Is This Why You’re Yelling at Your Kids? When Anger Seems to Come Out Of Nowhere

You think you’re holding it together…you’re trying to keep your cool, and then WHAM, all of a sudden, you’re yelling at your kids.


Sometimes, our anger seems to come out of nowhere. Something completely normal for our kids to do pushes us to yell when the day before, we would have just laughed at the same situation. We shout and then think, “Where did that come from??” Many times, it’s not even your child’s actions that actually caused your anger.

Do You Know Your Anger Triggers?

You might have had one or more background anger triggers heating you to a simmer before your child ever pushed you over the boiling point. We are human. It is perfectly normal to have a few quirks, some things that just cause you to be more grouchy and more likely to be angry. When you know what triggers your anger, you can be proactive about these triggers and prevent them from causing you to lose your temper.

I try to remain vigilant about my own anger triggers so I can take action to keep myself calm. For instance, loud noises make me angry. Too much sound and noise can send me OVER THE EDGE. The kids might just be being kids, so I’ve got to turn off the radio if that extra sound is going to make me snap. Or if the kids’ play is making the kind of sound that I know is likely to trigger me, I need to notice that as soon as possible so I can make a choice about what to do before I’m on sensory overload myself. (ie. go to another room, give them an alternative play choice, send them out back to play, etc.)

Possible anger triggers to watch for:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Dehydration
  • Being too hot or cold
  • Eating sugar (We can be as susceptible as our kids to this.)
  • Drinking a glass of wine or beer (I know, many of us would like to relax this way, but sometimes it’s the thing that keeps you from holding it together, too. You know yourself.)
  • Windy days
  • Various sensory input (I have a friend who noticed that bare feet on tile floors make her angry.)

We tend to try to help our kids with their surroundings and food choices and forget that we’ve got to take care of ourselves, too. Just because you’re a parent doesn’t make you impervious to annoyance, and your kids are not going to pipe up to give you permission to take care of yourself. You’ve got to know what is likely to make you get triggered by your kids and do something about it so that you can make good parenting choices.

When we notice what makes us edgy and uncomfortable, we can make choices that will help us stay centered. When we know our anger triggers, we can do something about them before we yell at our kids.

About the Author

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Alissa is a resilience coach, cartoonist, and advocate for ‘connection, not perfection’. She’s dedicated to helping others find a sense of safety and belonging inside themselves so they can heal, connect, and build authentic, joyful lives.