to Stop the Yelling

How to Stop the Yelling has advice for parents who tend to raise their voice.

You know you're not supposed to, but every parent yells at their kids once in a while, right? Some of us actually more than once in a while. Well, family therapist, Arden Greenspan-Goldberg is here to tell us how to cut down on the yelling and how you make amends with your kids if you do raise your voice. Hi, Arden. -Hey, good morning. -I mean, I'm the first to admit that-- I'm one of these sort of hot-blooded people,-- -Uh huh. -hot head, bad temper. So I do yell and-- -Right. -I wish I didn't because I do think that it's not a great thing. -Yeah. -Why do parents yell? -I think parents imitate what has been done to them. If you- -Uh-huh. -I don't know if you come from a yeller kind of mom or dad. I came from a yelling mother. So we replicate that to some degree except I stopped myself. I drew the line and I said, "I don't wanna be that kind of parent, and I don't wanna create children that yell at me,-- -Uh-huh. -because that's what happened. We create-- We create generations of yellers. -It's funny 'cause I don't see-- I can't see you as a yeller. -Well, I'm not a yeller. -Yeah. -No, my mother was a yeller, and I said to myself I don't wanna go there. -Uh huh. -I don't wanna be like her. And I said to you a little while ago, I use a tool on myself. If I feel my blood curdling a little bit and-- especially when my kids were yelling, I do this. And what is that? That's a small voice. That's a quiet voice. And I calm myself down, and I taught my children that skill as well. -Wait. So you would actually hold your thumb and your forefinger-- -I say small-- This is-- This is small voice, sort of voice. -And is this for you or for the child? -Both. -Uh huh. -Both. And then it kind of takes it down a few levels, Rene. It doesn't work-- It didn't work all the time especially when the kids were at each other. When they were at each other, I call in the artille-Larry. I called in Larry, my husband, and he would raise his voice 'cause he wasn't someone that would raise his voice that often. -Uh huh. -But he would say something like, "Enough. Stop." But in a respectful way. And then we would talk afterwards and say there's no reason for, let's say, hitting or yelling or raising ones voice. We want, you know, a climate of respect and an even playing field; and that's really what you want basically. -I feel like the reason this is so bad is-- and because now I hear my own children and-- -Uh huh. -You know, when they're younger and you'll say something, just-- I don't know whatever you say. The sky is blue, then you hear it parroted-- -Yes. -out of their mouth. -Yes. -It's the same with behavior. -That's right. -They parrot your behavior. -That's right. And does that make you feel good? -No. -I need-- -I'm having a therapy session here. You guys just talk amongst yourselves while I talk to the therapist. No, but you're-- and you're absolutely right. It's tough. -You-- You wanna be a benevolent, kind, not an authoritative figure. You don't want-- You wanna be authoritative. You don't wanna be an authoritarian. You don't wanna be autocratic. You want your children to see you as approachable, and you wanna be kind and warm. But of course, there are moments where we lose our top especially for children who are being particularly difficult. -Uh huh. -And there are times where once in a while, you're right. I don't raise my voice but every so often, I think when I've had enough, you know, if my daughter was really at me and I say, "Enough." -You say that it's very important to apologize and I-- You know what? -Oh yes, Rene. -I do do that. -Yes. -And I do a lot of it. And when I apologize, it's a heartfelt, "I'm really sorry that--" you know. "I was wrong," or "Mommy blew her top," or whatever. And why is that important? -Very good. Well, we're letting our children know that we're human, that we make mistakes, and we're role modeling that behavior for them as well. They could make mistakes and they could say they're sorry as well. But we're also doing what our President Obama says we need to do, be responsible for what we put out there, and that we have an impact and we could do something about it and we could really make a difference. And it's a real, "I can do. You can do. Yes, we can." -Yeah. And you say different tools for different children. That's important too. -Absolutely. -I'm gonna try this still small-- I'm gonna try it today-- -So small voice. -because trust me, something will come up. All right. -It always does. -I'll pay you later. -Oh, you're so sweet. Thanks. -If you have a question for Arden, you can email her at or check out her website And for all you good enough mothers out there with a story about yelling, please, I wanna hear it. Come join my social networking site at and you can also get there by going to Thanks for watching Parents TV. I'll see you soon.