Alright, that title doesn’t REALLY make sense here, but I really liked it anyway. 🙂
I don’t want to yell at or around my kids, and it turns out that’s REALLY REALLY difficult. I try. I swear I try! And I’m okay with sometimes when I just need to. When I’m across the room and Lola does something that could potentially harm her brother, for instance, I’m okay with yelling then. I don’t think my child will be scarred by some raised voices. But overall, I’d really like to avoid yelling and harshness.
Sometimes I have a talk with Brian about yelling at Lola too much. I am aware while I’m doing it what a hypocrite I am; I yell at her too much too. I mean, I try hard not to, and I’m pretty successful a lot of the time. But anything more than very rare occasional yelling is more than I’m really okay with. And when I hear it, as an outside observer, I am bothered by the harshness. I don’t want us to be harsh with our kids. And Brian especially has a tendency to get a little … yelly.
I don’t really even want to yell AROUND my kids. I am an emotional person. I overreact to things. I get loud sometimes. I yell at my husband when he doesn’t deserve it (sorry, Baby!) and when he does (sorry about that too, actually.) I want to stop that, especially in front of the kids, but I don’t know if I know how. I mean, can I just make a decision not to do it, and then just not do it anymore? It’s not a conscious thing sometimes. I have been more aware of it lately, though, and I think that’s a good first step. And now here I am sharing it with the world. Maybe that will help to make me more accountable.
Then I start to think- is that ridiculous? To be against yelling at or around your kids? It’s certainly not a familiar stance to me. And none of us are really worse for the wear. So I get to wondering if maybe everyone’s thinking “what kind of weirdo, overly permissive, hippy parent says no yelling?” But, I still want to be firm with my kids. In fact, I could stand to be a little more firm. Just without the yelling part.
And I also think- if someone yelled at me as much as people seem to think it’s okay to yell at kids, I think I’d feel like crap. And you know, being young doesn’t preclude one from deserving respect. And also, kids do frustrating stuff! Little shits. Some of it is sort of exploratory and to be expected. Some of it is just downright naughty! Most of it is just because they are not just shorter adults. They’re still learning how to process information and frustration and emotions. And we LOVE THEM! So, maybe we could make sure that we practice a little patience, respect, and empathy with them the vast majority of the time. I know that with Lola, just acknowledging her feelings can help shorten a meltdown, whereas reacting harshly just makes her feel unheard and makes her melt down more. And sometimes nothing helps. And sometimes she’s just being a brat. But, she’s still entitled to her feelings, and yelling still doesn’t help.
And then there’s the obvious but often-overlooked side effect. What does it teach your kids when you have a grownup meltdown when things don’t go your way? Well…it teaches them to have a meltdown when things don’t go their way. How would they learn otherwise?
I hope this post didn’t make it sound like there is all kinds of yelling going on around my house all the time. There isn’t. But there could be less. There SHOULD be less. And I’m going to make that a top priority starting now. I’ll keep you guys posted. 🙂