10 Ways to Stop Yelling

Tips 6-10

6. Adopt a mantra. Find a word or phrase to distract yourself from yelling and remind you that your child isn't trying to drive you nuts -- he's just a little kid after all. "He's only 1, he's only 1," is one example. Repeat it to yourself several times when you feel like you're about to explode.

7. Try the big squeeze. Squeezable stress toys, such as balls and dolls, are designed to keep executives from blowing their stacks. There's no reason why they can't work for moms, too!

8. Get physical. For some, yelling offers a form of physical release. Jogging in place or doing a jumping jack or two can distract you and give you the outlet you need when you feel like yelling. You probably won't want to do this in public, of course, but at home anything goes. Who knows? You may lose a few pounds!

9. Ask for help. Taking care of young children can be exhausting to say the least. And yelling is a definite sign of stress and fatigue, which means you need (and deserve) a break! Have your husband or a trusted babysitter step in for half a day so you can get some much-needed time to rejuvenate.

10. Beat it. If you know you're going to lose it and you're on your very last nerve, put your baby or toddler in a safe spot, such as his playpen or crib, and walk away for a few minutes. Tense and release your muscles, or count to 10 to help calm yourself down before you go back to baby.

Originally published in American Baby magazine, February 2005.

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