Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Could You Go a Week Without Yelling at Your Kids

For every mom out there saying, "Sure, no problem," there are thousands more shouting, "Impossible!" Here's how a confirmed yeller got through seven whole days using her inside voice.

Day 7: An all-new mad mom

I wake up feeling enlightened. It's like a juice fast: impossible for six days, but suddenly I can do it forever. I marvel at how far I've come, and we have an amazing, sun-dappled day.

The kids are wild after dinner, and it takes me an extra half hour to get them down, but I don't crack. As I settle into the couch for what is, next to my family, the most important thing in my life — an all-new Mad Men — my heart swells with pride. And then Connor appears at my elbow to say, "Mom, I'm not tired."

ME: "Go to bed, buddy."
CONNOR: "But I'm not tired!"
ME: Firmly: "It's an hour past your bedtime!"
CONNOR: "NO! I want another story!"
ME: Getting louder: "No! No story! Mommy is closed!"
CONNOR: "But—"
ME: At full blast: "I'm DONE! Do you hear me? GO TO BED!"

And just like that, I went Betty Draper on him. I made it until 10:15 p.m. But I still failed.

So there you have it: I couldn't stop yelling for a week. But I did yell less. And I realized when and why I do it, and that, okay, it has less to do with the kids' behavior and more with my own moods. I'll probably keep yelling, but I'll also keep trying to stay calm. If the Hulk can turn back into Bruce Banner, there's still hope for me.

I CAN'T BELIEVE I LOST IT OVER...
"My boys, ages 3 and 2, were running around like banshees buck naked — which they just love to do — and I yelled, 'Put your wangdoodles away already!' They just laughed and ran faster." —REBECCA GERSTUNG, CHICAGO

"In the parking lot at the county fair, my then-4-year-old son slugged me in the arm, and I yelled at him. He looked at me with sad eyes and said, 'Slug bug, Mom.'" —LORIE READING, NORTH JUDSON, IN

"My 3-year-old daughter blurted out an expletive, and I actually threatened to wash her mouth out with soap! Who did I think I was, a mom on a 1950s sitcom?" —CHERI OSMUNDSEN, SAN CLEMENTE, CA

Originally published on October 13, 2010 

Related content on redbookmag.com

1|2|3|4

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
 
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow