I am a yeller. Yes, a yeller. Someone who yells – a lot.
It’s funny though, as I do not yell at strangers (except on those really rare occasions when they really pissed me off real time). I do not even yell at friends, colleagues or siblings. The only 2 people whom I yell at are Ethan and Isabel. And I feel terrible about it.
I guess many of us yell at our kids. They just get on our nerves so bad that we just yell without even thinking. In fact, I can’t even think with my blood pressure rising. I tried counting to 10 to calm myself down before reacting but I usually fail by the time I reach 3.
And perhaps I know that they will still love me despite being yelled at, it has made me taking it for granted that it is ok to yell at them.
I had tried hard to control myself. I think it was even worse when my kids were much younger. I am sure my neighbors from 5 floors up and 5 floors down from my condo unit heard me yelling almost every night.
I still yet but much lesser (I think). There is so much more for me to work on. I don’t believe in spanking as I do not want my kids to think that hitting will solve problems. Also, my kids will imitate me and spank each other as well.
When Ethan was about 4 years old, I slapped his palms on 2 or 3 occasions when he did not do as I told him. Then I saw him doing exactly the same thing with Isabel when she did not listen to him. So I know that if I spank them, then they too will hit others when things don’t go their way. I managed to stop spanking since then but I still haven’t mastered the art of controlling my anger the moment my kids do not do as I say or are being rude.
With the new year just upon us, I am going to make a new year’s resolution to stop yelling. If I can deal with unreasonable adults without yelling, then I am sure that I can deal with my kids without yelling as well since they mean the whole world to me.
Moreover, my yelling has already had a negative effect on my kids as they too have learned to yell when things do not go their way. It’s time to stop this yelling match with my kids and be a peaceful parent.
So here’s what I am going to do in order to yell less:
Don’t take everything too seriously
Seriously, there are a lot of things that are just not worth getting myself all worked up for. So what if they fight? Let them fight as long as no one gets hurt. So what if they don’t pick up their toys immediately? It wouldn’t hurt for the toys to lay on the floor a while longer. So what if they refuse to buckle up themselves? I can just buckle them up first before starting the car. Things will get better once I don’t put too much stress on it.
Ask for help when feeling overwhelmed
I’m no Super Mom and I shouldn’t even try to be one. When things start to get overwhelming, I need to ask for help.
Wake up earlier
Many a times, I get upset when I think that we are going to be late. As I want my kids to reach school in time, I try to rush everyone out of bed and ready to go out before it is going to be late. Since school started this month, I have been yelling every single morning to get my daughter out of bed. It is so difficult to wake her up and even if I carry her out of bed, bring her to the bathroom to get cleaned up and wear her uniform, she will still end up sleeping on the couch. When I start yelling for her to get moving, she will start crying. And I will start getting all angry. So now I need to get up earlier so that I can wake her up earlier and give her some time to laze around first. Waking up earlier in the morning also allows me more time to get myself and everyone ready. When I am not in such a rush, I feel that I am calmer and in a much better mood to handle things and thus reduces my stress.
My husband doesn’t yell at our kids. He doesn’t need to and he doesn’t understand why I have to yell when our kids don’t listen. Instead, he can come up with creative alternatives that solve the problems. And our kids normally give in to his suggestions instead of getting into a tug of war with him. My problem is that I am not so creative in coming out with such ideas. But I am learning. The other day, we went shopping at Tesco and they have an entertainment outlet with games that my kids love. We couldn’t avoid passing by the place as the escalators were there. Naturally, my kids started to ask me to bring them in to play. I didn’t want to go as we usually spend too much money unnecessarily in there. After continuous pleading from them and persistent rejection from me, I knew it was going to come to another battle soon but instead of letting things get worse, I told them that we couldn’t go because we need the money to go for our trip during Chinese New Year. If we spent the money playing those games, then we won’t be able to afford to go for our trip which will be much more exciting. Luckily, they listened and stopped begging and arguing. I was actually very relieved and glad that the situation did not result in another round of yelling. So when such situation arises again, I would need to put on my thinking cap and come up with creative solutions to stop a yelling session from ensuing.
Most importantly, I need to pray for patience and guidance. If I spend as much time praying as I do yelling, I am sure I can overcome this yelling challenge.
If you are also like me, and are trying to stop (or at least reduce) yelling, you can check out these websites for tips, guides and encouragements:
Let’s work towards being a peaceful parent!