When your child shouts it can be frustrating, embarrassing, and annoying, but it’s one of the ways your child communicate with you.
When children experience big emotions, they often respond in a big way, like shouting. Adults do it too. Shouting is a natural reaction when we feel angry, frustrated, or upset.
We don’t want our children to suppress these big emotions – that’s not healthy. We all feel angry sometimes. Instead, we can help them to calm down before they lose control and start shouting.
Helping your child calm down
Getting calm starts with your child recognising how they’re feeling. Just naming an emotion can reduce how intensely your child experiences it.
It’s useful to talk about emotions when your child isn’t feeling that way. Spot situations in TV shows, books and films that you can use as a talking point. Point out the physical ways people feel and behave when they’re frustrated and angry.
Our emotions work on a scale. We don’t feel either calm or angry, we’re somewhere between these two feelings. You can use a 1-10 scale to help your child communicate how they’re feeling.
When you spot the warning signs that they’re getting angry or frustrated, ask them what number they are at on the scale. This will help them recognise the emotion before they feel out of control and start shouting.
How to cope with child shouting
When your child does shout, it’s easy to shout back. Your volume naturally rises until you’re screaming at each other. Instead, try to use a calm and quieter voice.
If you can feel your temper rising, try taking a few deep breaths or counting to twenty before you answer. You could walk away for a few minutes and come back when you feel more in control.
Instead of talking about their behaviour, focus on the feelings behind it. You could say, “I notice you’re shouting. I think something is upsetting you. Can you tell me about it?”
Children learn how to behave from us. If they see us shouting at each other all the time, they pick up the same behaviour habits. If we can model calmer ways to deal with challenging situations, they can learn them too.
Improve how your family communicates
Our popular free Support Talk Video series, called The Ask, can help you understand why you get big reactions from your child, even when you ask them to do simple things.
Use The Ask to get everyone in your family talking and listening to each other. Find out more.
Our popular parenting classes and webinars are the perfect way to find out more about your child’s behaviour, with practical strategies you can use at home to reduce family conflict and arguments. Browse our upcoming events.