Discipline #1 – Don’t scream at your child

My life as it is now is the best that it has been since I became a mom.

I can think clearly, function properly, and I am in the right frame of mind to enjoy my children.

I have come a long way.

I wanted to share more of my stories but have been busy writing about day-to-day happenings and never got round to writing about those challenging years.

I was reading a fellow mum blogger’s post on Life’s Little Lessons and was prompted to pen these lessons down which I have learnt over the past 15 years of parenting 6 kids.

Bit by bit.

Perhaps it would be cathartic to let it all out and slowly re-build the fragmented pieces of my relationship with the girls, especially #4.

She has such a sensitive soul that she was the one most affected by my horrible parenting.

As my words flow, I start to recall little incidences.

What was our discipline style back then?

It was a let’s-scold-them-when-we-can’t-take-their-nonsense-anymore style.

We didn’t know we had to be consistent.

As they misbehaved, I would tolerate and wait for their nonsense to stop. Which of course any mom could tell you, that’s just an absurd notion.

As a result, my anger would escalate and suddenly, boom!

I reached my threshold and unleashed my full anger on them.

I would rant on and on, and once, a neighbour even peered into my window to see if everything was all right.

Because you see, I have always been a very patient person. My old friends would tell you that I was the calmest and most patient person amongst us.

Somehow having the responsibility of taking care of 5 little people under the age of 9 turned me into a monster mom.

I was so busy trying to survive from day to day that I never stopped to think if there was a better way.

We had no siblings nor friends with kids to learn from or discuss things with.

Obviously I didn’t have time to read books nor surf the internet to gather some insight. Heck, I didn’t even know parenting blogs existed.

I just plodded along in my own crazy world. 

I vividly remember one incident.

I was driving the kids home after an evening out.

I started scolding #4 about something, and got so carried away that I was literally screaming at her.

Yes, in the confines of the car.

She recoiled from me and shielded her face.

My words were like bullets firing at this poor little child.

My child.

I must have been so exhausted and frustrated that I took it all out on her.

She must have been traumatised.

It was not the first time I had yelled at them, and definitely not the last.

And when you get into the habit of screaming at your kids, it just gets worse.

The first time you scream at them, it seems to work like a miracle.

They are momentarily stunned and would be on their best behaviour for the rest of the day.

I would finish yelling at them, then send them all to bed (it didn’t matter what time it was).

They would promptly fall asleep, probably in fear, and I got my hour of peace.

Subsequently, they got so used to my screaming that they did not fall in line immediately anymore.

What happens next?

I have to scream even louder thinking that somehow what I was trying to say would get into their little heads if I yelled LOUD ENOUGH.

It became a habit and I was yelling at them constantly.


Please don’t scream at your children. Except in a dangerous situation.

Let peace prevail in your homes instead.

Other discipline tips (which I’ve learnt after having 6 kids):

Discipline #8: What do you do when your 2-year old lies?
Discipline #9: When the gramps can’t say ‘no’
Discipline #10: 6 Tips to stop tantrums in toddlers

Discipline #11: Who has the energy to discipline our kids

Linking up with:


7 Replies to “Discipline #1 – Don’t scream at your child”

  1. Hey mummy wee, thanks for this heartfelt post. I always feel terrible when I yell, and am also reminded that yelling doesn't help to accomplish much, but drains myself and the relationship. And when the kids start yelling out of anger? That's when I see that it's learnt behaviour, and they are mostly a reflection of us.

    Now I try to calm down before dealing with the kids…Or walk away and take 5, while asking hubby to take over for a while. He's mostly calmer than I am, so it helps… Thanks for linking up!

  2. Hi June,
    Thanks for your 'Little Lessons', if not don't know if i would have ever gotten round to sharing these lessons 😉
    Yes, you are right. Now I take a deep breathe and count to 5.
    And I think it's really important that we moms, especially SAHMs take time out for ourselves. For a massage, a movie, or a chat with a friend. Even a walk around the neighbourhood would help. I never thought of doing anything for myself so the frustration and stress just accumulated. Looking back, it's even worse for the kids because they are the ones who would bear the brunt of our anger. These days, I make it a point to do things which make me happy. My weekly yoga and an occasional breakfast with good friends help me to re-charge and be better able to face the kids. Looking forward to linking up next week 🙂

  3. Thanks for sharing this lesson. My baby boy is 15.5 months old, and I often forget that he doesn't know better, when he 'misbehaves'. I've got a very quick temper, and I'm trying to learn how to be more patient with him. Looking forward to reading the other lessons you're going to share!

  4. Hi there,
    Yes, even at this age, they are like sponges. And like June mentioned, you will see it reflected in your kids. At least it's great that you are aware. Being a mom is wonderful, because for our kids, we do try to improve ourselves. Keep up the good job 🙂

  5. That's really so true, it's not easy to face these little battles every day on an empty tank. Self-care is most important especially for mums…I'm always amazed at just how sharing with a girlfriend does wonders to lift my spirits! Thanks for sharing and looking forward to more!

  6. I so needed this coz I'm been a mean screaming machine lately and still is 🙁 And I think that's why my girl has been responding in anger too. Note to self: Count to 10 and hold my breath when I think I want to blow my top and let it blow over.

  7. Hey Susan,

    Perhaps while you're counting to 10, hold this imagery of the bud in your head. The bud is like our child, water it with love to help it blossom, instead of trampling on it with our anger. And, be gentle on yourself. Everyday is a new day 🙂

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