January 19, 2017

A Re-Blog: Is it OK to Shout At Your Kids?

Category: Parenting

The simple answer is “NO”. It is never OK to shout at your kids because if you do, what kind of a parent are you?

Source: Google Image

But the reality is, life is not so simple. It does get complicated and I am guilty of shouting at my kids. Extremely guilty because when I spiral out of control push comes to shove, I scream my head off that even I scare myself sometimes. 


In my defense as a helpless parent (sometimes), there’ll always be occasions when the kids are just asking to be screamed and shouted at. It’s like they enjoy seeing their mother losing her head as smokes come out of her ears and nostrils! 

Then, there’s the guilt. 

So, yeah..sometimes it is unavoidable and it is a story like this from Fieldnotes From Fatherhood that makes a parent like me (and perhaps several others) feel normal!

And so it went that morning.

“G, why are you still in your pajamas?”

“G, please put down the Legos and eat your breakfast.”

“G, you need to get dressed now.”

“G, it’s not time to play with your airplane, you need to get ready.”

“Have you brushed your teeth yet?”

It was this last matter that caused me to become unhinged, to unleash my fatherly fury on his poor unfortunate head. I come downstairs after brushing my teeth, and he’s seated at the dining room table, in his pajamas, with a toothbrush in his mouth like it’s a lollipop and his hands busy building a Lego gun.

Now, I don’t like shouting at my kids, and I certainly don’t enjoy making them cry. I try, sometimes desperately, not to raise my voice at them. I try to model good behavior, as we all know we should. But this pushed me beyond all the limits of my patience, composure, endurance, sanity. At times when I’m pissed at the kids my voice will start off mellow and slow, gradually gaining volume and momentum like a snowball set rolling on a steep slope, as the gravitational force of my own argumentation adds layer upon layer of furor. Not this time. This time I started out at full avalanche ferocity.

Read more of Is it OK to Shout at Your Kids? post and some useful lessons that came with it.


There’s this one suggestion that was left in the comments thread from jeremysadler who blogs at How To Bring Up Adults which I thought was useful. He said:

Excellent story, and a great lesson too. reminds me of my daughter at around that age who declared that I went from level 1 straight to level 5 (of crossness) with no warning. Well I thought I was giving her plenty of reminders and hints, but I clearly wasn’t. So from then on I began actually using the numbers, “I’m getting to number 3 now!” – and it helped us both through that stage.

It was a great suggestion and I’ll have to remind myself to do that!




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  1. It’s tough not to shout when they don’t respond to normal instruction the first 15 thousand times. I am certainly guilty of raising my voice, my “Dad voice” as I call it. It’s loud but not a shout and it’s very firm. I used it tonight as a matter of fact!

    • It is tough! Begs the question of why oh why can’t they just respond to normal instructions! Which is why I see the counting of levels could work. So far, I hadn’t use the harsh voice last weekend. I;m sure it’ll creep up soon enough! You Dad’s voice must make them at least quiver!

  2. At the risk of sounding ancient, it was acceptable to spank kids when I was growing up. Now we’re afraid to shout? Not to say it’s encouraged. If the kid behaves no shouting is necessary. If the kid misbehaves and a normal approach doesn’t work, then you have to shout. You’ve got to show them who’s the pack leader and that the world out there will not always be tolerant of their wrong doing. It builds character, lol, as long as we don’t make it a habit and yell for everything.

    • Ohhhh..i hear you Jas. I was one of those kids who got spanked! That explains the dysfunctionalities in my head. Man..all that spanking and being shouted at! LOL.
      I do agree with you on being who’s boss. I don’t even want to shout, it takes too much energy. But maybe the kids seem to enjoy all that decibel. Who knows it’s one of thiose secret codes they have “let’s make Mama scream. It’ll be fun!”LOL
      Still, kids will be kids. It does take a scream (or two or three) but it’s not cool when it becomes a habit. Plus, if you do it too often, it just loses its resonance!

      • Yep, they are testing us, pushing our buttons. That builds character too. at least they don’t fear us like we used to fear our parents. They only had to say it once….

  3. Oh I counted so often and in 99% of the time it worked. But sometimes it didn’t and I did shout at my kids (so.not.cool.indeed). I see it as one of the “we are only human” moments. But it’s for sure important to try our hardest not to get to the point where we boil over.

    • Sometimes, it really does seem like they just want to be screamed at! LOL. And so true that: We are only human…therefore, we err.It’s also a fine line of boiling over, too don’t you think? Thanks for the comments, Sandra! Love that you share your thoughts! 🙂

  4. I’m guilty of it all; shouting, screaming, spanking (not sounding like a great mum right now) and I definitely scare myself after doing it. I’m getting better now at controlling my shoutiness and definitely stopped with the spanking although he does get a little bum spank or hand spank when I’m out of options. Ooops!

    I also grew up being spanked.. a lot and hard too! Not sure if that’s the reason why I do it too when I’m angry but probably so and that’s probably why it scares me so much when it happens and gets to that kind of level. I’m definitely going to read the original post you about shouting and read your discipline post. I need guidance! xx


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