I am tired of yelling.
Tired of yelling at, with, and about my children. I do not want to yell. It is time to stop. I am not a “yeller” by nature, or nurture. I am lucky enough to have a choice in this matter. I have chosen to stop yelling. I am asking you to hold me accountable. Straight up. If you have the time, ask me how it’s going. Ask me if I’ve yelled today. Please, ask, because this isn’t going to be easy.
Additionally, if you are not a yeller, if you have this peaceful and mindful parent thing locked in; holler at me. Well, holler is a pretty terrible choice of words here isn’t it? Get at me; inform me. Please! “Peaceful parenting” isn’t a new concept to me, and I don’t consider myself an unpeaceful or angry parent, but I am human and I want to improve.
Life is stressful regardless of your situation. It’s obvious to me that I’m much less inclined to yell and more inclined to listen and empathize and simply be with my children and with my family in the morning because life hasn’t caught up to me yet. I am fully aware that I have a lot to give and thus, I use all of the calm up each day because I believe I/we will get another dose of it by the next morning.
I tend to snap at or yell in the evenings when I’m running super low on energy, patience, time, food. See, I know all of this. What I need to put into practice is rationing. I can’t use all of me up throughout the day at work because that isn’t fair to my family, or myself. If I’m used up by 5:00 p.m. I’m going to get frustrated and likely yell or grit my teeth during dinner because the requested blue plate is blue or the fork is not a spoon. I need to give my family, myself, my patients, and my colleagues my time and attention, yes. But, I do not have to give each faction of my life all of me all the time. Because then I yell.
Ultimately, my goal is to teach my children that emotions are healthy and normal and it is perfectly okay and SAFE to feel and express your feelings. I want them to learn how to manage strong emotions, how to regulate, how to breath. I want to lead by example and improve upon myself both for me and for them. I want to be a better role model. I want. I want. I really just want to feel more calm and in turn, stop yelling.
It is certainly not my children’s fault that I yell. I control me. I want to learn how to better acknowledge how I am feeling prior to reacting to a behavior or my body/mind’s perceived “threat”. I want to address behaviors appropriately because each is simply my children expressing a need that is not being met at that moment. I can do this.
I will add that I have decided to employ my children in helping me reach my new resolve, not only for their wicked honest feedback and accountability, but as an added commitment to them and my family.
As a reminder to myself and to you, be gentle with yourself. You are human. This parenting thing is one of the hardest things you will ever do. We are allowed to mess up. We are allowed “do overs”. What’s most important is that we are trying. We are also not alone.
In closing, I’d like to leave you with some useful tips from Dr. Laura Markham’s book Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids that I’ve been employing in my every day, namely the “stop, drop and breathe” method:
- Just stop talking when you feel yourself losing your temper; close your mouth and literally stop talking.
- Drop it. If it’s not an emergent situation, drop it and walk away for a moment.
- Breathe deeply 5-10 times; shake it out and get out of your head so you can make the choice as to how you want to react.
- Remember that you are the parent. You are the teacher.