My Kids Are Afraid of Me

My children are afraid of me.  Before going and getting all judgey on me you need to know, I don’t hit them and would never hurt them.  So why do they fear me?  I am a yeller.


In the past week, both my daughter and son have told me that they are afraid of me when I yell.  My daughter said she isn’t afraid of her father, but she does fear me – just a little.   As a result we have created a vicious cycle, she lies to me, I ask her to tell me the truth and she doesn’t.  All out of fear that I am going to yell.

My son doesn’t lie to me but when questioned by me, gets upset because he is afraid I am going to yell at him.  In his words, ‘I have seen you yell at —–(insert name here)’

The last thing I want is for my children to fear me.  I love them more than anything in the universe and would never, ever hurt them.  While I haven’t physically hurt them, my yelling seems to have caused other ‘bruises.’

I do not yell often, but when I do, I am loud.  Looks like I have to reduce the yelling to not at all. Unless they are about to get hit by a car or are in danger, yelling is no longer allowed in my home.

Are you a yeller?  Do you think it has had any long term effects on your children?

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  1. I found this post tonight while googling “my kids are afraid of me” I have the same problem – I yell. Especially when I’m stressed. Tonight was hard – husband out of town. Tired and trying to get kids to bed. Important work meeting starting at 8am – so have to get th kids up before 7 to take to school. Work is less than understanding about ANYTHING kid related…..

    Did you ever stop yelling?

    1. Some days I feel like all I’ve done is yell. Hang in there!!

  2. Janette Chafino says:

    I found this post just like anyone else searching that their kids are afraid of them and I need help. I have a daughter and step daughter that are both 4 years old my daughter tends to listen more than my step daughter so she gets more yelling out of me. She is now afraid of me and cries every time I pick her up from her moms weekend visit. She gets scared and wants to cry and begins to shake when I’m alone with her and she has to eat she won’t she’ll want to cry and throw up what do I do ? I’ve cut back on all the yelling cause I would give her a mouthful and I know it scared her.. now i don’t know how to get her to be able to be herself around me anymore

  3. I yell all the time when my kids are out of control. Im stressed because im home alone mostly all day with them. My husband works night. I just want to cry im overwhelmed. My son says hes affraid of me when i yell. My heart just sinks when i hear that. I feel like i try to stop and i cant why is it so hard.

  4. Jessica Hammelev says:

    My daughter wants to move out, she’s 12. My son curls up in a ball like I’ve beat him bloody. Both want to live with their step mom. I’ve gotta stop yelling.

  5. My adult kids are just now able to tell me about how they feared me. I was a controlling yeller.
    I caused deep wounds.
    It takes A LOT of courage for a child to tell you the truth about how they feel.
    It may be worse for them than they can even tell you because of the fear.
    I am sorry to be brutal. I wish someone had been brutal with me. I am not sure I would have been able to hear it otherwise. Even then.. We have gone through so many changes, so much growth, but it has been hard. I wish I had gotten therapy a very long time ago.

  6. Luis Flores says:

    My kids are afradi of me. I just found out.
    I have 12 and 9 years old boys. The yongest is mor obvious that he es afrad of me. He is not even sayi g everything becuase he doesn’t want be in troubles with me.
    I think all thr cases applyied to me in this post.
    Any recomendation would be apreciated or any books to read aldobare welcome.

    Thanks in advance

  7. I feared my mum too but just recently confronted onher attitidue towards me. She was abused by my dad and inturn hit me if things I did were right.. She used a strap or the spoon or egg flip. . I ran away once. And came home to a hiding and at times I thought she was trying to drown in the bath tub or sink that, that was when she got angry with me. Ive since told her she was as bad as dad.. You would think that if your daughter told you that she want to hug you. Im cut of for good now. I wanted to tell her for yrs. Its also lead to me me being a target at school. Were Iwas tormented terribbly.. I have lost everybody now. And Im so unhappy with my life. I do have friends and married with grandchildren.. Im getting help but some friends ard pulling away.. My mum has been saying all her life that shes too old fo for this. I feel so dead inside me. That I simply want to die.. this was a regular vicious circle.and yes my mum was a yella

  8. Oh yea I’m a yeller. I have also threatened spanking because sometimes I am at my wits end. Like- given rewards, given consequences, nothing is working (bc of neurodivergence, mainly). My daughter just told me this morning that she’s kind of afraid of me. I hate that. I think I need to lower my expectations but I also need my sanity in tact. Not sure how to do both. Like, she can’t remember her backpack for the life of her. Do I just bring it to school for her? How does that teach her any responsibility? Is it too much to ask her to remember it when she’s six and struggling with ADHD? What about her utter defiance and demand avoidance? If I tell her to make her bed, she screams she’s scared to go to her room by herself and she hides. She has younger siblings. I can’t just follow her around all morning. I guess I could begin starting my day at 4 instead of 5 so that I COULD follow her around. I’m gonna need to get creative because I am destroying her confidence and our relationship by yelling but I also need to feel like we can function and I don’t know what to do anymore. And PS I am a social worker, a child and family therapist, which makes this all feel so utterly pathetic. Why don’t I have all the answers?! That makes it easier for me to yell…I have to put less pressure on myself.

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