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Do you Yell at Your Kids?

Chris D 2012/08/21 15:51:10
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Before I had kids, in my head, I was the kind of laid back mom who drifted along with her kids, from experience to experience, laughing and shunning the pack of other stressed out moms who I definitely WASN’T part of. As the kids got older, I was the kind of mom who graduated with them, watching them grow, giddy with the freedoms that come along with getting out of the toddler phases. I was the kind of mom who didn’t yell — life’s too short for that! I mean, if you have inner peace, and you see the bigger picture of life, then yelling at your kids over something silly like not listening for the third time when you ask them nicely to brush their teeth before school just seems ridiculous. Right?

Yeah, ugh, right, er, NOT. In my head I’m still that mom — and I guess I was until my kids got old enough to tell me that I’m actually, well, NOT that mom. Yesterday in the airport on our way to a relaxing fun-filled beach vacation, my 7 year-old daughter, walking along with Paul, said “you know Dad, it’s funny because YOU used to be the mean parent, always yelling, and Mom was the nice one. But now, Mom’s the one always yelling, and you’re pretty nice.” Ouch! Really? No one told me that these little sweet bundles of joy would morph into MIRRORS OF MY SOUL. I laughed it off, but deep down I know she’s right — lately I’ve been way more impatient than I should be, and have raised my voice more times than I can count. Is it that damn IUD I just got? Maybe that’s it. Uh, yeah.

The truth is, I feel bad about the yelling. And I’m not sure what’s going on here. I definitely feel more nervous as a parent now, which is surprising to me. I don’t know…the older they get, the more paranoid I feel about them slipping away, and me not having control over something bad happening. What if they go on a playdate to the movies and the parent isn’t paying attention and they — poof! — disappear into the abyss of weird moviegoers, never to return from The Lorax? Is it ok for them to walk around the corner from our hotel room, down to the grassy area, without us? At what point do I really give them that freedom? Lots of kids in our neighborhood get to walk by themselves to get ice cream, as long as the oldest in the pack is 10 or 11. That just doesn’t seem ok for me, at least not yet.

And then, paradoxically, I feel like I’m annoyed with them for things they SHOULD be doing, but aren’t yet — like putting dirty clothes in the hamper, or clearing the dishes, or just putting themselves to bed once in awhile when we have guests over.

And then there’s the whole thing about WHO they’re growing up to BE. Yeah, that pesky little element that I feel totally and utterly responsible for.

I guess it’s this gray area — they really still are ‘little’ — but not really, in certain ways. It’s all kind of confusing to me. And I’m sad that my daughter thinks of me as the Mean Mom. Somehow I’ve got to figure out how to be the laid back cool mom while making sure they turn out ok.

Ideas, anyone??


Read More: http://www.reallygoodmom.com/2012/03/11/i-feel-bad...

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  • MOMMA THOMAS 2012/08/28 06:10:37
    Sometimes
    MOMMA THOMAS
    THEY'RE ALL GROWN.....BUT DID A FEW TIMES WHEN TALKING DIDN'T WORK.
  • Bocephus 2012/08/27 19:22:28
  • Daryl 2012/08/27 17:09:08
    No
    Daryl
    No kids but if I had some I would yell at the boys. Girls are more sensitive but boys need a strict father.

    I know. I was once a boy.

    mischief boy fireworks
  • Juner 2012/08/23 10:04:54
    No
    Juner
    Nope my kids are really good... I just got lucky never have a reason to yell
  • Dan 2012/08/22 02:25:46
    No
    Dan
    It would have been sometimes,unfortunately. But they're grown now. So I only yell at myself sometimes now. My wife will not let me yell at her.
  • XXrawwwrXX 2012/08/21 22:39:43
    Sometimes
    XXrawwwrXX
    i usually try not to. i think i've only yelled at them once.
  • Yuki ~ ♦Lion King of PHÆT♦ 2012/08/21 21:19:21
    No
    Yuki ~ ♦Lion King of PHÆT♦
    I don't have kids, obviously. :)

    But I've looked after a bunch of them, the little blighters, and the truth is-- looking after other peoples' kids is hard, but I can only imagine that in some ways, looking after your own can be even harder.

    My advice would be to relax. Catch yourself when you're stressed, tense, and force your body to go limp. I, for example, can find myself wound up over almost nothing at all, and it affects my interaction with people. Especially when I feel that I shouldn't have to have this discussion with them at all, or if it's over something I don't have the time or patience to go over. Sad, but true. The solution is for me to catch myself at it, and calm myself down.

    >like putting dirty clothes in the hamper, or clearing the dishes, or just putting themselves to bed once in awhile when we have guests over.

    Give a little, receive a little. I agree that seven is a bit young to be walking out without an adult, even with a ten-year-old with them. But you can also teach them to be street smart-- there are kids in the heart of London as young as seven who walk to and from school on their own. It's not safe, but you as a parent have to ask yourself-- at what point are you protecting them, and what point do you cross into being overprotective, stunting? Aft...





    I don't have kids, obviously. :)

    But I've looked after a bunch of them, the little blighters, and the truth is-- looking after other peoples' kids is hard, but I can only imagine that in some ways, looking after your own can be even harder.

    My advice would be to relax. Catch yourself when you're stressed, tense, and force your body to go limp. I, for example, can find myself wound up over almost nothing at all, and it affects my interaction with people. Especially when I feel that I shouldn't have to have this discussion with them at all, or if it's over something I don't have the time or patience to go over. Sad, but true. The solution is for me to catch myself at it, and calm myself down.

    >like putting dirty clothes in the hamper, or clearing the dishes, or just putting themselves to bed once in awhile when we have guests over.

    Give a little, receive a little. I agree that seven is a bit young to be walking out without an adult, even with a ten-year-old with them. But you can also teach them to be street smart-- there are kids in the heart of London as young as seven who walk to and from school on their own. It's not safe, but you as a parent have to ask yourself-- at what point are you protecting them, and what point do you cross into being overprotective, stunting? After all, street smarts are best developed young.

    My advice would be for them to demonstrate responsibility to be given a little more leash. Clothes in the hamper, going to bed on their own? That demonstrates a bit of the self-sufficiency you're looking for, and if they turn it into a habit because they know it will lead to you letting them walk to get ice cream with the group of kids they want to be with, the fact that they work so hard to get that privilege will show you that they're serious about it.

    I live in a safe neighborhood, but at some point, my mother had to let me take walks around the block on my own. Now, I'm at a disadvantage, because I'm small, female, and hearing-impaired. But she still let me walk around the block, oftentimes with the neighbor's Corgi, when I was nine or ten. But I was required to have my phone on me, for safety.

    Just some ideas and personal experience. But in the end, you need to trust yourself as a parent, and do what feels right. If you don't think your kids are responsible enough to safely walk for ice cream without an adult, then don't-- but if they work hard to prove that they are, and in the right ways, then perhaps you should let that sway your decision just a bit. And try to mix training them to take care of themselves with rewards, that always works well. ^-^
    (more)
  • Mandy 2012/08/21 20:37:49
    Sometimes
    Mandy
    I try really hard not to--REALLY, I do. ;)
  • Ol'Dave 2012/08/21 19:48:18
    No
    Ol'Dave
    What kids?
  • Jdogg 2012/08/21 18:57:07
    Sometimes
    Jdogg
    Kids have a way of pushing your buttons sometimes, I never had to yell a lot but when I did I had good reason for it.And when I did I was like a drill sargent.
  • rand 2012/08/21 18:22:13
    No
    rand
    In raising my children, I invariably calmed myself before I tried to "educate" them. My wife said she resorted to yelling to "get their attention" but then reasoned with them. We both used time outs with them.
  • Platinum Fangs 2012/08/21 17:02:46
    Sometimes
    Platinum Fangs
    Cause they can't freakin hear me!
  • Josey Wales 2012/08/21 16:56:39 (edited)
    No
    Josey Wales
    I believe in time-outs for disciplinary purposes. My son is five. Five minute time-out works for me. One firm warning when misbehavior occurs. Then time out. No yelling, lengthy discussions, belittling etc. My daughter is one year & nine months. 1.9 minute time-out. My wife is 34. 34 minute time-out.
  • David 2012/08/21 16:33:26
    No
    David
    +1
    Totally unnecessary!
  • Shawna 2012/08/21 16:28:39
    No
    Shawna
    +1
    I am not the yelling type. I also taught for 20 years, all the elementary grades, and I never yelled at my students. I am that laid back, cool mum, but it probably isn't all perfect and wonderful. For one thing, non of my peers can relate to me. I'm some sort of freak.

    It sounds to me like you need to take care of yourself. You need to find ways to relax and let go and not sweat the small stuff. Yelling is a release of tension and if you have other ways to release it you might find you yell less. I don't know you well enough to know what works for you, it might be a vigorous round of racquet ball or going for a run, or it might be a candle lit bath or some gentle yoga. You need something you can do daily or at least a few times a week.

    Then, with regards to a kid who does not listen to you after you have spoken three times I would suggest that three is the magic number. There is a book called 1 2 3 Magic, but I confess I have not read it as it teaches a strategy I was already familiar with because my mother used it. The basic principal is you are going to count to three when you expect them to comply, it is three warnings, BUT you must have a consequence in mind and you must not waiver. I have seen parents do this and it fails. They get to three and then they ju...










    I am not the yelling type. I also taught for 20 years, all the elementary grades, and I never yelled at my students. I am that laid back, cool mum, but it probably isn't all perfect and wonderful. For one thing, non of my peers can relate to me. I'm some sort of freak.

    It sounds to me like you need to take care of yourself. You need to find ways to relax and let go and not sweat the small stuff. Yelling is a release of tension and if you have other ways to release it you might find you yell less. I don't know you well enough to know what works for you, it might be a vigorous round of racquet ball or going for a run, or it might be a candle lit bath or some gentle yoga. You need something you can do daily or at least a few times a week.

    Then, with regards to a kid who does not listen to you after you have spoken three times I would suggest that three is the magic number. There is a book called 1 2 3 Magic, but I confess I have not read it as it teaches a strategy I was already familiar with because my mother used it. The basic principal is you are going to count to three when you expect them to comply, it is three warnings, BUT you must have a consequence in mind and you must not waiver. I have seen parents do this and it fails. They get to three and then they just keep on yelling or cajoling. So you need to know ahead of time what the appropriate consequence is. For example, if they are watching television and tuning you out, well clearly they cannot handle watching television and meeting their responsibilities, so no more television. But you have to make that manageable and doable too. Don't make it vague and just say that's it no more television. Perhaps it is no more television an hour before dinner time because they did not set the table when you asked them to. Or no more television in the morning until they have gotten dressed and made their beds or done a chore or whatever it is you require of them.

    Now, with that fear you have of them getting lost or hurt as they "slip away", let's try to look at that one reasonably. I don't know what your neighbourhood is like, but if the other families in your neighbourhood are pretty much like yours and they all allow the eleven year old to walk to the corner store and get an ice cream, I would consider doing so as well, however there is no reason you cannot set guidelines. Tell the child, you go and you come straight back. Set a time line that is appropriate and say that if he/she is not back in that time you will come looking. This is reasonable as a child is learning how to be independent. It is reasonable to teach your child how to be safe in the world and one way to do that is to tell people where you are going and when you expect to be back. Ten or eleven is a reasonable age to go off to the store for ice cream, but I would hesitate to send younger ones too. When I was a little girl I went all over the place on my own at a young age. I doubt that the world truly is a more dangerous place, I think we just are more aware of what might happen. You are the parent and you get to decide how you will eas your children into these freedoms. Don't be too hard on yourself. You are doing it out of love and concern and we don't get everything right and perfect as parents.

    As an aside, children are more likely to be harmed (abused or kidnapped) by someone they know than a stranger. Stepfathers and fathers are statistically the most likely to abuse them.


    The last thing I will say is that while what you say to your children IS important, because words can hurt and have a lasting impact, when it comes to determining who they will grow up to BE your actions are more significant. It is the kind of person they see you being that matters. If you can find opportunities to talk to them casually about choices you are making and why, you will reinforce this.

    I wish you all the best and hope I have been able to help. I admire your courage for telling your story and being honest about yourself, and it is clear you love your children very much. Be kind to yourself. You are not the "mean" one but you might need to find ways to decompress. Look after yourself so that your children learn to look after themselves.

    Take care. :)
    (more)
  • Veritas 2012/08/21 16:18:39
    Sometimes
    Veritas
    I have, it's not very effective. It's just out of shear frustration sometimes. It's not a habit though and I live in an apartment -- loud arguing is frowned upon.
  • SA 2012/08/21 16:17:48
    No
    SA
    My children are all adults now, the youngest being 26. While they were younger there were times I would raise my voice to them, but they noticed my silence more.
    When they did something they shouldn't be doing I would just look at them and not say anything. It worked wonders. My kids hated my silence. One time my daughter asked me to just ground her or smack her. I nodded no and went about my business.
    Now as a Grandmother I have put my grand kids in time out. They have been told what :time out" is for, where the stool they sit in is at, and how long they need to be there. When they misbehave I just call their name and they immediately go into time out. I will tell them why they are there and it's over soon.
    Sure saves me getting a sore throat!! LOL
  • Sister Jean 2012/08/21 15:58:40
    No
    Sister Jean
    +1
    they listen more to silence
  • Jack's Pearl 2012/08/21 15:55:09
    Yes
    Jack's Pearl
    I have, yes. Sometimes the only way to get her attention is to raise my voice and be stern. She knows I've had enough at that point. Works like a charm. I don't do it often though.

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