Confessions From a Yelling Mom

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Hi, My name is Tara, and I yell.  I never wanted to be the mom that yelled.  Before having kids I always heard how patient I was with children. I worked with some pretty challenging kiddos, but NOTHING prepares you for your own challenging kiddo! I was going to be the calm patient mom that was firm and kind.  It is so much easier in a classroom or one on one when your only job at that moment is the child you are working with.  When you throw in trying to run errands, care for other kids or run your household your patients is testing far beyond anything you can imagine before having kids.

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I can still picture the first time I yelled at my son.  He was almost 2 or had just turned 2, I had just finished nursing my newborn and was pumping so that I could have a supply for when he was at daycare. My oldest was determined to climb onto the pedestal sink in the bathroom.  I tried calling for him, distracting him with anything within reach, nothing was working. I was getting angry (as do most mom while hooked up to a breast pump!) and felt helpless. I was trying to unhook the pump without spilling any of that liquid gold and getting more frustrated. I finally screamed a loud scary scream and was able to run over to him just before he mounted the sink.  I screamed right in his poor little face.  Some part of me thought that if I scared him he’d never do it again. (HAHA! if only it were that easy!) He was never one to take suggestions.  We used to joke that if you told him something the glance he might give you was more of a “Yeah, thanks for your input, I’m doing it my way!” You always had to physically move him away from anything you didn’t want him to have. I wish I had learned then how much screaming didn’t help.

Still, I didn’t want to scream.  I tried not to yell.  I read and followed The Orange Rhino’s posts and Facebook pages. I tried the app. I KNEW it didn’t work, it didn’t help, but still, I lapsed back to yelling. I’d have good days and bad but couldn’t go for long without yelling.  I read (and still read) many books about getting your kids to listen without yelling, and those strategies do work when I remember to use them! When I am stressed or frustrated, I do not give myself the time to stay calm and use my logical brain. I go right into fight mode and yell.  I tell my children to do something, they ignore, I say it again, they ignore, I yell and they look at me like I’m crazy and ask why I’m yelling?? UGH! Sometimes I just want a bullhorn to get their attention so that they will hear me and pay attention. Maybe they should invent a watch that allows me to push a button and it vibrates and triggers them to look at me. (IF that hasn’t been invented yet, it’s my idea! I get the patent!!)

This weekend my son and I talked about him getting himself ready in the morning without me nagging or screaming.  He has a visual list, but it was not in a good location to actually remind him to stay on task. We moved the visual reminder to a better place.  This morning when it was time to get up, he did not get moving very quickly. (He is so super sweet in the mornings so initially, it’s easy to stay calm.)  I checked on him several times but didn’t yell or nag. I stayed calmed. EVENTUALLY, he got ready and was on time for the bus.  As I look back over the mornings that I yelled, I didn’t get a different outcome, he always gets out the door on time with all his things.  Yelling didn’t make a difference except to put us both in bad moods.  I’m going to try to remember this tomorrow morning. I will also try to remember this in other situations that trigger me to yell (mostly fighting siblings, especially in the car while I’m driving.)  Yelling does not produce the outcome I am wanting.  Yelling doesn’t benefit anyone. Yelling only causes negative feelings.

Yelling does not produce the outcome I am wanting.  Yelling doesn’t benefit anyone. Yelling only causes negative feelings. Yelling makes me sad and disappointed in myself.  These will be my new mantras when in the middle of stressful situations.  I know it’s only human to make mistakes and I can forgive myself.  I know that I will yell again at some point, but I will try to remember that there is a better way to get the outcome I want that allows me to be the mom I want to be.

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