with their mother.

At times in China, I wondered whether I would have been able to forge relationship and parent my new daughter if I was still that young mother in my twenties. I know the answer. Of course I could have. The question should really be how well would I have been able to do so. Being an older, experienced mother has definitely carried benefits, but the biggest safeguard to ward against yelling has been my maturing relationship with Jesus. Don’t hear me wrong, please. I’m not saying that if you’re a mother who tends to raise your voice too loud or yell at your children you’re not a Christian. I am saying, however, that I believe the closer you draw to Christ, the more you will reflect Him. Especially if you prayerfully address this habit and place it in His capable hands.

Acknowledging your propensity to yell and asking God to lift the burden from your shoulders is the first step toward stopping a habit you don’t want to last and certainly don’t want to cause your child to develop. Ask God to help you uncover the reasons you are drawn to yell. No matter how disobedient your child may be, the trigger that causes the yelling resides within you. Ask God to show you how to stop yelling and help you react with His grace, insight, wisdom, and love. If you’d like an episode more in depth on this topic, please be sure to let me know at

Let’s switch gears now. I’d like to look at communication. After all, although yelling is not the way we should choose to connect with our children, it is a form of communicating with your child. But I’d like to consider another way that is much quieter, as well as more respectful and in alignment with the godly mother you want to be.

Do you realize how much of communication is non-verbal? The way you interact with your child can set you up for success and keep you from losing your cool or set you up for a lot of work to repair your relationship later. However, excellent communication takes prayer, planning, patience, and self-control. So let’s stop and discuss good ways to communicate non-verbally with your child. Setting these actions into your normal routine combined with releasing self to God and deepening your walk with Him as we discussed in earlier in the podcast may alleviate the pressures and feelings that cause you to yell. 

I’ll share seven important tips today.

1. Lower your position to be at eye-level with your child - This will automatically gain your child’s attention.

2. Make eye contact – Remember that frustration you feel when you are trying to communicate with someone and they don’t meet your eyes? Your child feels the same way. Build respect and relationship from an early age. You’ll be glad when your child hits the teenage years.

3. Move closer – Kids don’t have the same need for personal space that adults do. If you want to get the attention of a child, move in lower as we discussed earlier, but also move in nearer.

4. Model behavior – If you want to gain the attention of your child and ensure that they understand what you want them to do, try modeling the behavior first. For example, if you want your child to speak in a quiet voice, instruct them in one, if you want your child to pick up toys after playing, clean your messes after projects. When it is time for them to clean, tell them, and show them how it is done as you begin the work with them. Talk about why you do the behavior and why you expect it from your child.

5. Watch your expression – Instead of facing your child with the day’s pressing demands showing on your face, remember that to your children, you are everything. They notice so much about you without you saying a word. Let your expression and eyes reflect love and joy when they face you. Even when you correct behavior, they will come to understand that you are correcting and discipling, not punishing.

6. Hand or facial signals –Give a thumbs up (or down), finger waging, raised eyebrows, a smile, scrunched nose, a shake of your head, or snap your fingers to reveal what you desire from them without having to say a word.

7. Make sure they know you are listening – When your child shares, complains, or questions you, make sure you make eye contact, keep your body adjusted so that they see you are listening, and respond with sounds, or comments such as, “I see,” or “Hmm,” to show you are paying attention.

These suggestions are excellent methods of quiet communication that become second nature with practice. I think using them definitely helps mothers communicate in ways that may help erase the frustration that causes yelling. Give yourself and your child time to develop these new communication habits. 

These suggestions will also draw you and your child closer to each other in new ways, which allow you to deepen your relationship with your child so you can help them mature their walk with Christ. With your new closeness, they will see Christ at work within you and give you a godly influence to help them want to experience the same relationship.

Dear Heavenly Father, how much we need You! This world is full of pitfalls and powers that pull us away from you and our children. Sometimes we don’t even recognize who we are or used to be. We praise You for loving us despite how far we are from You. We praise You for Your holy grace and wisdom. Please help us cling to You and find Your holy parenting methods that will uniquely apply to each of the beautiful children You have loaned to us. May we honor You and bring our children closer through our connected parenting, as well as our love and obedience for You. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Supporting and encouraging mothers to rest in Christ and pursue a holy relationship with Him so they purposely raise set-apart children is the cry of my heart. I believe godly parenting is rooted in relationship with Christ and the mindset a mother carries. That’s why I’ve created the Set-Apart Collective. Would you like to walk with other like-minded mothers to deepen your walk with Christ, learn a Christ-centered Motherhood Mindset Model, and create a Purposed Parenting Plan? I want to share special news with my podcast listeners. The Set-Apart Collective wait list is open now. Send me an email at to let me know you’d like to receive information and a special code to receive a discount if you find you’d like to join the collective. It’s time for mothers to be purposed in preparing their children for a lifetime pursuit of Christ.

If you connected in some way with this episode, would you please rate and review the podcast on Apple or Spotify? The best reviews are by word of mouth, so if you would also choose a friend to recommend the show to, imagine the change we could see in the way mothers parent for Christ.

Also, please tell friends and family that the podcast can be found at, Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, and on the Edifi app, where you can hear thousands of the best Christian podcasts in one place.

Remember, if you’re not purposed in knowing Jesus and showing Him to the next generation, the world will likely sway your children away from Christ. I pray that what you hear on this podcast enables you to stop being a good mom and focus on being a godly parent. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on new ways to parent with eternal purpose and connection.

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