I’m The Parent Who Yells At My Kids

I’m gunna say this here at the beginning so you can remember it the whole way through this post without thinking that I’m a terrible person.

I adore my son and there is absolutely nothing I wouldn’t do for him. I am so so beyond grateful that I get to be home with him and Zoey.

But this is going to be a real, raw, motherhood post because I just have some feelings, ok? I value humor in motherhood, but I also value authenticity. I feel like if this isn’t a place I can be honest about my shortcomings and what I’m learning, then what’s the point?

I’m the parent that yells at my kids.

I am. I had a temper as a kid, and I can see it coming out now with my own kids. I see so many posts on Pinterest about “how to be the calm mom” or “how to not be the angry parent”. So I click on them and read, and without a doubt they all say, “don’t yell at your kids.” I read that and I just think in my head, “DO YOU EVEN HAVE A 2 YEAR OLD?!”

Y’all, I try to be the calm, even keeled parent. I try to take the deep, cleansing breaths. But sometimes my 2 year old does something he knows he’s not supposed to do. And he starts to do it, and I say, “Oliver, let’s do something else” (because apparently you’re supposed to keep it positive and redirect), and he looks at me, smiles, and then still does it! And I scold him. Then he does it again. And he goes to time out. And then he does it AGAIN. And I yell.

I'm The Parent That Yells At My Kid

I don’t yell because I genuinely believe it’s the most effective way to communicate with my son (though honestly, sometimes it helps him get the message that mommy ain’t playin’). I’m not saying that I yell because it’s something that I’m proud of. I yell because I’m a human being and sometimes my perfectly-understanding two year old seriously pisses.me.off. He knows my buttons and he pushes all.of.them sometimes.

And I try, y’all. But have you tried to get on eye-level with a two year old and talk to him about the decision he’s making? Cause I tried that, and he slapped me. Then he laughed in my face.

Dan and I talked at length before kids and during pregnancy about how we would punish our kids when the time came. We decided that we would see what worked for our kids, because every child is different. Some kids respond to time outs, some to spanking, some to grounding. Oliver used to respond to time outs.

Now he thinks it’s funny to sneak off of the chair. Or just stand on it. And I can’t put him in his room because he jumps on his bed and it’s just not the sturdiest little bed. I’m not super ready to start spanking yet, and grounding just gets me a trantrum like no.other and I don’t think he learns anything. So I yell because sometimes I get so incredibly frustrated and that’s how it comes out. (Y’all, my mother is reading this right now laughing, saying, “that’s exactly how you were as a child!” I’m sorry, ok?!)

I want to be that parent that can write about what a terrible day we had and follow it up with, “but he’s just my favorite.” Is he usually? Yes. But I can’t put on a front and say that I end every day thinking how perfect he is. Sometimes I end the day with an early bed time because I just can’t anymore. Then I sit on the couch, catatonic from how emotionally drained I am, while simultaneously feeling terrible because I yelled at my son all day.

Again, I’m not writing this as something that I’m proud of. I’m not saying this a perfectly fine way to deal with my frustration. I’m wanting to be honest about my parenting journey, because why else am I writing this blog? If you can go through your life without ever yelling at your kids, kudos to you! I am just really tired of reading all of those articles and feeling like a terrible mom because hey! I do yell at my kid sometimes, and I know I’m going to in the future (hellooo, teenage years!). I just don’t think it’s realistic for me to be ever be a non-yelling parent. You can bet I’ll keep working every day to be a better mom and role model for my son, though.

So I’m starting with trying to find practical ways to try and yell less. I’ll still try the deep breath thing. But I’m also trying to pick my battles with Oliver. If it’s not dangerous or illegal or harmful to Zoey, I’m probably not going to fight him that much. Does this make me that mom that can’t control her kid? Maybe. But he’s a 2 year old boy. If you have a method of controlling that, I’m all ears!

I'm The Parent That Yells At My Kid

Mostly, though, I’m trying to extend Oliver a lot of grace. He’s two, and he’s just starting to understand the world. As my husband would say, it’s developmentally appropriate for him to be testing his boundaries. So I’m trying to give Oliver grace, but I’m also trying to give myself grace. I’ve never had to parent a two year old before, and it’s hard. I have never understood nor been so grateful for the grace of Jesus up until this point in my life. I’m trying so hard to lean on His wisdom everyday, as well as leaning into His grace. And lots and lots of prayer.

I'm The Parent That Yells At My Kid
I know you look at that face and think, “how could you yell at him?!” Trust me. He has his moments.

I’m the best mom for Oliver, and there are some days I really have to remember that because I fail so hard at having patience with him. I will never stop trying to be a better mama for this little boy, but let’s just be honest that it’s going to be a heck of a journey!

Drop a comment below and lemme know how you handle it when your littles drive you up a wall! I’d love to get some suggestions!

[And if you read to the end- thank you for bearing with me. I feel like this was a wordy post!)

Have a phenomenal day!

What You Need for Baby #2





I'm The Parent That Yells at My Kids


  1. L.C. @ A Life of Authenticity

    September 1, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    Alex, I’m right there with you….I’m a mamma who yells! I yelled (and continue to yell) at my now 19 yo and I sometimes yell at my 5 yo (although she hasn’t pushed my buttons as much as he did at this age, but time will tell. LOL). You are doing a great job because you continue to strive to be a better momma for Oliver, the best momma he could have. God gave him to you knowing you were/are a yeller! You are the perfect momma for Oliver and don’t you ever doubt that. With God’s grace (and a lot of prayer) we both can grow into being a momma who yells less. 😉 Thank you for your honesty and authenticity. We need more of that in this world.

    1. Alex

      September 3, 2017 at 8:24 pm

      Your comment made me tear up- thank you so much for your support and encouragement! I was so nervous about publishing this post, and this comment was more encouraging to me than you know! Thank you.

  2. Margaret Westhoff

    September 1, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    My almost 2 year old son pushes all my buttons too. I had to laugh when I saw the picture of your son sitting on his little sister, because it is something my son does as well. (He also wrestles with and tackles his little sis to the ground.) No judgement here. Just want you to know that this mama yells too.

    1. Alex

      September 3, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      Yes, he can be so sweet with her, but then so rough!! Thank you so much- so helpful and encouraging to me to know I’m not alone!

  3. Kristine

    September 1, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Ohhh I needed this today after what feels like an afternoon of nothing but button pushing, whining, crying, don’t do that, your going to hurt yourself, please stop & 🙁 Yelling to get my point across. As I sit here now with my little asleep on my lap thinking how horrible am I when I loose my cool?? Thank you for being honest and authentic.

    1. Alex

      September 3, 2017 at 8:26 pm

      I had those afternoons all week long, so I am right there with you! Be encouraged you’re not alone- it’s been encouraging to me! No doubt you are a great mother doing an amazing job!!

  4. Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms

    September 1, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Yes. Yes yes. Yes yes YES!! Thank you!! It is so easy to fall prey to all the “don’t yell at your kids” articles out there, but when faced with a two year old that keeps putting themselves in danger and LAUGHING?! I am right there with you! Sometimes it gets her attention just enough for me to distract her!

    1. Alex

      September 3, 2017 at 8:28 pm

      Thank you so much for your response! It’s so hard to not feel like I’m the only one when I’m surrounded by so many articles making me feel like the outlier for yelling. I don’t know how parents go through the day without snapping here and there, sometimes it’s the only thing that really does grab his attention for a minute!

  5. Nicole

    September 2, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    You have no advice on how not to yell at your toddler, because I am in the same boat with ya sister. I am however so grateful that you wrote this post, it’s nice to really know that I’m not alone in my struggles on raising a toddler boy. ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Nicole

      September 2, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      I meant to start that by saying “I hav no advice….” YOU definitely do:)

    2. Alex

      September 3, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      thanks, Nicole! You are definitely not alone- these toddlers are so wild and fearless! I love it, it’s just incredibly frustrating at times, as well! And terrifying, haha!

  6. Jordan Witteveen

    September 2, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Best post yet! Proud of you, girl!

    1. Alex

      September 3, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      thanks, friend! 🙂 these kids are hard. i miss you so much.

  7. Emily @ Pizza & Pull-ups

    September 3, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this! Toddlers can test your patience like none other! Hope you and yours are having a great weekend!

    1. Alex

      September 3, 2017 at 8:30 pm

      Thanks, Emily! They really can- it’s a special gift of theirs right up there with endless energy, haha. Hope you’re having a great holiday weekend, as well!

  8. Bethany

    September 8, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    I remember the first time I yelled…..I cried and felt like I had failed. I am sure my son does not remember though and could care less. Thank you Jesus for grace!

  9. waves + lilacs

    February 17, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    I love this so, so much and am so glad we are friends. I yell too because sometimes I am about to lose my mind!!!! But yes and yes to learning about God’s grace. oh my goodness. Do I ever need it now more than ever as a mom!

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