Yelling is great for communicating with someone who is far away, but when you yell at someone who is close to you it only triggers their flight or fight response.

“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”
~ Robert Fulghum

If You Want to Stop Yelling At Your Teen, Stop Yelling at YOURSELF!

Okay, so this might be a stretch. You probably don’t “yell” at yourself out loud, but be honest, how do you speak to yourself on the inside?

How often do you “yell” at yourself in your head?

How often do you tell yourself that you’re “not good enough”, or that you “should have done better”?

The truth is, if you want to stop yelling at your teen, you have to stop yelling at YOU!

Start treating yourself with kindness, and it will be easier to treat your teen with kindness.

Why Do We Yell?

If you’re like most parents, you yell to be heard.

Maybe you yell out of anger, overwhelm, or fear.

If you’re like most parents, sometimes you yell because you believe, “that’s the only way my kids will listen.”

I want you to dig deeper.

Why do YOU yell?

My guess is that this is something that you saw your parents do. Maybe it’s a habitual response. Maybe it really does seem like it’s the only way your kids will listen.

The best way to start controlling the urge to yell is by understanding all the deeper reasons behind the why, with compassion!

No matter how much you have yelled in the past, remember that you have always done your best. Appreciate your constant effort as a parent to show up and do your best.

It’s hard being a parent.

What Does Yelling Do?

Yelling triggers the Fight/Flight/Freeze response.

This is why yelling is a good idea when trying to protect a child from a dangerous situation. You yell “STOP” and a child is likely to freeze before running into a busy street.

However, when it comes to teaching something to your child or teen or punishing them, or disagreeing with them, yelling is not the best option.

Like I said, yelling triggers the fight/flight/or freeze response.

It actually puts your teen in survival mode. When getting yelled at, rather than listening to what’s being said you start focusing on the speaker because you perceive them as a threat. You start looking for an escape or you start getting angry in preparation to fight for your survival.

Think back to the last time you got yelled at. How did you feel, scared, defensive, embarrassed?

Because you go into survival mode, your primitive brain takes over and your prefrontal cortex takes a back seat.

Your ability to learn at a high level is greatly diminished. Instead, your primitive brain creates an emotional response that quickly turns into a habit.

I’ve taught about how “calm is contagious” as Rorke Denver says, and how humans are herd animals. The other thing that yelling does is escalate the emotional tension. It spreads to the person being yelled at, and they are likely to yell back.

This is the fight response.

How to Stop Yelling

  1. Explore the why behind your yelling (Remember, this also applies to your inner self-talk.)
  • When I explored this for me, I realized that a big reason why I yelled was that that was what I learned from my parents and other adults in my life.
  • I usually yell out of anger.
  • I yell because I want to control the situation.
  • I often yell because I want to control my teenager.

2. Have compassion for you and your teen.

  • It’s okay that you’ve yelled, and you’re probably going to yell again.
  • You want to be better, and that’s a powerful place to start!
  • You and your teen ARE DOING YOUR BEST!

3. Practice who you want to BE when parenting is easy.

  • It sounds weird, but try it!
  • When parenting is easy, intentionally practice how you want to speak to your teen when things are hard.
  • This will create a new way of BEing, which will create new habits.
  • Practice intentionally BEing the parent of your dreams, especially when it’s hard.

4. Practice who you want to BE when parenting is hard.

  • Obviously, this one is harder, but it’s powerful.
  • When parenting is hard, intentionally fall back into what you practiced when things were easy.
  • Practice getting anger and fear out of the driver’s seat.
  • Practice intentionally BEing the parent of your dreams, even though it’s hard.

5. Use Thought Downloads and the Model

  • Use the model to explore the thoughts and feelings that lead to yelling.
  • Use the model to explore the results that yelling creates in your life.
  • Use the model to practice intentional parenting.

Call to ACTION!

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#072 Horror Stories About Grades!

We have been conditioned to think that grades are THE MOST important, but this is just herd mentality thinking.

Grades Aren’t As Important As We’ve Been Taught

When I was getting close to graduating high school, I was told that I wouldn’t be able to go to college due to my poor high school GPA (2.0 something) and my poor ACT score (17).

For years leading up to my graduation, I was told that I would have to improve my grades if I ever wanted a job other than digging ditches or some other type of manual labor.

For years I was told horror stories about people who had so much potential, but poor grades in school completely derailed and ruined their lives.

This is an example of herd mentality.

Teachers and school counselors believe that good grades are the key to success.

So of course, they are going to share this belief with their students.

Unfortunately, with teachers, parents, and school counselors all telling the same horror stories when it comes to grades, most teens adopt the herd belief without even questioning it.

For a long time, I worked manual labor jobs because I believed I was doomed to that life because of my high school grades.

Your Teen Is the Key to Thier Success, Not Their Grades!

I believe this with all my heart!

I am an example of this. I barely graduated high school. I thought of dropping out. My grades were not great.

And yet, I am successful.

I became a phenomenal teacher. My students loved me!

I got my bachelor’s degree and graduated Summa Cum Laude. That means I did pretty darn good in college.

I became a high school principal at a failing charter school on the Ute Indian Reservation, (without a master’s degree I might add).

Within a few short years we had turned the school around.

My high school grades are definitely not the key to my success, I AM!

The same is true for your teen.

Grades, friends, a starting role on their high school football team, none of these are the key to their success.


If you believed this, how would you feel?

If you believed this, what would that change in the way you parent your teen?

If you believed that your teen was the key to their success, your teen would be more likely to believe that THEY are the key to their success.

Values and Grades

It’s 100% okay to value grades. It’s also 100% okay to NOT value grades.

If you’re like most parents who talk to me about their teen’s grades, you value grades more than your teenager does.

Maybe you expect your teen to get nothing lower than a B, but they have several F’s.

If you’re like most parents, this difference in you and your teen’s expectations and values is causing some friction in your relationship with them.

If you’re like most parents, this results in yelling, arguing, fighting, and often grounding.

What if, grades aren’t as important as you’ve been taught?

What if your teen’s grades are actually a reflection of their values, not yours?

What if your teen has different values than you?

Your Relationship With Your Teen

At the end of the day, I promise you, your relationship with your teen is far more important than their grades.

I get it!

You still believe that grades are important.

You want your teen to get good grades.

I want to invite you to shift your focus to two things:
1. Your relationship with your teen, and
2. Your relationship with their grades.

Of these two relationships, which one will benefit your teen the most in 1 year, 5 years, 20 years, and so on?

Why is your teen so important to you?

Why are their grades so important to you?

I want to invite you to connect with your teen, RIGHT WHERE THEY ARE!

Regardless of what their grades look like, they will benefit from having a parent who can connect with them no matter what.

Once you build this connection, you will better understand why they have they grades that they do. You’ll be able to determine whether their grades are a result of not being high on their priority list or the result of some serious struggles.

Call to ACTION!

Come join me in the Firmly Founded Parent Membership! The price is getting ready to go up, and we’re making it better than ever!