Have you ever felt overwhelmed and frustrated, as all parents do, and before you know it, it’s turned into anger and you find yourself yelling at your kids for the smallest thing?

If that sounds all too familiar, you are not alone and there are ways to combat anger and yelling at home.

In this two-part blog, we’re going to talk about our triggers and how to stay calm once we start feeling the temperature rising.

I’m going to share with you a quick exercise you can do to identify your triggers that lead to anger and yelling and share how you can reframe those triggers to help keep you calm.

Start by looking over the list below. Rate each one from 0 – 5 (0 being it causes you no stress and 5 being it gets you furious).

  • Feeling rushed
  • Feeling ignored
  • Feeling trapped
  • Feeling disrespected
  • Being hungry
  • Getting bad news
  • Feeling pressured
  • Crying
  • Seeing pain
  • Experiencing pain
  • Loud noises
  • Losing (a game, an argument)
  • Sense of unfairness
  • Too much touch/clinginess
  • Weakness (in yourself or child)
  • Too much to do
  • Feelings of failure
  • Hearing harsh words/cursing
  • Shouting
  • Being criticized
  • Name-calling
  • Not knowing what to do
  • When things to go to plan
  • Getting interrupted

After you’ve rated each of the potential triggers above, write down what situations bring about these responses.

Now that we’ve identified our triggers and what situations trigger our anger, let’s work on reframing our triggers.

The first thing we want to do is to go a little deeper and pull up a memory of being triggered.

Create a space for yourself to do that and answer the following questions.

What Triggered you?Recall a time you were triggered: e.g. My child never listens or does what I say.

What did you feel?What sensations do you feel in your body, what emotions do you have? e.g. I’m so frustrated. I want to scream and stomp and make my child listen.

Roots and CausesWhat does this remind you of? What past experiences or messages could have led to this trigger? e.g. I always got annoyed when my mom gave me tasks. I ignored her and she gave up asking. Maybe I received the message that moms don’t deserve to be heard.

How Can You Reframe?What positive way would you like to feel or react next time? e.g. I could spend a minute or two hanging out with my child and then ask them to do the task. We could try doing the task together.

Now that you’ve gone through this process, you have a great place to start in changing any patterns around anger and yelling you might have. Try these exercises out for two weeks and I welcome you to share you experiences with this in the comments. In the next blog, I’ll offer part 2 of conquering anger and yelling as I share eight ways for you to get calm once you’ve already been triggered and are feeling angry.