“If you don’t put your shoes on right NOW, you’re grounded this weekend!”
“I swear, I don’t care if you have to go to school with no pants on. We are leaving right this instant!”
“How many times have I TOLD you to pack your bag before we’re walking out the door?! Now I’m going to be late to work.”
“If you miss the bus you’re walking to school!”
“Let’s GO! I don’t want to have to say it again!”
If you’re like the millions of parents who are trying to get their kids out the door in the morning, these five quotes probably raised your blood pressure, clenched your jaw, and stressed you out… even if you’re reading this at 3 in the afternoon.
You might already be planning in your head how you can set yourself up for success for tomorrow morning.
Maybe you can pre-pack a lunch. You can start the wakeup routine 15 minutes earlier. You can load their backpacks into the car FOR them before they’re even dressed because it’s one less thing for you to stress out about.
Because that’s what your mornings have become: a multi-hour symphony of stress that’s made of whining, yelling, and the slap slap slap of your footsteps as you run up and down the stairs trying to manage your child’s homework and school clothes and brush-your-teeth and do-your-hair and watching the minutes tick away at the clock until it’s past time to leave and you’re going to be late. Again.
Every week, parents spend the equivalent of a full 8-hour work day getting their kids ready and out the door in the morning.
Between the first day of school and the start of summer break, you will have told your child to hurry up on average of 540 times.
The struggle is real, and it’s absolutely exhausting.
And you’re paying the price, bigtime.
You might have to finish getting ready in the car on the way to work like the 43% of women who put on their makeup or the 52% of men who shave during their commute.
You might skip breakfast - because on average, parents skip two breakfasts per week because they just don’t have time to eat.
Despite that you’re getting up earlier than ever.
You’ve had a FULL day before you ever step foot into work.
What’s that doing to you?
And what’s that doing to your kids?
Is it any wonder we’re exhausted all the time? Because we have a whole morning before work, then we work all day, and THEN we come home… where we get to fuss with our kids about homework and chores and going to bed on time.
Before you know it it’s 10pm and you’ve yelled at your kids all day.
You’ve become The Mom Who Yells.
I started using this term with myself and my own mother when I heard it from a friend.
She was telling me about her morning, how she has to yell at her kids to hurry up (at least 3 times a day on average, remember) and practically push them out the door if there’s any hope of making it to school or work on time.
And he was frustrated. She was over it.
And she said to me “Mary, I don’t want to be the mom who yells.”
Being “The Mom Who Yells” had become her entire identity with her kids.
She yelled in the morning. She yelled at homework time. She yelled at playdates.
Because that was the only way she knew to get her kids to listen.
She couldn’t figure out WHY they didn’t listen to her until she got to that point. WHY did they - after half a year of school and morning after morning of the same thing… did they continue to act this way until she yelled?
She knew that yelling constantly was doing long-term damage.
She knew that it was hurting her relationship with her kids.
She knew that it was breaking the bonds she had - that it was pitting her against her children and creating a “me vs. them” relationship.
And she knew that it wasn’t showing her kids how to do better or be better. That she was modeling one of the very behaviors she wanted them to STOP.
But she didn’t know how to change it. She didn’t know what to do instead.
She didn’t know how to break the cycle of frustration and overwhelm and yelling while still helping her kids take responsibility and get to school on time!
My friend had taken all of the responsibility for their success onto her shoulders. And because of this, nothing got accomplished until she got so angry that she lost her temper and yelled.
Every single morning.
But you don’t have to be The Mom Who Yells.
All it takes is a little patience and a plan…
The key to getting your kids ready in the morning withOUT taking on the entire load of responsibility lies in simply giving THEM the responsibility.
Put THEM in charge of their success in the morning… and then step back and let it go.
This doesn’t mean you’ll abandon them. But it DOES mean that you’re going to help your child understand what needs to be done, involve them in the planning process, and show them how to be successful so they can do it on their own.
When your children are involved in the solution to the problem, they have ownership and motivation to follow the plans they have helped create.
It starts with a family meeting (one of the most powerful tools my mother and I teach about).
You’re going to simply say “It takes us a lot of effort to get out the door in the morning. What ideas do you have on how we can make it easier for us?”
This is where you’re going to become a TEAM instead of the you vs. them attitude you’ve had until now.
Let them make suggestions and write them all down. Talk about each one of them and whether they’re feasible and possible and likely to work.
And then let them tell you how they think it could work.
You might be surprised at the solutions they come up with. The types of things they see and consider that haven’t even crossed your mind.
Things you didn’t know were a problem - they’ll not only point it out, but they’ll show you the solution!
Consider these quotes that may very well come out of your child’s mouth:
It’s easy to overlook these simple problems that are causing real issues in your day… but when you bring your child into the discussion…
Your child is now involved in the process. Your child has contributed and feels that they have the power, capability and permission to problem solve.
And you are no longer the drill sergeant.
You’re on their side, on their team - working together toward the common goal of a Good Morning.
You’ll start small - maybe they’re in charge of getting dressed on their own, or it’s up to them to make sure their schoolwork is in their bag by the door.
Show them how to make it happen. Do it with them a few times before you hand over the reins and let go of that responsibility.
(This is just one of several no-yelling tools to help you get through your morning, all that involve your children and are proven to work)
Next (and this is the hardest part): Let them fail. Let it play out. Don’t intervene. Don’t yell, remind, threaten, lecture, or nag.
Let them have the control you gave them.
“But Mary! I don’t want my babies to fail! And I certainly don’t want to be the one picking up the pieces!”
The fun part about this is that it’s not failure: it’s a learning opportunity. It’s a natural consequence of missing their goal - and that’s normal, natural, and healthy.
But you’ve also talked about what can happen in this instance. This is also part of your plan. You are leaving at 8:00 on the dot, together. If your child doesn’t eat her breakfast in time - she’s going to be REALLY hungry at lunch. If your child doesn’t remember his science project, his teacher will give him a lower grade.
You’re not leaving them high and dry - you’re there to support and help them through whatever happens.
But you’re also going to have faith that your child or children is able to learn from this mistake and do better next time.
And it will take some time and some planning and some effort… but your mornings CAN be harmonious.
This one strategy - that I did share with my friend, by the way, to great results - is just one of over THIRTY tools that are available to you right now in the brand-new program Positive Discipline Made Easy.
I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, AND I’m the mom of 3 boys.
But I’m also - lucky for me - the daughter of Jane Nelsen - who created the Positive Discipline method when she was trying to figure out how to manage ME and my 6 siblings.
Since then, she’s written dozens of books and certified Positive Discipline Trainers in 87 countries. She’s helped millions of parents worldwide and Positive Discipline is used in classrooms, homes, childcare centers, youth centers, and more every single day.
And it’s these strategies that I use with the families in my practice…
But we noticed that it was easier for parents and families to thrive with these tools and strategies when they get the practical, step-by-step help to really implement it.
Because it’s one thing to understand how effective family meetings and routine ownership is.
It’s another to know how to get started, how to make it run smoothly, and how to keep it from going off the rails.
That’s what Positive Discipline Made Easy is designed to do, and why I’m so excited to collaborate with my mother to bring this directly to you.
We’re making Positive Discipline easy.
Even if you’ve tried on your own - reading blogs, talking to your therapist, buying books (maybe even Positive Discipline!)…
There’s never been a program like this fully focused on helping motivated and overwhelmed parents like you actually make Positive Discipline work for your day to day life.
We wanted to make it easy for you to learn, understand, and USE Positive Discipline in your family right away… without having to connect the dots by yourself, figure out how to make it work for you, and second-guess yourself.
We’ll show you exactly what you can use to handle each situation, and how it has played out using real-life examples and stories.
We’ll not only review the theory so you understand WHY it’s important to handle each situation in a specific way… but we’re giving you the actual step-by-step tool to help you make it happen in your family.Get The Tools
The best part about these tools is that they are NO-YELL tools. They’re mix and match to help you find the ones that work best for you and your family - but every single possible situation you’ll come across has a tool to help you resolve it withOUT yelling, badgering, nagging, punishing, grounding, or taking the pressure of your children’s successes onto your shoulders.
You do NOT have to be the Mom Who Yells.
Instead, you’ll be able to strengthen the bond between you and your child AND change the behavior that drives you crazy.
And we’re going to help you understand these tools faster and easier than you’d ever imagine, both through demonstrations and exercises that you’ll do right along with us, using the workbook we’ve designed to act as your own personal reference manual for parenting.
We’ll also include reference sheets, information about child psychology, and tool tips throughout the workbook - along with exercises you can do with your children to see these lessons play out in real-time in front of your eyes.
Once you’ve taken this 6-module course, you’ll understand:
With Positive Discipline Made Easy, you WILL have a more harmonious home. You WILL create an environment that your child will thrive in. You WILL set your entire family up for long-term success and happiness.
And you’ll finally get your mornings back.
I can’t wait to see the change in your family,