Guess What? I Stopped Yelling and My Kids Are Behaving Like Angels!

by Christine@TheAums on May 21, 2011 · 13 comments

**Author’s Note Just a note from little old me: I’ve been holding onto this post for days and days. For some reason I could not bring myself to press the publish button, until now…

We are in a particularly challenging phase with 1 2 3 4 out of 4 of our Aumies. I’m talking behavior and discipline, people! Remember, it’s my life! Maybe it’s the transition between ages, maybe it’s the shadow of an older sibling, maybe it’s an attention thing, maybe it’s who gives a crap?! I’m tired of psychoanalyzing everyone’s behavior, and I’ve had my fill of brainstorming ways to deal. When I reach my end on a nearly daily basis now, I yell. Loudly. It sucks. I regret. I reflect. I sleep. I try again. I wonder. Whose children are these? Because I certainly did not act that way growing up. Really, I didn’t! And my parents didn’t act the way I’m acting now.

Ok, I don’t recall exactly how old I was, so I’m going to put myself at 7 or 8. I was playing ball with a neighborhood boy in the street in front of my house. For whatever reason, this boy pissed me off! So I threw the ball far out of his way and shouted in my meanest voice ever, “THERE, GO FETCH DOGGY!” Like I was reeaally talking down to him.
At that exact moment, I happened to turn toward my home and see my dad in the doorway staring out from behind the closed screen door. And just the look he gave…I’ll never forget. It confirmed what I knew, but now I knew that HE knew. That I was mean. That I was disrespectful. That I was wrong. That I should think twice before I do something like that AND I should ne-ver do it again.

How did my dad convey so much to me with just a look?! Nowadays, I’d probably call my kid in, and give it to him/her in the form of yelling a kind but firm lecture. I’d probably go on and on about respecting others, using your words, and blah blah blah. But my dad did it all with a look. I want that look. I need that look. I would pay good money for that look! 

**UPDATE: I’ve been more frustrated with myself than with my kids. I said I was sick of brainstorming, which in the moment was the exasperated truth, but the real truth is I never stop brainstorming how I can be a better parent. It’s what keeps me hopeful. So what did I come up with? 

Well, for one, more quiet hugs. Many times I am so turned off by the sound of loud crying/whining that I will raise my voice above it to try to make it stop. It’s challenging at first, but remaining silent while sitting near/hugging/patting my upset child has helped heal our big feelings quicker, with much less frustration and a lot more cuddles.

And for two, planning one on one outings with each of our Aumies. I am learning that making this focused time a priority really benefits the entire family.

Sure, I’d much rather write something titled Guess what? I’ve Stopped Yelling And My Kids Are Behaving Like Angels! But my husband said something that only adds to my crazy mix of thoughts and emotion, “Sometimes, in the moment, loud is the only thing that will get through. And sometimes you have to be quiet in order to be heard.” (Okaaay, Mr.YinYangPracticeWhatYouPreach)

I swear, each day feels like this test, but the books did not prepare me for the real-life scenarios! Some days I fail and need to do extra credit. Some days I barely pass. But you know, there are definitely days that I ace with flying colors which gives me hope that it all averages out to the best parenting I can do.

The Look: FAIL!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Brandi May 21, 2011 at 2:02 am

Oh my goodness. I have a post that I'm holding on to about yelling/tone that's waiting in my draft folder for me to press publish. I so do not like to yell, but I'm human and UGH!!! Anyway, yeah, this is definitely on point!


Rach (DonutsMama) May 21, 2011 at 2:05 am

Good job mama! You have plenty of parenting experience that I can learn from for when my daughter is older. I know the look you're talking about too–the quiet stare was more than I could take too. Guess I better start working my "look" too!


Mom Hearts Pinot May 21, 2011 at 3:35 am

Ahhh… the look. My mom had it… I'm still working on mine! I'm sorry to say that you almost look like you're about to burst out laughing in your picture, so I don't think you got it just yet! Keep up the good "look" work though!


The Aums Mama May 21, 2011 at 5:52 am

@Brandi, that is so comforting, thank you! And funny that you haven't hit publish yet…I think I was hoping against hope to make great strides with breaking my yelling habits, but you're right…I'm HUMAN! So I finally pressed publish, but not without a little update of my progress.

@Rach, the quiet stare…that's it! gosh, I really tried hard to avoid that stare from my dad. And I don't know…I have plenty of kids but not sure if I have plenty of experience…new stuff comes up all the time that I'm not prepared for in the least. Parenting is an adventure for sure!

@Jeanne, yeah, I think the older generation has that look down, and I have a looong way to go!

Reply May 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Thank you for being honest and open so that the rest of us can let ourselves be human too. I am having such a tough time over here with my hormones and irritation all over the place. I only have one little one!

I know the stare you speak of, though, b/c my students say I have a death stare. It doesn't work so well on a 1.5 year old it would seem.

Screaming/crying is the hardest. The noise grabs every nerve ending and gets all kinds of chemicals going. I agree that when the feelings are big sometimes the thing to do is just to hold tight and let the little one thrash and cry and get her feelings out. It is so hard to be little.

Lucky for me (not), I learned to stay silent and seethe the more angry I get rather than yelling. I do have to leave the room sometimes. Lately now when I am irritated (especially physically irritated from nursing or what have you), I have a really hard time with my own feelings and have a strong urge to hit the bed or the pillow or throw something. Ugh…'s all process…..

The thing I really don't like, though, is when I say her name with a tone of dislike or upset or anger. I don't want to attach those feelings to her name. I'd rather attach it to an action or something.

We're all working hard on being good parents. Our children are working hard on becoming people. If we can do what you are doing and keep reflecting and stay open and remember who we want to be then I think we will all get somewhere good enough.

; )


The Aums Mama May 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Sheila@ALivingFamily, you totally get where I'm coming from…being honest and open is hard when you don't like yourself or your actions. But sharing and learning that you're not alone in your big feelings and in trying to be a better parent/example is positively encouraging. Thank you! And if you want to talk about all those BIG feelings of parenting while pregnant, girl, please know that I am all ears and heart here for you.


stephanie May 21, 2011 at 3:23 pm

OMG, I am sooo going through this same thing right now! Thanks for this post, it makes me feel better knowing other moms go through the same thing! And not so much like one hand clapping…;)

Reply June 9, 2011 at 1:31 am

I am struggling with how to respond when all three of my kids start screaming at the same time. I want to run when that happens!


The Aums Mama June 9, 2011 at 2:03 pm

@healthymamainfo I hear you! even about the screaming ;-)
I think sometimes running/or leaving the situation for a few minutes is all you can do to break the cycle. It may not stop their screaming but it might stop yours.


Ado October 8, 2011 at 6:30 pm

I really needed to read this post – I am a shouty parent and lately it’s escalated so boy, what a relief to read this post. Thank you, from one mom to another. Seriously (-:


Christine@TheAums October 8, 2011 at 11:41 pm

You’re so welcome! Apparently, I needed to RE-read this post, so it was good timing for me too.


Greta @gfunkified October 10, 2011 at 7:19 pm

The worst thing my mom ever told me was that she was disappointed in me. Ugh.

I yell WAY too much. And I hate it. I need to do better. It doesn’t help anyway.


Christine@TheAums October 11, 2011 at 10:23 pm

I love that I’m wearing a Buddha shirt while trying to give “the look.” Just noticed that :)


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: