26 March 2013

This is My Confession

i have a confession: my house ... is chaos.

lately, my sleep has been less than stellar.

lack of sleep leads to minor issues.
which then lead to bigger issues.
those bigger issues? lead to fighting, which leads to yelling.

at my kids.

so there -- i admit it: as a parent, i yell.

i don't want to.
i don't like to.
but it happens.

my oldest child is three. and contrary to what they say, terrible two's don't stop at two. a pediatrician once "informed" me that they last clear until the age of five.

thanks for the ounce of hope, doc!

but right now, we are in the thick of it with mood swings and temper tantrums. a bout of holy independence. oh yea -- and she's an utter drama queen, to boot.

[much like her mother was at this ripe ole age, or so i've been told. deny, deny, deny!]

but as you can imagine ... those tantrums cause a mother and daughter to butt heads. argue. see anything but eye to eye. which leads to a major battle of the wills.

and as a stubborn mom, when my child refuses to listen, i've been resorting to raising my voice to get her attention. not the best choice of actions -- but it's been the only thing that's gotten through to her. unfortunately ... it's starting not to work. instead -- it's starting to rub off on her.

and now when we argue, she yells right back.

this is not what i had planned when i became a parent. not the kind of parent i wanted to become.

i want to do better by my children. i want to set the better example. and i want them to see that i can keep my cool when times get tough. so that when moments get overly frustrating, they, too, can keep a level head. instead of always yelling.

i had recently stumbled onto this article about "10 Things I Learned When I Stopped Yelling At My Kids" -- pinned it to S's board and went back recently to read it.

this woman was tired of yelling at her 4 young boys and seeing no good come as a result. so she vowed for the next 365 days to NOT yell at them. to find other ways to fix a situation and get through to them, no matter how frustrating. and if she failed one day, she started over. completely from zero. no matter how many days in she was. not just 365 days ... but 365 consecutive days.

she has since completed it, hence the article on what she learned in those days. i wanted to cry reading it. so many of the wonderful things that have changed in the communication format of her family are exactly what i wanted in our children. the mutual respect. the open line of communication. the lessening of tantrums. the understanding.

all gained without yelling.
all gained by listening. really listening.
and then reacting. in a more positive manner.

it inspired something in me.
so from today on, i am going to challenge myself.

no more yelling.

i cant guarentee that i wont occasionally slip up. that moments won't be tough to handle, or i won't need to go to another room to cool off before i lose my mind. and i don't want to set myself up for failure, so i won't set such a lofty goal for myself like she did. i'd rather start small and celebrate the little victories along the way.

as we reach each milestone, we'll silently celebrate. at least, i will in my heart.

so we'll start with this week. and then a month. a few months. a year. until i cannot remember the last time i yelled at either of my kids.

my hope? that by finding better ways to communicate with the kids, they will in turn find better ways to communicate with their mother. and with others when the times get tough.

and hopefully, when we get there, and we look back on where we've come from, we won't recognize the us we are right now. instead, we'll delight in who we've become as a family.

a family ... of non-yellers.


  1. I'm afraid if we have kids that I will yell all the time.

  2. Just found your blog and started following. I love this! I feel like we yell too much at times too and that it really doesn't help at all. I'm going to tell my husband about this and hopefully we can get on board.