What can I do when my parents yell ?

A picture a father yelling

“Why can't my parents talk to me without yelling?” asks Keith.

Martha similarly laments: “No matter what we're talking about, we end up screaming at each other.”

Do Keith’s and Martha’s words sound familiar to you? If so, you probably wonder why?

Why the Yelling?

Let’s be realistic. There are occasions when a louder-than-usual voice is required.

Perhaps you need to be wakened for school or called for a meal. You don’t expect to be whispered to, do you? And at times parents may legitimately be upset.

The problem comes, though, when you expect a normal answer and instead receive a yell.

However, by stopping and reflecting, you may be able to realize why this at times happens. For instance, note what some young people say:


My mom is very impatient and at times not very understanding, and I tend to overlook the fact that she has a job and children to care for.”


It bothers me when my mother takes out her aggression on me. It happens when she comes home from work all upset after a hard day. I wish she didn't have to work.”


My largest problem is at home with my daddy. I understand he has many responsibilities and worries, but he always takes them out on the rest of the family.”

Notice the problems revealed. Daily, one or both of your parents may face a demanding boss or co-workers difficult to get along with.

Financial problems, illness, or even your parents’ own insecurities may affect the way they speak to you.

These problems do not excuse their shouting, but they do help you understand why yelling sometimes occurs.

Isn't it also true that you, too, may have been guilty of raising your voice, perhaps even to your friends? “

So, at times, upset parents may likewise raise their voices. If this happens, here are some suggestions on what you can do:

Try Not to:


Perhaps the most common trap to fall into is a screaming match.

Is this wise? “Getting angry and explosive creates an absolute no-win situation,” says Bill Nolan, a social worker in Salem, Massachusetts.

Remember when you answer in mildness it will help turn away your parents' rage, but when your words causing pain it will only enhance their rage.


Are you tempted to berate your parents?

Mocking your parents, or making fun of them, certainly would not be bestowing honor. Would you like your parents to make fun of you?

Certainly not! So why do it to your parents?


Pouting, sulking, or crying only dramatizes your own immaturity. Such actions will not help your parents understand your position and can produce dire results.


Stop and think: Just how loud was your parent’s voice?

It’s especially easy to feel sensitive to your parent’s reaction when you are presenting a problem or making a request for something you really want.


If you stop talking, how will you convey your thoughts to your parents? How will they understand what you feel?

If you are tempted to do any of the ‘try not to’s,’ recognize that you are only getting back at your parents and are not really coming to grips with the problem.

Instead, Try to:


Even if your parents do yell, try and listen to your father or mother.

This will help you to understand your parent's feelings and perhaps reveal why they have raised their voice.


Whether said softly or said loudly, it would be wise directions to follow your parent's direction. 

By promptly doing the things your parents ask, you can be sure they will be well pleased—and any yelling will subside.


Many times the yelling comes from breaking a house rule or not doing a requested task. Are you tempted to excuse yourself?

Don’t. Admit the error. Ill feelings are more easily cleared away when an error is admitted.


Consider the how, what, and why of your request or problem. On this Dr. Selma Miller  reasons:

If it’s something you know will cause friction, first ask yourself what goals you have for passing on the information,” 

No doubt, a little forethought on what you will say may often prevent an outburst of anger.

At the same time, it will be good to decide what the really important issues are and present only these.


Don’t wait until you have a problem to talk to your parents. Talk with them regularly about everyday affairs.

Tell them your feelings. Learn, too, about the attitudes, beliefs, and values of your parents.

This will build the bond of family love and friendship that will make it easier to discuss more delicate matters calmly.


It is essential to present a request or consider a problem with your parents at the appropriate time.

Be observant as to when your parents are most relaxed and easiest to talk to.


 “In real life, it’s impossible to live with people we care about and avoid conflict together,” says Jenny Englemann, a psychotherapist. She adds:

One of the true tests of a relationship is that we can face up to conflicts and eventually resolve them.”

Never forget, your parents deeply love you and are intensely interested in doing what is best for you.

So try to apply the suggestions above and see if your relations with them will improve.