How to talk to your kid after yelling at him

Follow these expert steps to rebuild your relationship with junior, plus signs that you have anger management issues…


Even the most mild-mannered parent can lose their cool dealing with their child’s nth temper tantrum. After a long day at the office, Kristine Lim, 35, mum to Rebecca, 6, recalls shouting at her preschooler because she refused to turn in.

It didn’t take long for the mother and daughter to start a heated argument. “I yelled at her and she threw a tantrum, kicking and screaming on the floor. Luckily, my hubby came back in time to take over, if not, I’m sure the neighbours would have come knocking.”

Needless to say, Lim felt guilty about losing her temper. “I’m sure there are better ways to handle it, but it all happened in the heat of the moment.” Lim’s experience will strike a chord with many dual-income families who are stressed over having to juggle work and family life.

Be aware of your triggers for anger and frustration, so you know when to step away before things escalate the next time around.

Constant yelling may have adverse effects on your child’s development. Clinical psychologist at Think Psychological Services, Dr Vaani Gunaseelan lists the negative effects:

* Scaring your child can make them fearful.
* Repeated yelling can also lead to long-term psychological issues such as anxiety or depression.
* Your mini-me may begin to see yelling as a way to express anger.
* Your child becoming verbally or physically aggressive in various social situations like when they are with friends.
* A lower sense of self confidence and thus a greater sense of insecurity.

Insights Mind Centre’s psychologist Daniel Koh shares that in adulthood, your kewpie may also experience relationship problems and trouble relating to others.

Incidentally, your relationship with your sweetie and the family, as a whole, will be unnecessarily strained. So what should you do, now that you’ve yelled at your child? Dr Vaani and Daniel Koh give their suggestions…

1) Give yourself time and space to collect your thoughts Calm down but don’t leave your kewpie hanging as you walk away because the child’s anxiety or fear may grow. Koh suggests, “Tell your child mummy or daddy needs sometime to calm down and then we’ll come back to discuss your behaviour.” As you review what has just occurred, Dr Vaani advises that you be aware of your triggers for anger and frustration, so you know when to step away before things escalate the next time around.