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I'm a yeller too
and I absolutely hate that about myself!
When you find the answer on how to stop
please let me know.


Just the words I needed to read today. So much of my heartache right now is self related, thanks for the reminder - I'll get back to living now!


i, too, am a yeller. So I totally get what you are saying here. I feel guilty the minute it comes out of my mouth. But I will say this, the fact the we can see that in ourselves and feel bad about it, is HUGE. There are so many people who act and don't care or think about what they are doing. And in my defense...some days I yell because I am not being heard. I truly try to communicate to my kids with kind words, but when they ignore yelling monster rears its ugly head. And even then....I feel bad. Thanks for this post. :)


{HUGS} I can be really patient but when I lose it - I am a yeller. Parenting is hard.


You and your family are amazing. None of us are perfect. You are one of the most caring, thoughtful moms I know. Seems like your yelling is because you care so much, it just comes out differently than you'd like. Thankfully your kids seem pretty quick to forgive too.


you are always so brave to keep everything so real and vulnerable. you're a good mom. you're a good woman. you're a good person. you have things, we all have things. but that doesn't take away from the good that you are. i don't have children, but i did have a tough go with my folks for a variety of reasons and we came out the other side of it thank goodness. i've told them more than once that i appreciate the way i was raised (for the most part) when i see myself in comparison to others. hang in there.


Me too, friend. Every day's a new day.

Denise M

Big BIG hugs!! I am also a yeller. I try hard not to be because it's down right exhausting and then, like you, I feel bad (especially more so when my neighbors comment on what I was yelling about). It's not easy raising kids. I've got two teens and an almost 10yr old trying very hard to act just like the teens. Some days are just maddening. There is no right or wrong way so no judging from me. At the end of the day your kids know you love them, even when they make bad choices and get yelled at. Hang in there. You are an amazing mom and person!!


Don't worry kids certainly know how to push their parents buttons and will use it where and when they want even if they are generally "good kids". Yesterday I was annoyed because I came into the kitchen and the butter was on the bench and not put back in the fridge. One kid used it and didn't put it back so the next kid uses it and leaves it there only for me (who didn't use the butter) to find it and use the argument that "it was on the bench and left there by xxx". That totally frustrates me because yes, child number 1 (S) should have put the butter away however child number 2 (J) used it and then person number 3 (ie comes out who didn't use it and is expected to put it away. SERIOUSLY>>>> in order for them to teach the other person the lesson instead of being thoughtful and put the butter away even though they didn't leave it on the bench but technically they did it just saved them a trip to the fridge in the first place to get it out. Couldn't they have put it away instead of MUM who had nothing to do with it.....those things because they are little and nitty gritty and petty frustrate me because good's not going to hurt you to put the butter in the fridge which is one metre away from each other because you never got it out in the first place. Honestly I have no time for that crap and that's when I get really annoyed. You might like to check out this book, I've started reading it and it might's an interesting way to look at handling things. "Confident Parents Remarkable Kids" by Bonnie Harris and there is a previous book called "When Your Kids Push Your Buttons" ..maybe buy both. I've used some techniques on my eldest which worked and a different way of approaching things than I would normally do. The butter situation...well...first thing in the morning I just got cranky with them. Check out the books. Regards Kathy A


Look, yelling is a part...a necessary part of parenting...yell when you need to get their attention. But the trick is yelling without (anger in your heart).

Kids test parents all the time...and as you teach your kids to " choose your battles." You, also must choose. Don't take it personally, it's not's kids being kids....especially pre-teens and teenagers ( they are the most challenging). They too are arrogant, scared, trying to fit in, insecure, etc...

Take a deep breath, continue prayer and be the best you can be everyday...and know that "best" changes...sometimes daily.'s gonna be just fine!


I needed to hear this so badly tonight. Thank you so much!

Anna A

Self esteem is a term that really bothers me. We should not esteem ourselves - as far as I am concerned, the only one we esteem is God. When we cast ourselves into that role of esteem, it leads to nothing good. We need to learn to love and *respect* ourselves. When we teach our children self esteem, we are teaching them that they are important above all else. The more accurate teaching is respect - for oneself and others. When we move beyond self, we see the bigger picture and remove the egocentric nature from the equation. There are many good articles about exactly this.


Yup. I hear you. And Amen. I needed this reminder. I also really really believe that our struggles are there to help another. I think Jesus is preparing you...and from the comments, you already have helped. Your candid words alway help me! Down with self for me too, friend. Thank you.

Sandra Klary

I truly love you for sharing these struggles and bad days with us! It's just the way we humans are and as long as we strive to learn and change to the better, everything is good. Nobody's perfect. Not our parents, not our partners, not our kids and definitely and 100% not ourselves. And it's ok.


Sometimes I wish I could be like the Duggar mom. But then I let an f bomb slip and know it just can't be so. My mom was a yeller. I'm not much of a yeller, I'm more of a sarcastic type when I'm angry. Equally undesirable as parenting qualities go. Sunday morning I became a yeller and satan won a round in our house. My boys had been bickering all morning(weekend, long and I lost it. I yelled, some cried, I took my coffee and sat in the car, fuming. We missed/skipped church. In the end, though, Dad stepped in, we had a good family heart to heart, attitudes changed, God was glorified. Our kids need to see real. They need to see strife and then repair. Forgiveness in practice. That's what I tell myself anyway. Parenting seems to get harder as my kids get older. I'd take a screaming infant over an attitudinal preteen any day.


So well spoken! I struggle too with similar things. When I can step away from mySELF and care more about others I feel so light and happy inside. It's a balancing act for sure ... take care of yourself but don't obsess over yourSELF. I always am uplifted by your ability to be candid on your blog. It reminds me and I'm sure many of us that we're not alone.


I'm one of the administrators of my church facebook page ( and I've shared this post today with our followers. You are not alone, Karen - your struggles sound SO MUCH like those I've experienced. Growth in Christ is the answer to everything we do not like about ourselves.... you're searching in the right directions. And believe me, you're not the only one who never truly feels like you've conquered those demons.... they still raise their heads from the shadows from time to time in my life, too. Pray on, sister. Pray on.

Julie P

Karen, yet again you have put out there what I'm imagining a lot of us mums are feeling. I am in the same boat to the extent that I was seriously considering leaving my house and the children and my wonderful husband as I can't take the daily stress, arguing, yelling, mistakes. Thank you for being honest, I can't tell you how much I (and i'm sure many others) appreciate it. I've got no magic answers, one of my girls lies constantly and yet is the kindest nicest child I know. I've made it a policy not to lie to the children no matter what happens and no matter how hard the truth can be. Last night our kitten was knocked over and killed and it quite honestly broke my heart. I wanted to tell the children that she must have run away to spare them from the pain I was feeling but I knew I had to tell them the truth. And yet they do not do the same in return. I go to bed crying over my yelling, I come home after dropping them off at school crying some days because I know what was supposed to be a fresh day started yet again with arguments and me yelling and crying. I think we are given as much as we can handle and if the ride was easy we wouldn't appreciate it as much when things are wonderful. I do believe that we are all doing the very best we can do and learn along the way. Bless you Karen and your family, you are not alone. Keep strong xxxxxx

Kelli Williams

You are such a wise person!


Karen- I am so happy you shared this- and I am among the "YELLERS" of America club! That was totally my issue, too, so YOU are NOT alone! YOU are just brave enough to admit it and for that I applaud you. I totally loved the SELF- examples you gave and I agree totally with all you said! Thanks very much for talking about this- and I am certainly one who is thankful for the grace and forgiveness we have in Jesus. Hugs

Jen Daniele (formerly Central Point)

Thank you for this one!! Made me cry.... I'm a yeller too, and I hate it. I don't even get to see my kids that much because of work, and it pains me even more when I yell because of the limited time I have with them! Love that you teach them to forgive... we need more of that in this world. It's so hard in the heat of the moment to be calm and graceful, but we can all keep trying. Stay strong!


Your ending really reminded me of 1 Corinthians 15:42-44. You are doing a great job with your kids and your transparency is inspiring.

Michelle (aka mybelle101)

Sometimes I feel like you're looking right over my shoulder, right into my heart...I struggle with being a yeller, too. And for the same reasons. And I come to the same conclusion: this isn't the best way to train my kids, and it isn't reflecting Jesus to them. Thank you for sharing. I think I'm going to put "Down with SELF" on my chalkboard wall as a reminder, and perhaps also with a reference to Galatians 5:22-23 (the fruits of the Spirit). Less of me, more of Him. Thank you!


I am a seasoned old grandmother and rarely make blog comments, but your post struck as needing a response. Years ago as a mother, I read (a now hopelessly outdated) book called 'My Mother, Myself'. My take away was these three quotes

1) "Nobody has happy obsessive thoughts. Both obsessions and compulsions are repetitive because underground anger must be defended against, over and over."

2) "We have trouble understanding that we can be angry and forgiving at the same time. The two are not mutually exclusive. We think if we hate (ie disappointed in) someone we hate them all the way through."

3) "Anger is a way of maintaining some form of tie. As long as we remain fixed on resentment of what she/they didn't do, we don't have to think about what we must do for ourselves."

I have a feeling your'yelling' is probably in moderation, and more probably more deserved then not... Yet you are haunted my it, when probably you should just let it go. Your family is loving and forgiving. You can certainly forgive them and yourself and still invoke appropriate discipline without feeling guilty.

Most importantly, you have a twinkle and sense of fun that they will remember long long after any yelling. I promise, occasionally I will lament to my adult children that I yelled too much, they just laugh and start telling antidotes of all the awful things they got away with unbeknownst to me. Don't let this define you.

I haven't read all responses so if I am repeating these thoughts, more the better.


Wish I could fix it...wish I had an answer...but take some time and go back through your blog...look at your photos....look at your family...look at the love and the memories and know that we are ALL imperfect. That gives us a beginning place to open dialog with family and with others...and to share feelings. Honest feelings, honest dialog and many many ways to express love. Love always trumps and always wins. Hang in there...there are many thorns on the beautiful rose bush! And they are beautiful!


You know, I vacillate all the time about yelling. I guess the thing I wonder about is, who is telling me not to yell. The world or God? I don't think the Bible ever instructs us not to be angry at our children? I have one child for whom yelling seems to be the most effective way to communicate something important. Otherwise they think I'm not serious.

I guess there are different ways of yelling also. There's in control and thought out yelling, and there's giving into the ugly and just going for it without thinking yelling.

The hardest thing for me after a bout of the latter, is to apologise without adding the good, old... "but if only you hadn't been... "

Erin Sweeney

This might be my favorite blog post yet because I can so identify with it. I yell. And then feel horribly guilty for yelling. For seeming to always raise my voice. For justifying it with "they can't hear me or follow directions or take me seriously if I don't yell." And I pray the same things. And I agree with every word you wrote. Thanks for sharing this.


the reason I still come back to this blog after 10yrs.. is because you Karen are the most real momma that we can all identify with.. and you bring it out there in the most humble way ... so many of us are right there with you.. thank you for not letting us feel alone.. your brokenness is the light for so many..


Oh how I can so relate to this. Most of my kids are grown but I still remember my yelling quite well and I am sure they do too. I am not proud of it but I think I have learned from it and it sounds like your learning from it too. I don't tend to yell too much any more but occasionally it come out and I have to turn my eye, heart and mind over to Jesus and remind myself that I am not perfect nor will I ever be. You are not alone my friend. Sending big Hugs to you!


Beautiful words Karen! Big, beautiful words from the heart. Love and big hugs to you Mama Bear.


I only yell when I've told them 5 times to do something in a normal

You're not alone, sista!! <3


I love you, Karen Russell. Always honest, even when it's a little ugly. You make me feel like I'm not on an island of one!

Holly Johnston

If we were to live each day without regret, without failures, without our sins, we would have no need for a Saviour. God knew about our nature before we did, and knew we would need Him. I don't know of any mom who loves her children, who hasn't regret for things she has said, or done, or hasn't done. It is because you love them so, that you have those regrets. Me too. I have yelled, and then cried. I have failed time after time, but by the grace of God, He has forgiven me. He has forgiven you too, and you need to forgive yourself. Self examination is important, but don't stop there, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and move on. I love you Karen Russell. I am thankful for you in my life. Trust me, your children will call themselves blessed for you being their mom...maybe not today, but they will someday, I'm sure of it! Still praying!


I yelled when they were little because it was loud and startling and it got their attention. It could nip some behaviours in the bud. It doesn't work well past the toddler stage, from 4-12. Now that they are pre-teen and teen age I can see the yelling will start to come back more, not quite yet but it's building. I feel know i want to yell because I'm "older and wiser" so I can see the effects that their actions will have. But yelling at a teenager about life skills isn't the same as yelling at a toddler who is about to touch a glass vase. Your relationship with Ross seems wonderful and you yelled at him, so I'm sure your younger kids won't be scarred for life either. You have a lot of love and good times between the yelling.

Nancy Zeringue

Human! Good grief you really are human! After just seeing all your picture perfect blogs with your precious family and thinking you are superwoman, super momma, super wife it's such a relief to know you really are human....... almost one of us! ;) But seriously, you are such a gift to all of us because you share what you really feel, what your family really is and it's all so very real. So very honest. And you are definitely not alone as a yeller, having been one myself I feel so much better knowing I have lots of company.
I'm reading this post on Mother's Day, which in itself is an emotionally charged day..... I've had some very happy ones, and some very sad ones...... today was in-between. Being a mother is the absolutely hardest yet most important thing we will ever do. all we can do is our best. And sometimes that isn't very good. And sometimes it's great. Yet I think all mother's feel so much guilt for not being good enough...... Reading all the incredibly wise things that you wrote reaffirmed that we aren't perfect mothers, and we certainly don't have perfect families! As the song says "you love the one you're with"!
As far as SELF, I just love what you said, but don't forget that you shouldn't be completely selfless to your family..... it's so important to feed your soul with your creative talents, as you already do. :)


Your words brought me to tears. I can wholeheartedly relate and I love your thoughts on a different perspective. Thank you. The world is a better place for people like you who speak up and bare their souls, and your family is amazingly blessed to have you.


Holy cow- this is such a timely blog post. Well you wrote it a while ago, but I'm reading it right when I needed to- tonight. You see- I've been having a pity party for the past few months. "No one notices me." "No one cares about me." "No one takes my feelings into consideration." Etc. blah blah blah. Me me me. And just today I decided I needed to stop thinking of myself so much. But it's hard. so I've been praying all day. Praying to have a softened and understanding heart. Praying for help. Praying for comfort. Praying for grace. And that's of course when I decide to do some blog surfing (which I haven't done in a very long time) and run into your blog especially this post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. You are an answer to my prayers!! ❤️❤️

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