Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Yell

There are things we all do as parents that we aren't proud of. Things we try not to do. I yell. I don't like it. My kids don't like it (but it gets their attention which after all is the desired effect.)

Lately it feels like I've been yelling a lot. I think after a year of surviving sleep deprivation something has finally snapped. My body and mind have just said ENOUGH. I get frustrated ridiculously fast and next thing I know I'm shouting.

Yesterday I got thinking about my yelling and the impact it might be having on my kids. I'm sure there have been hundreds if not thousands of studies done on that very subject. I can guess that the findings are not positive. As it is, Miss A can often be found yelling "No!" at her sister to either keep her safe or to discourage her from touching Her toys. I ask her please not to yell and feel like a hypocrite.

Having said that I was thinking about all of the positive things that I/we are doing as parents. I was also thinking about the various things that parents do which can impact their children. To use one example, some parents can be incredibly soft, letting their kids get away with everything and/or coddling them. On the surface it may not seem as detrimental to their children as yelling however I believe it's impact can be just as harmful or worse.

Maybe I'm just trying to give myself an excuse to continue yelling but looking back at my own upbringing I know it wasn't the yelling that had the most negative impact on me. I will and do try my best to keep my voice even and calm. I know Miss A doesn't respond well to shouting and often responds with a loud "O-KAY!" And I'm often telling her to be mindful of her tone and the way she speaks to me and others. I know I need to do the same.

10 comments:

Nicole said...

I'm right there with you. I hate yelling. I hate how it sounds. I hate how it feels. I hate the look on the kids' faces when I do it.... But lately I have been WAY more than I should. I'm with you...I try to remind myself of the good things I'm doing, but the big, bad, ugly yelling is all I focus on :(

this single spark said...

Man, it sounds like you need a break! Perhaps a nice ColdPlay concert and someone else to love your kids for a few hours?

bon said...

Yeah.


Yep.


I know what ya mean...

elizasmom said...

Mmmm-hm. Me too. And I am so sorry the sleep deprivation continues. I hope everyone learns to sleep and/or play VERY quietly soon!

Anonymous said...

I yelled too. Even more than your generation because that's what my parents' generation did - and the ones before. It hurt, because I have a small voice, and producing loud noises is painful to my vocal chords. But looking at the faces of my daughters, I could tell that it never worked. I might as well have retreated to a quiet room and banged my head against the wall, without witnesses. But still, I had to do it. Because it relieved some of the immediate stress. And because it saved my daughters from the trauma of discovering their mother with a bashed-in head in a quiet room, all because of their bad behavior. So, if you have to, keep yelling, and remember that your daughters don't care, actually hardly even notice it anyway.

PS: I never really figured out how that parenting thing works. I tried. Like you all do. I am still clueless. But I am happy that, on a scale from 1 - 47, my daughters turned out several degrees up from just OK. I think. I hope.
Elizasmom's mom

jen k said...

i am there too..i am always yelling and its now to the point the girls tune it out..and my girls are yelling now too...not sure how to overcome that.

bon said...

Holy crap EM's Mom... that's the best thing I have ever read on that subject IN MY LIFE.

I feel like I can breathe.

Diana - Teacher Mom said...

Oh my gosh, I feel like what you wrote describes exactly what I'm going through! It must be related to our daughters' age because there are so many similarities. I do know that I am more apt to yell at her when I haven't had enough sleep or when I don't have enough "me time" but I feel awful setting such a terrible example. I think she is so used to it that she takes it in stride or yells back. Not the effect I'm looking for. I know I have to change the way I deal with my frustration. And I know a part of me has to grow up and be the bigger person simply because I am. But it's so hard! And now that she'll be graduating from preschool next week, I'm a little apprehensive as to what I need to do to keep her entertained and challenged enough for two months all the while caring for a toddler who loves to get into everything these days. Kudos to each and every mother who hasn't pulled out their hair trying to manage. And to think, I once contemplated having a third! Anyway, if you do find a technique that works better than yelling, PLEASE let me know!!!

beth - total mom haircut said...

I read this back when you wrote it and didn't get to comment, possibly because I was so overwhelmed by how much I relate. I've been constantly aware of the frequency of my yelling lately. I think your description of something snapping sounds about right. For me, it's like I reached my theshold of patience and each day i start at the top, already ready to brim over.

I noticed I was doing it so much when SAM started yelling a lot too. And what can I say really? I mean, "he learned it by watching me." So I'm trying. And that's the best we can do, D. Just do our best, you know. As said above - it's pretty clear they usually don't even notice:)

Elicia said...

It's great to read this and all the comments to see that I'm not alone in this. I yell too. And I hate it. And Ethan too is yelling at his sister, and me and his dad more and more. And too it is definitely related to sleep deprivation. When I have had a good amount of sleep and some me time (what is that again?) the yelling is much less. I'm working on it though as I hate hearing it come back out of Ethan's mouth and seeing what he's learning from me!