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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Yell, Yell, Yell!

"I do not like this one so well.  All he does is yell yell yell!" --Dr. Suess, One Fish, Two Fish

Yelling.  This is something I have been struggling with lately in parenting.  Some days we get to bedtime, and I feel like I've spent my entire day yelling at Jonah and Matthew.  I hate that. 

There are moments when yelling is appropriate.  Like when the boys wake up from their naps, and I'm in the middle of feeding Hannah in the other room, I'll yell "Sure! Get out of bed!" or when we're walking and a car is coming, I'll raise my voice to say, "Move over to the side!" 

But then there are the other moments.  The "I'm tired.  Please hurry up!" moments.  The "I've told you this seven times already!" moments. The moments I immediately wish I could do over.  Because a lot of those moments, it's not really about the kids.  It's about me.  I recognize it, and I also recognize how difficult it is to overcome.

And the worst part, for me, is that Jonah is becoming a yeller.  When Matthew does something he doesn't like, or when we tell him to do something he doesn't want to do, he yells.  He screams.  And I see myself screaming at him for something earlier that day, and know that he's learning.  Maybe we'll unlearn this together.

I've been reading a lot about yelling lately in the online parenting world. 
  • I Like Your Nice Voice. (The Finer Things In Life) I am so positive that my kids could say this same thing to me, so I'm making an effort to use my "nice voice" more often and not my biting sarcasm or my angry yelling.
  • Confessions Of A Yelling Mom (Now Reformed). (Club 31 Women) " I’d say I’m a fairly soft-spoken person. But something seemed to have happened once I had small children. Yeah, it’s like something snapped! I became a yeller." Again, something that spoke right to my heart.  I didn't use to yell.
  • When Your Temper Scares You - Some Suggestions For Defusing. (Lisa Jo Baker) "There's no rage like the exhausted rage of motherhood." I've noticed that I've been yelling more in recent months.  The end of pregnancy, when I can barely move myself, let alone two toddlers.  The newborn days, when everything is a haze of feedings and diapers and no sleep.
  • What All Mamas (And Us) Need To Thrive This Summer. (A Holy Experience) "What do I want my children to remember — my joy in clean floors, made beds and ironed shirts — or my joy of the Lord?" That's what is most important.  Not whether things get done, or go as expected.
  • The Orange Rhino. Then there's this woman, who went an entire year without yelling at her kids.  Color me impressed. Here's her post 10 Things I Learned When I Stopped Yelling At My Kids.
I can take a bit of comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one struggling.  And when I have my good moments, when I know that I could have easily slipped into yelling, but I didn't, I'm proud of myself.   I'm trying to have more of those moments, and less of the yelling, but it's hard.

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