We’ve all been there— it’s one of those days, the kids start misbehaving, and we suddenly find ourselves yelling. No matter how many times we promise ourselves otherwise, sometimes our automatic parental response to mayhem is to raise our voices and – let’s be honest – have kind of a tantrum ourselves. We know it’s not effective and that it can even make things worse, but we also need some peace! Dayna at Lemon Lime Adventures feels our pain, and she has some wisdom from her years of teaching that will help us all decrease the screams instead of adding to them.

The solution? It’s all about proximity.

When I think of the reasons I yell in my home, I can usually narrow the reasons down to just a few triggers…The kids are arguing. The kids aren’t doing what I asked them to. The kids aren’t listening. The kids are being too loud. The kids are being too rambunctious. The kids… the kids… the kids… Do you see the problem with those statements like I do? The focus is on the kids. The focus is on what the kids are doing that I don’t like. Where am I in this scenario? What am I doing? How am I involved in what is going in?

The answer. I am usually not close to them. [. . .] For the last week, I have been trying this out. Instead of repeating myself over and over again, instead of yelling across the room, and instead of putting the blame on the children… I have been moving closer. [. . .] I make sure they hear me. I make sure I am helping them through their problems. I make sure I am there for them.

Lemon Lime Adventures says this simple approach works at least 90% of the time, a huge difference when it comes to peace and quiet. Just take some simple steps— literally.

So there you have your new mantra to use in times of stress: don’t get louder, get closer. It’s simple things like this tip that reap huge benefits when it comes to our kids. Do you have any tips of your own? Are you a “yeller,” like Lemon Lime Adventures says she can be? How do you stay calm when you’re angry?