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Yelling Less- Tip Sheet #3- Befriend Father Time

Yelling Less- Tip Sheet #3- Befriend Father Time

‘Please get up, sweetheart. It’s time for your breakfast.’

‘Can you please get out of bed? The bus will be here in half an hour!’

‘Why must you ALWAYS do things at a snail’s pace? Don’t you have any concept of time?!!’

If you’re anything like me, then you’ve suffered from this syndrome too. It’s called the ‘ I-don’t-care-how-you-do-it-but-I-want-you-ready-in-under-ten-minutes’ syndrome.

Trigger: Lack of Punctuality/ Time sense

For as long as I can remember, I have had this issue about time and punctuality. Annoying and to the minute, is how I was described by friends and family. You couldn’t promise to meet me at 6:00 p.m and then show up five minutes late. It would really drive me nuts.

As a teacher, I felt this the worst. I used to see red when students of mine would saunter in ten or fifteen minutes late and cite traffic and laziness as reasons for delay.

Cut to a few years after marriage and picture me, the parent. The early stages of Gy’s childhood were no problem. I couldn’t care less about time and schedules, except when we had to leave for the doctor’s clinic. Once she started school and other classes, that time-demon in me crept back in. Each day, I would watch the clock anxiously, foot tapping impatiently while she stirred her milk slowly with a spoon. I would snap irritably as she lounged over a meal, cutting it close to the minute when it came to leave for an event.

Once I realised that the trigger was not helping in any way and even impeding her speed, I tried to do things differently.

What do I do now?

  1. I befriend Time. If I know that she needs 9 hours of solid sleep to feel refreshed, I ensure she goes to bed by 9 pm the previous night.
  2. I plan for contingencies. It’s likely that there will be a last-minute rush on some days, so I prepare some things the night before- Water bottle at the ready, school bag packed and set, clothes laid out.
  3. I delegate. Of late, Gy takes to the idea of doing things on her own, so I encouraged her by giving her small chores she could do such as checking her bag, counting the uniform items she needs for the day after, washing her own plate/ cup and so on.
  4. I set a timer. For some tasks, I make a game out of speed. I set  a timer and ask her to finish the task within the timed setting. As of now, she is thrilled to wind it up and receive a smiley face and a star drawn on her arm.
  5. I wake up earlier than she does. Waking up early makes sure that I am in a good mood and ready to cajole her without frustration when it’s time for her to wake. A good half- hour prior, I finish mundane tasks and sip on my morning cuppa so that I am ready to go!
In spite of all this, if Time works against us, I brush it off and tell myself that it isn’t the end of the world. It’s just the end of that hour.

And it works, for the most part. For the other days, well, there’s always tomorrow.


Welcome to my weekly feature: Thoughtful Thursdays

Here, each week, we will explore an aspect of positive parenting, a tool or a technique that has helped me in my journey. If you’ve visited before, you may be familiar with my Yelling Less journal. It was a week-long challenge that I undertook in July last year.

Ever since, it’s been a series of management tips for various scenarios. I owe a lot of my gratitude toThe Orange Rhino, who was the original inspiration for my journey. 


Do these tips help you?

Do you have any ideas to add to the ones above?

❤ Feel free to share your valuable comments and suggestions.

Thank you! 


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Yelling less

Yelling less

This one will come as no surprise to regular readers of my blog.

‘Y’ is for Yelling less.

There are many things for which I am grateful in this world and one of those is the day I discovered the ‘Orange Rhino Challenge’ kindly pointed out to me by Aparna. In retrospect,  I wish I had stumbled upon it earlier, as I could have avoided so many tears, confrontations, anger issues, temper tantrums and a frightened child. 

My ‘Yelling less’  journey was the way I jump-started my blog from its dormant position.

Although I started it way back in 2007, it was only in July of 2013 that the blog came to life. Many parents read my week-long journal. Most of them commented. Quite a few of them shared their own journeys. It resonated among newbie parents and seasoned ones.

Photo copyright: David Castillo Dominici

Most of all, it made me take a hard, honest and painful look at my parenting. Was I bringing up a militant rebel or nurturing a delicate child? Things needed to change and I am glad to say, they have. Today, my blog is a constant reminder of the struggle I faced  with ‘Yelling’. It is also a permanent marker for my triumphs. 

Do I regret yelling? 

Yes, I do. 

Do I regret the fact that I yelled at all? 

No, because without it, I wouldn’t have connected with so many people, both virtually and in real life. 

For that, I will always look at my ‘yelling’ as a means to an end.

Word count: 253

Written for the A to Z 2014 Challenge

Y is for Yelling Less

My theme for the month is : Introspection in shades of 11

Also linking this to the Ultimate Blog Challenge for April


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Defeated, but Determined

Defeated, but Determined

You may have won the battle, but you haven’t won the war

-Author , Unknown

I’m beginning to think this anonymous chap had me in mind when he said these words.

Just last week, I started drafting this triumphant post of how I had managed to conquer the yelling monster and had gone 150 days straight without shouting at Gy. Yes, I did! So, small pat on the back, if you please and do I hear the strains of applause from my devoted readers? Yes, yes, I can hear it. Well, you can stop clapping.

Because, I broke the streak. At 155 days, to be precise.

And what caused it? The most ridiculous thing ever. She hadn’t brought her homework from school.

Yes, yes, I know. I am a horrible mother, not worthy of sympathy. Believe me, I’ve said it to myself a hundred times since it happened. The worst part was I didn’t even realise it was happening. There I sat, in my chair, looking her in the face, her eyes brimming over , as I reprimanded her. And the tidal wave of anger was full and overwhelming, so much so that I didn’t pause for breath, for nearly three minutes. When I did take a break, she looked up and in a choked voice, asked me, ‘But, why are you shouting at me for this?’ Then, she followed it up with a hug, her hot tears staining my cheek, as she wept profusely.

Hearing those words, it hit home. I had relapsed. After nearly six months of positive parenting, learning to let go, taking time, slowing down, everything had come crashing down. The edifice of pride that I’d built tumbled down, right alongside. I sat there, broken and defeated. All those weeks of being a patient person had been rendered futile. Just one episode and I cracked, and how!

I shuddered, both physically and from within, since I understood that it wasn’t easy being at the receiving end of the yelling.

It’s not easy having someone glower at you, while you’re doing your work.

It’s not easy to explain yourself when the other person is too busy shouting to listen.

But, after this happened, and my mind had cooled, I had a choice before me: stay defeated or be determined. I had yelled, so, what next? Obviously, there is that feeling of guilt. Let it happen, for without it, the need to reform may not occur. Here’s the thing, though. Use it as a prop for better things, not as a crutch to continue doing what you do. If you let the guilt guide you to a more determined YOU, there’s your next battle being won.

Next, I decided that I would have to tackle this new-found trigger (her not bringing homework) from a different angle (I’m trying out some tactics and that will, hopefully, be a new post). Yelling at her doesn’t help. It only tells her that Mom will yell if I don’t bring it home. It won’t motivate her to actually bring it home.

Finally, be determined. You’ve relapsed before and you’ve succeeded before. So, there is always hope!

There was a small part of me that didn’t want to write this post- a part that wanted to keep it quiet and sweep it under the rug of ignorance. But, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. If I have triumphed, I am ready to share it with the world. The same goes for my defeats: I must share those as well.

For, without the two, there can never be progress, on the personal path that we have chalked out for ourselves. And, if I can learn from this defeat, to rise on to determination and decide that this is worth doing, I’m sure that when I look back, I will be the happier for having shared my story.

Linking to ABC Wednesday: D is for Defeat and Determination

Linking this post to the 

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The Intensity of it all–{NaBloPoMo- Day 5}

The Intensity of it all–{NaBloPoMo- Day 5}

Today’s prompt for NaBloPoMo, courtesy The Daily Post, is:

 Describe the last time you were surprised by the intensity of a feeling you had about something, or were surprised at how strongly you reacted to something you thought wouldn’t be a big deal.

As mothers, I think we tend to react strongly to issues. I am not really sure what causes it, but it’s true. Looking back at my years in college, I distinctly recall being more relaxed, whether it was with respect to a particular person or even an unpleasant incident.

If I were to single out one aspect of my character, which has surprised me in the last 7 years(yes, that’s when motherhood kicked in), it’s how intensely I reacted to little slip-ups or pardonable offences made by my child. And the feeling became so overwhelming that it would invariably lead to the same round of emotions- Anger, Yelling, Guilt, Self-pity, Remorse- all for what? Because Gy had not responded to the fifth time of my asking her to put her toys away.

What worried me was a passing comment made by the spouse one day. He said, ‘Looks like your yelling voice has become your normal voice.’ That stopped me in my tracks, long enough to pause and reflect on what I was doing to the innocence of my child , to the possible emotional fabric of her psyche and to the precious relationship that we shared.

That was when I sought out and undertook the Orange Rhino challenge. To keep it realistic, I took it up for a week, at first. To make myself accountable,I kept a daily journal and posted it here on the blog. I invited close friends and family to follow me on the blog and to encourage me by sharing how they felt about it.

Once the week was up, I decided to extend it to a month. The thrill that came out of completing the challenge was tantamount to scaling a hilly peak. And, although it hasn’t been a ‘yell-free’ fest ever since, it has reduced dramatically. Today, if I do raise my voice, Gy knows I mean business and not because I am doing it out of habit. It’s not the perfect solution, but it is a promising start.

As a result of the challenge, I got back to blogging more actively. I have made some lovely friends through my readers and other bloggers. My social presence on Twitter and Google+ has increased.They have , in turn, put me in touch with some spectacular articles on positive parenting and mothering techniques.

What has really surprised me is the intensity with which I blog today. It is something that I started as a hobby, a way to record interesting titbits , a way to catalogue the growth of my daughter. Instead, what it has become is so much more. Through the blog, I find myself evolving. I stay open to new experiences and diverse opinions on parenting. I am far more open to criticism now. I am willing to step back and view a situation through the lens of the other parent.

My blog has helped me to introspect on what it means, to parent with a difference.

Guess what, we are all doing this our way; and the best part? There is no wrong way.

{This post is part of my contribution to #NaBloPoMo, 2013}

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