No Yelling Challenge Week 2 ~ Identifying Yelling Triggers


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Last week, I confessed to you that I am a yeller and I introduced you to a challenge I have undertaken. I was so excited by the positive feedback from all of you, and I hope this is another helpful and encouraging post for you!

no yelling challenge

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Last week I shared a story of a day in my life and described how things escalate at my house and get out of control. This past week, I tried to keep things from escalating by handling them ahead of time and not letting them get out of control. It worked out okay…although a couple of times my eldest daughter did say to me, “I thought you weren’t yelling at us anymore, Mom.” Ouch. Well, technically, I wasn’t yelling, but the tone of my voice was still a little scary. It’s not just about yelling; it’s also about tone. So I will be watching that very closely in Week 3 and trying to speak more lovingly to my children.

Identifying Yelling Triggers

This week, I identified several triggers which cause me to yell: technology, the mess, tired children, back talk.

1. Technology ~ I hate to admit it, but we have become a very technologically oriented home. I have an iPhone that is rarely away from me {I like to take pictures…that’s my excuse}. Texting, taking pictures, checking FB, plusing people on Google + = my phone is a pretty constant distraction. And, I’m on the computer a fair amount. I have always limited TV time, but lately, it’s just been creeping into our lives. It’s easy to tell the kids to turn off the TV, but it’s hard for me to sit down and do something else with them. The TV became easy.

Well, moving out to the country put the end to the TV – we have no channels! No dish, no antenna, no cable, no TV. It’s been wonderful. The kids are getting along better and I am not constantly nagging them to TURN. IT. OFF. I love having no TV. Now, as long as I keep the iPad hidden, harmony is restored and I am not yelling about that. I also have been working at putting my own phone down and giving my children my undivided attention. I have a lot more strides to make there…I am a work in progress.

2. The Mess ~ Another hard thing for me to admit…the mess and clutter really get to me. Another wonderful thing about moving out to the barn has been having limited space. I purged a lot before we got here, and I am still purging. Fewer things to take care of make this mama happy. Also, involving the kids in a quick tidy a couple times a day and a bigger tidy before bed so I don’t wake up to a destroyed house has been helpful. I still need to find an easy way to engage the children in helping my cheerfully…but it’s getting better.

3. Tired Children ~ Tired children really make me yell. It’s been go-go-go around here for a long, long time. We try to do too much and have no set schedule. We’re eating late at night, getting up early in the morning, and running all day. My kids are plain worn out. I have been making a real effort to get dinner on the table at a much more reasonable hour this past week so we can get them to bed before 11 pm at night. Keeping them well rested means they don’t fall apart in the evening and melt. I started this blog to remind myself to slow down and simplify, and clearly, I need to remind myself to slow down and simplify every. single. day.

4. Back Talk ~ Oh my goodness. My children are masters of back talking. It’s pretty bad. No, it’s really bad. Especially my 7 year old son. He has something to say about everything. And he just won’t shut up when he’s in trouble. I get on to him about something and he lips off. So I talk a little more forcefully, and so does he. And pretty soon, we’re both yelling at each other.  I have been known to flat out tell him to SHUT. UP. 🙁 We have been working really hard to end the cycle because that’s what it is – a vicious cycle. The two of us have talked about it a lot, and we even devised a little signal we can both use that’s supposed to make us stop talking immediately. So far, I’ve only had to use it a couple times. And he hasn’t used it on me. That’s progress!

A few of you shared really good resources in the comments on my first post last week, so I thought I’d compile them here, and share some more that I’ve found as well:

From Dr. Sears ~ 5 Ways Parents Can Manage their Anger

From The Hands Free Mama ~ The Important Thing About Yelling

The Orange Rhino Challenge

Positive Parenting Solutions ~ End Nagging and Negotiating with 3 Simple Words 

The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Grownups – All of my kids love this book. We used to read it a lot when the older 2 were younger, and Cora just found it again this last week. It’s very fitting with this challenge – offers kids and grownups an understanding of what everyone is going through.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk – This is a book I read way back when I was pregnant with number 2. I remember that it was a really good and helpful book and I am re-reading it again now.

Backtalk: 3 Steps to Stop It Before the Tears and Tantrums Start – This is a book that I own and have never read. I should have read it years ago.

 She’s Gonna Blow! – A good friend of mine recommend this book and I plan to read it too.

How did you do with your own No-Yelling Challenge? Please share!!

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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  1. I. Love. This.

    I, too, am a yeller and it is something I hate about myself, and as I went through your list of triggers, I found myself nodding yes, yes, yes, and yes. Thank you so much for sharing and starting this challenge — I will be definitely joining in!!!!!

  2. I’m glad the challenge is going well for you! I hadn’t thought about it, but back talk gets to me too. Or the kids asking a question I’ve already answered. I hope your next week goes well and that you can have some more down time!

    1. Looking forward to this week’s post! The week is going pretty well… Hope your week is great, too!

  3. Knowing triggers is so important! It’s ongoing, up and down, but still great to make overall progress, woo hoo!

  4. Michelle, I’m glad to hear your week has been going well, funny we both noticed the tone thing. I guess when your really paying attention to what and how you say it, you notice all of these things. Mess can cause me stress too! I try to stay on top of it but Even the best laid plans can unravel. Good luck this week!

  5. Thanks for the post, Michelle.

    Triggers are something that I can easily forget to pay attention to. It is so helpful to be pro-active rather than reto-active. But, ya know, I am a reto kinda gal. Sooooooo. Forgiveness comes into play A LOT for me. And I mostly mean forgiveness for myself. =)
    Still sending you all lots of support! And sending it to me too. I still have yet to make it a week straight. =) I blame it on my four month old baby and sleep deprivation. I guess you could say the not enough sleep trigger goes for me too.

    1. So nice to meet you today, Jai. And yes, sleep deprivation for all of us is huge, isn’t it?? Look forward to seeing you again.

  6. I would like to say that I am thankful to have found this. The Lord has been speaking to my heart about this specifically and I have felt him calling me deeper in this mission/journey as a homemaker for my family. I have read all three of the blogs from the women participating in this and feel that I can identify with you the most as far as how your personality seems to be, triggers and the honesty of the condition of your home prior to this. Thank you for sharing!