Last Updated on April 21, 2020 by Kinacle.

Stop Yelling And Discipline Your Toddler More Effectively - Top TipsBeing the parent of a toddler is a wonderful, yet an extremely challenging job. Love them as you do, some days they can drive you absolutely crazy!

The endless battles, tantrums and constant destruction can push even the calmest parent to their limit. However, before you lose it completely, there’s a few tips you might want to try out.

Yelling may make you feel better for a few seconds, but sadly it very rarely proves effective when it comes to discipline. It’s also been proven via numerous studies to have a detrimental effect on your toddler.

Remaining calm on the other hand, allows you to make your point in a more productive way. It’s not easy, but with a little practice, the tips below can help you to stop yelling and discipline your toddler more effectively.

1. Take A Deep Breath (Or 10!)

I know, this tip can be infuriating! The last thing you feel like doing when you’re about to lose your mind is breathe deeply. In fact, you might want to punch the person recommending this tip in the face. However, there’s a reason it’s often provided as the number one tip to keep your cool – It works!

When you feel like you’re about to start yelling, close your eyes and breathe in slowly. Count to five as you breathe in, then count to five as you breathe out. Now, depending upon how angry or frustrated you are, you may need to repeat this a few times.

This method works just like a time out for your toddler. It allows you to calm down, collect your emotions and then deal with the situation in a calm, rational and productive way. It’s best to address any conflict or problem in a calm manner, and deep breathing can be extremely effective at helping you keep your cool.

2. Try To Be More Organized

Do you notice you yell more at specific times of the day? For example, a lot of parents tend to find they yell more during the morning rush. The stress of rushing around combined with the frustration of your toddler doing the opposite of everything you tell them, can trigger a yelling attack.

While it’s difficult to see it in this environment, the reason you’re yelling isn’t actually directly to do with your toddler’s bad behavior. It’s because you’re not organized. Once you identify the triggers which typically set you off, you can then work on minimizing them. So, if you do find yourself losing it in a morning, why not try getting some things sorted out the night before. It may not stop your toddler’s bad behavior, but it will help to ensure you’re calmer when you address that behavior.

3. Don’t Expect Too Much

Often, the reason we end up yelling at our toddlers is because we think they’re being defiant. While there are times your little one will try to test the boundaries, most of the time they’re not actually trying to be defiant. Instead, they simply don’t have the skills or right level of development just yet to behave how you might want them to.

A good example is if you’ve told your toddler to tidy their toys away for the past four days. By the fifth day, they still haven’t done it and their reasoning could be they simply forgot. You see this as an act of defiance, but the truth is they very likely did just forget. They have very short attention spans and some tasks they just aren’t capable of doing yet.

The key is to only give your toddler tasks you know they can handle. You know their abilities better than anyone, so try not to expect too much and adjust your expectations accordingly.

4. Try To Discipline As Though Somebody Is Watching

As a parent, you spend a lot of time biting your tongue when you’re out in public. The last thing you want is to completely lose your cool in front of an audience. How devastated would you be for someone to see you yelling at your toddler? If the answer is very, you can use this simple technique to reduce your urge to yell – pretend somebody is always watching.

Now, out of all of the tips mentioned here, this one is probably the hardest. It’s pretty tough to remain in the mindset that somebody could be watching. It’s easier if you’ve actually been caught off-guard and a neighbor or stranger has overheard your yelling as you’ll know exactly how humiliating it feels. However even if you haven’t experienced it, if you just remind yourself as you feel the anger rising, that somebody could be watching, it at least makes you stop, take a deep breath and approach the situation in a calmer manner.

5. Invest In Stress Toys

Have you ever seen those stress toys you can buy which supposedly help to manage stressful situations? Well, they can actually be pretty awesome at diverting all that built-up rage!

While they come in numerous shapes and sizes, stress balls are the most popular option. Whenever you feel yourself getting worked up, simply squeeze the ball and the stress disappears. It sounds a little too simple, but it’s really effective. So much so, that they’re mostly used by business executives who have to deal with a stressful job. So, if you haven’t tried it yet, now’s the time to invest in a stress toy.

6. Remember That Yelling Causes You To Lose Authority

You might think that yelling gives you authority, but it actually takes it away. When you yell at your kids, you’re showing that you’ve completely lost control. You’re putting yourself on the same level as your toddler, rather than being a calm, responsible adult. This will make it much less likely that your toddler will respect and look up to you.

So, if you feel the urge to yell, remember if you do you’ll lose authority and in turn suffer further problems down the line.

Of course, it’s not easy to stop yelling and there may be times you slip up. However, it largely comes down to stress control. If you can reduce the amount of stress in your life, you’ll automatically feel a lot calmer and better able to deal with the pressures of parenthood.


Overall, the tips above will help, but it’s important to remember it will take practice. If you’ve got into a pattern of yelling, it’s going to be difficult to just snap out of it. However, with perseverance and commitment, it is possible to change your parenting method.

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  1. Ah, I truly wish that every single parent read this post. I see so many parents constantly yelling at their children whenever we go to the grocery shop or even on the streets. As much as I understand that the parents get frustrated but it is definitely not the right way if you want your toddler to obey and respect you.

    I consciously make effort to really almost never yell because there are always better ways of dealing with the situation. If you speak to your child calmly but in an authoritative voice, he/she will listen to you. So next time you want to just scream, think about it.

    1. Sad but true, Jane Lee. I see a lot of those parents you mentioned. Sometimes they even spank their toddlers for tripping and yell at them saying they’re not being careful. Sometimes I would really like to slap or kick the parents’ asses for doing that because it’s definitely their fault, not that of the child. It only means they’re not keen about their child’s safety; sometimes they’re even too busy talking on the phone when that happens. So frustrating!

  2. I enjoy reading your last point which is yelling makes one to lose authority. In as much as many people would think that by yelling, their opinions on matters would be heard, it goes the other way round to bring about a loss in authority and confidence.

    I learnt a lot from reading the six points of how to make the kids see reasons with us, as parents instead of yelling and I hope other parents out there would see to that as well. Awesome piece that made my day.

    1. I guess that’s true, Henrywrites. When we yell at them, we tend to lose their respect. And it becomes really annoying.

      Parents should try putting themselves in the kids’ shoes. Even adults do not want to be nagged by their moms or spouses. It would be the same with our kids, they don’t like to be yelled at.

      Experts say toddlers are already able to comprehend our words so when they’re at that stage, we should talk to them in a way they would understand instead of yelling at them. Yelling would not yield anything good.

      1. Talking to them in a way that they would understand us can be quite effective instead of trying to yell at them. I find such method not to be the best of it at the end. We should thrive to show our kids the necessary love they desire while growing up.

  3. I agree that yelling makes one to lose authority. It’s hard to discipline kids but it’s gonna be a problem when kids suffer traumatic cases started from yelling. What parents shows, kids can adopt so there’s a big chance that they will possess the same yelling attitude towards their friends and others. Patience is needed and wide understanding. Kids will always be curious of what’s happening around them and this curiosity makes the parents yell to them when kids cannot get the right answers about their queries so they tend to do something in their own without knowing the possible risk and the outcome it may cause. For parents, reading about disciplinary actions or proper ways how to discipline kids will help aside from the 5 helpful tips mentioned above.

    1. True, patience is the key to disciplining kids. Yelling will not work, and could negatively affect them. We also have to be very understanding that kids are very inquisitive and would keep asking us about things they see or encounter.

      Let’s just hope more parents are open to improving their parenting styles by reading about helpful parenting tips like this one, as you’ve mentioned. It would really help make the world a better place 🙂

  4. I admit that sometimes, I yelled at my kids if they don’t listen to me especially when I am very busy doing my paperwork at home and they are so noisy. This blog makes sense. From now on, before I yelled, I will think that somebody is watching like what has been mentioned in number 4 in here.

    When I was a child, my mom will always yell at us because sometimes my sisters and I have fights. My dad will always say that we have to understand mom why she’s yelling. She is just tired and you don’t listen to her when she says stop fighting. That’s why I thought yelling is normal.

    1. I guess most parents may have yelled at their kids at one time or another. I am guilty of that, too, especially when busy and tired as you’ve mentioned. But I’ve learned to practice restraint and would often catch myself before yelling. In cases when I do yell, I would call my kids whom I’ve yelled at and explain why I did it then apologize. I guess it would help to make them understand why we sometimes do things as adults, the same way we tell them why we are disciplining them for a misdeed.

  5. I wish this was was some twenty plus years ago and my mum was the one reading this

    Everytime I come across foreign articles like this with subjects on morals and how they should be managed, I get the feeling like we over here(where I come from), are living in a completely different world.

    Being calm and other patient ways of dealing with such situations won’t work here. Yelling is literally a part of everyone’s life here. In worse situations children even get beaten till they get physically hurt. i only hope things will change someday.

    Asides all said above, I think your article speaks of the best way in handling situations in a way that’s mature and responsible without anyone getting hurt.

    1. It’s so sad to hear about those things happening in your country. I would say educating parents about proper parenting styles and approaches would help solve the problem.

      We hope that articles like this reach more people like you so you could start to educate your friends and neighbors who are also parents. May you serve as their eye opener. You see, it’s not impossible to achieve good parenting skills if people are open to new ideas, people like you.

  6. I understand this article is against yelling, but it seems like a lot of teachers did it in grade school. I mean, they were supposed to be professionals but did not refrain from it. However, though, I suppose, like corporal punishment, there is a time and a place for it. I mean, assuming it’s done in a non-abusive way, then I see no problem with it. For instance, the teachers yelling when I was in grade-school didn’t go overboard, hence maintained the student’s respect.

    1. I guess yelling may not be totally bad like in the case you mentioned. If there are a lot of students in a classroom, the teacher would really have to yell in order to be heard. Same thing with corporal punishment – I believe it’s not all bad as well. As you’ve mentioned, as long as it is not abused and only used when necessary, it may work.

  7. This article hit me on the spot! Yes, it is indeed true that “Yelling will put you in a much worse situation”. Not only you will degrade yourself to watchers or on-lookers, you will have your child put into bad light. And that can cause a much more serious problem. I remember one time when I fetch my daughter from school, and I was giving her some pointers on what to do. She said you are shaming me to the public because I talk too loud. Well, I said I was just saying it loud cause I thought you are not hearing me out. So that’s why I realize they already have felt and they don’t want that happening outside the house for many to see. I said sorry and I make it a point that whenever I speak to them now. I would closely look out that I will not be going to do it again. Very inspirational article. Love it!

    1. Ah, yes. Your example tells us that children also need to be heard (not to be confused with tolerating them to talk back to us). Older kids could already understand the things happening around them and sometimes, it does help to allow them to speak their mind because we get to know how our actions affect them. Listening to what they say also sometimes make us realize the wrong things we may be doing.

  8. This reminds me of this morning when I came across a parent carrying a months old baby while another little one walking. This little baby stepped in the mad and the parent started yelling. The child would look at her mother and say nothing. Anyone could basically see the child has no skills and doesn’t know how to jump on the cleaner path. The baby has small legs and it was obvious the could step on mad.

    So I agree that parents should breathe and be organized. If they also imagine someone is watching, they won’t get used to shouting at the baby and forget they are really in public.

    We should rather teach and not yell. Children will slowly improve when we guide them and when they practice doing the correct thing. 😀

    1. That is true, jessym. Children should not be yelled at when they do something wrong because they’re still learning to do things the right way. Parents who yell at kids for their failure to do something properly (from an adult’s point of view), like what you mentioned, should be ashamed of themselves!

  9. Yelling is definitely a great way to let out built-up frustration. It is not, however, a good way to teach your children that they are safe in your hands and that they can trust you. They may do some things that require discipline sometimes, but there are other, and more effective and long-lasting, ways to do this that don’t include yelling. While yelling simply makes the child scared, things such as writing out their times tables or creating an apology letter gives them time in silence to think about their actions and what they might do next time.

    An example of discipline or punishment in Korea is kids having to hold their hands above their heads until the authoritative figure says they can stop – this is done in both schools and families. In my opinion, however, I’m not sure if this could be classified as discipline or abuse. This act will enforce the fact that getting in trouble causes pain, so it may stop them from acting badly the next time they want to, but I’m still not certain about it. Any other opinions?

    1. In a sense, I do think the discipline method you mentioned – holding the hands above the head – implies the point to kids that doing something wrong could inflict pain on themselves or on others. Is it actually effective? I believe that’s the question that needs to be answered through a research/study. Others can view it as something abusive or too much for a child, especially in the US where kids’ rights against abuse are protected. The physical punishment can also harbor negative reactions from kids towards their parents, and feel they are not loved.

      I would still go for discipline methods that do not require physical punishment because kids, particularly between the age of two to three, are already able to understand or comprehend more words or what is being said. This means you could already start to teach the child discipline by using simple words.

  10. This reminded me of my cousin who is always being shouted at by my aunt ever since she was a child. She grew up to be more hard headed and has always had that hatred against her mother. I would always to talk to her about it but through her whole life being shouted at whenever she does something out of character, she didn’t want to listen anymore. She was not open with her mother anymore because she thinks that when she tells her something about what happens in her life, she will just end up being shouted at.

    1. So sad to hear about your cousin and her mom. Yelling truly harbors ill-feelings towards the parents, especially if it’s a constant parenting style. I have not heard of any positive effects of yelling. In fact, experts say yelling is an emotional abuse.

      This reminds me of a Facebook post about the effects of negative words versus positive words on a child who has broken a drinking glass. The negative words made the child feel stupid and useless and grew up as such, while the child whose mom reacted positively to the situation grew up to be a happy, well-mannered child.

  11. I will have to memorize all of these tips so that I am able to handle my baby when he becomes a toddler. I am short-tempered, therefore, I am notorious for yelling, I will have to alter this temperament. Deep breathing or counting to 10 might help in curbing my anger. I will also have to learn to organize and always plan events in advance.

  12. yelling isn’t good when correcting a child’s mistake, you can talk to her in a good way for her to be able to understand, and beside the child will only adapt on your way of talking to her, on how you treat them, they will apply it in their children in the future.

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