How to Stop Shouting at your Children in Lockdown.

This is a common question from parents in private practice. It might not be surprising that we may be shouting even more in Lockdown. So here are some compassionate, focused ideas to help you now.

Is it okay to be angry and start shouting!?

We are all hardwired to express anger, joy, disgust, fear, distress, and love. This means we are born to feel all of them! It indicates you are human, and by realising this, you can be self-compassionate and stop blaming yourself.

What is Self-Compassion?

We all go through life suffering. During the Lockdown, many of us will suffer in varying states. Compassion is a natural response to suffering. However, it is not self-pity (aka poor me). It’s showing ourselves warmth and concern, just like you would for someone else. We are often so much kinder to our friends than ourselves. Parenting is challenging at the best of times. Extreme self-care is warranted now, and it does not mean you are selfish.

Taking Responsibility for our Actions

It’s right to be compassionate and show your humanity with those “hot feelings”; however, we must take responsibility for the behaviour. Remember, the behaviour is not the whole of you. However, remove yourself from the situation if the shouting escalates. Discover an alternative mechanism to regulate, and then return to your child, say sorry, and you may have to give them a logical consequence. Occasionally, your children trigger a hot button or pain body; we will react more than the situation may justify.

What might be an example of a “hot button” or “pain body”?

It’s safe to say that parenting is a deeply emotional experience. We can have feelings of love, joy, worry, compassion, and more. However, we can also suffer from stress, fear, disgust, and shame. This might be different from the caring parent construct in your mind. I work with many parents who’ve experienced unmanageable stress early in life and a complicated relationship with their parents. This is combined with the impact of culture, gender, religion, and dogma ( “conditioning”). This impacts our amygdala (the threat response system); sometimes, we react to a threat when there isn’t one and take it personally.

Hot Button Ideas triggers.

  • Your child may not listen to you (were you seen or attended to emotionally as a child)
  • Your child constantly overwhelms you. (You felt engulfed by one of your parents; they soaked you with their emotions)
  • Your child may reject you (Did one of your parents invalidate you, or were negative feelings, especially anger, not allowed?)
  • Your child may mock you (One of our parents may have been controlling, or sibling bullying occurred and was minimised?)

What you can do to help to regulate the “shouting.”

  • If you feel your child is triggering you more than you would like and impacting your relationship, seek help. This is a positive action to seek change.
  • Bring the feelings into awareness and give them a name (it’s not your being but conditioning). Moreover, inform your child that you will move away and return when calm. Discipline is far more effective when we keep shouting and anger out of the relationship.
  • Try not to take it personally; they also respond from their amygdala, and Lockdown is strange and scary.
  • Tell yourself that this moment will pass, and take a deep breath. The one thing I can guarantee is “Everything passes in life”.
  • Ask your partner to support you, and avoid social media and negative news. There are no perfect parents, and there are only real ones!
  • Have clear expectations, boundaries, and family rules. Then everyone knows where they are.
  • Ensure you have enough sleep! It is just as important as diet and exercise.
  • When you have a positive interaction or feeling, breathe it in. It can be anything, a flower, your child saying something nice to you, or some excellent food. When you have a negative moment, bring positivity into your mind.
  • Ensure you dedicate “special time” to your children. During the Lockdown, the day and week’s shape changed, so quality time may be more important than the quantity we spend. Click on the video below:

The lockdown is new, uncertain, and with no end in sight. Therefore, it is not surprising that every day we are scared and threatened. Make sure that each day consists of a balance of Dr Dan Siegel’s mind platter. He suggests you have the following:

Seven daily essential mental activities to optimize brain matter and create well-being

Focus TimeWhen we focus on tasks goal-oriented, we take on challenges that make deep connections in the brain.
Play TimeWhen we allow ourselves to be spontaneous or creative, playfully enjoying novel experiences, we help make new connections in the brain.
Connecting TimeWhen we connect with other people, ideally in person, and appreciate our connection to the natural world, we activate and reinforce the brain’s relational circuitry.
Physical TimeWhen we move our bodies, aerobically if medically possible, we strengthen the brain in many ways.
Time InWhen we quietly reflect internally, focusing on sensations, images, feelings and thoughts, we help to integrate the brain better.
Down TimeWhen we are non-focused, without any specific goal, and let our mind wander or relax, we help the brain recharge.
Sleep TimeWhen we give the brain the rest it needs, we consolidate learning and recover from the day’s experiences.

In Conclusion

The only way through this is to be kind, loving, compassionate, and clear. If you are interested in learning more about the brain, yours, and your children, I am delighted to offer a free workshop below: and how to help your child if they are having meltdowns in Lockdown I hope to see you there or contact me for a consultation. With Love, Catherine, stay healthy, safe and live in love.

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