Parenting Without Yelling!!!

When parents enter my office for the first time, they often express that they are overwhelmed. They are tired of constantly yelling at their children and know their children are exhausted by the struggle as well. Through our conversation, we often realize that their child’s self-esteem is impacted because the child is constantly being told “no” at school, sports activities, and home. Subsequently, I often coach the parents with a new parenting approach. Here are just a few suggestions to help manage behaviors at home without yelling

One of the simplest changes a parent can make is to stop telling a child what not to do. Instead, tell your child what to do. This sounds so simple, but take a moment and think how often you direct your child to what to do. For example, If a child is jumping on the bed you can let them know, “you can jump on a trampoline, the bed is for resting.” The simple change of the sentence changes the dynamic of the conversation from a negative to positive. Children are so often told what they cannot do that they begin to ignore the information.

Another parenting change I try to create in families is reinforcing positive behaviors. As parents, we are quick to try and create change in problematic behaviors. However, many parents believe that punishment is the only way to create change. However, research shows that punishment rarely makes long-term changes in behavior. Instead, positive reinforcement is a proven method for changing behavior. Try to “catch” your child doing good and reinforce this behavior. Sticker charts are one of the easiest methods for reinforcing positive behaviors. You can read more about the dos and don’ts of sticker charts here:

Lastly, and most importantly make consequences not about punishment. Many times parents are overwhelmed and frustrated when punishing a child. Instead, remove the emotion from the consequence. I like many of the techniques from the book, 1,2,3 Magic: The book discusses how reasoning and “adult talk” is taken out of the equation. Count to the number 3 as in terms of strikes while leaving 5 seconds between each count. If you reach 3 take your child into a timeout room for the number of minutes based on their age. After the consequence, it is not necessary to talk about the incident. Once this system is implemented, your child will understand and know the expectations. There will be no more yelling, reasoning, and fighting. Consequences are given after warnings and positive behaviors are reinforced.

If you are tired of yelling in your family, try implementing these parenting approaches. Try telling your child what to do instead of what not to do, “catch” your child doing positive behaviors and reinforce those behaviors, and implement a consequence system that takes the emotions out! If you are still having trouble, call and set-up an appointment, 713.466.1360. We can work together to take the yelling out of your home!

Written by: Amy Rollo, M.A., LSSP, LPC-S

Amy Rollo is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and owner of Heights Family Counseling. Amy has been practicing for fifteen years. She has doctoral level training in the areas of child and adolescent counseling, marriage and family therapy, and adult counseling. Amy Rollo provides counseling and evaluation services in the Houston Heights and surrounding areas. Amy’s goal in counseling is to journey with her clients in order to foster positive changes and growth in their lives. Read more about Amy's counseling style by visiting