Do You Yell at Your Toddler?

screaming toddler

Photo by LangleyLove

My daughter's latest annoying habit is silliness at dinnertime, to the point that she and my older son refuse to eat and have to be sent from the table at least half a dozen times.

She blows bubbles in her milk till it erupts into a frothy white mess. She recites a litany of funny words that sends her and my older son into hysterics -- a wonderful activity for playtime but not in front of the plates of food they should be eating.

Redirection and time-outs aren't working. The whole thing is driving me CRAZY, so last night I lost it. I yelled in the deepest, totally exasperated voice I could find, "Carolyn, STOP IT!!"

Well, of course my daughter collapsed in tears. She's not used to Mommy sounding like a demon, so what did I expect? I felt awful.

It took several minutes to calm her down. But ... she behaved. And ate. Was I wrong to yell?


Bookwormy asks the same question in Funky Mamas of Toddlers.

"Time-outs don't bother my 2-year-old daughter any longer, so she isn't improving her behavior to avoid them. In fact, she will misbehave at bedtime in the hopes of delaying bedtime to get a timeout!

"I wish that I could say that we never raise our voices, but that wouldn't be true. I don't like that I have raised my voice, but I do sometimes. I always apologize for doing so, but wish to never do so again. How do y'all handle those really frustrating moments and not raise your voice? For those who don't, do you feel really bad later?"

Here's what some moms said:

I yell at my kids all the time, however, I try very hard not to be ugly to them. I DO have a you-are-in-big-trouble-now voice. JoyeAustin

I also try not to yell, but there are some times when it's called for -- if it's a dangerous situation. But if I yell at him when I could have used a more appropriate method, I will apologize to him. ToddlerBrain82

Iwish I could say we don't yell, but we do, and it depends on the situation as to whether I feel badly about it or not. We never insult, cuss or demean our child, though. I think what you say is more important than the volume it's said at. RanaAurora


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