How to Handle My Kid Yelling at Me?

It can get pretty scary when your child is angry and screaming at you. Some angry words, especially coming from your child, can cut real deep. So deep that it hurts, and you get mad, too. Now both of you are yelling. And you are so pissed off that you just send them to their room and ground them indefinitely. Now that the screaming has died down, you take a sip of water and realize you don’t even understand why your child was angry in the first place, and now you missed the chance to help them fix it.

Well, truth be told, screaming and yelling are unacceptable behavior in any household. The only screaming the kids should be doing is in delight and fun times. But anger is also a natural emotion and something the child has to learn to cope with.

And the easiest option for them is an angry outburst and yelling. But please, read on.

Don’t Take It Personally.

It feels personal, right? It’s not. If you’re living with a defiant child who yells at you (and others), the real problem is with him and his inability to control himself. He takes it out on whoever is nearby or convenient, whether it’s the cat or mommy or daddy. No matter how much he might yell at you, he doesn’t hate you–he loves you very much–but the yelling isn’t about love; it’s about out-of-control feelings. Yelling back will only be seen as an escalation by your child and escalate the conflict further.

Know that yelling from kids often comes from emotional immaturity; most kids can get angry and express their anger appropriately.

Try to Find out Why They’re Mad and Talk About It Calmly.

It may be tempting to yell back, but it’s best not to make a big deal out of the yelling. Your child is being immature and needs to learn how to control it. But they probably don’t know how because they are kids. It’s your time to shine and get to the bottom of these strong emotions and help them learn how to deal with them better.

So, take a deep breath and calmly ask what’s wrong. More often than not, they won’t tell you. Why? Because they’re not calm enough to talk yet. Or they try to tell you by screaming and crying.

Either way, they need time to cool down. Be there when that happens and talk with them about what’s wrong.

So, whatever you do, don’t argue with a child while they are yelling at you, or their anger will get the best of them and instead lead to more screaming.

Help Them Calm Down.

Be mindful of your facial expression and body language. Show them that you want to help them sort out these angry feelings. A glass of water would be nice, too. Remember, be the calm parent and douse their anger with compassion. If they permit it, give them a hug; a hug often helps in calming the anger.


Oftentimes, after calming down, we ask what’s wrong, and they start to get emotional again. Let them go through the processes but be there and again help them calm down.

After solving the current screaming issue, we need to move forward and develop a system for angry times without yelling.

Set a House Rule on Bad Behavior and Respectful Behavior

Absolve them of the previous crime of yelling and let them know that future instances will be dealt with accordingly. Next time they scream out of anger, they get a few privileges revoked. And the next time they handle anger calmly, they get rewards.

But how could they handle anger calmly; they’re children?

Find Ways for Them to Express Themselves without Yelling.

Some kids draw, some kids color, some kids want to break things. It’s up to you and the child to figure that out. Set up a special place with special pencils or crayons to not associate every drawing with anger. A special space where she can express it without judgment. Like my garage, where I can no longer park easily because of the heavy bag my child hits every time she’s mad. (No judgment!)

But be clear that they have to tell you that they are angry at something and make them promise to tell you all about it once the angry feelings are gone. Please be aware that this applies to parents, too. If you are angry about something, like your favorite team trading your favorite player, remember to not use your angry voice on the children. Unless they own the team and never consulted you about the trade. Establish your spot, too, and let them know that you are mad about something and you would like to talk afterwards.

This would be a difficult process for all the parties involved. Like learning a new habit or getting rid of the bad ones, it takes a lot of getting used to, and you or the child will slip up and yell. But keep at it, and we will eventually get used to it and handle ourselves better.



I'm a Mom of two daughters, Freya and Ava. I love to share insights on how parents can be better parents. I write about topics that are relevant to me as a parent: things like parenting style, relationship, marriage, and balancing work and family.

Boss Parenting
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