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In less than a week, my darling daughter will turn 7. This past year has been memorable for many things, but I will save all of that for another post. This one is about how I found myself yelling at her more and more πŸ™

The triggers are silent, deadly and are rarely seen: a long time to finish eating, the constant need to talk while doing EVERYTHING, never putting toys back in their place…you get the drift. I am a bit annoying (okay, VERY annoying) when it comes to schedules and cleanliness. My house isn’t spotless, mind you, but I need things in their places. I hate rushing around looking for stuff at the last minute. Probably the way I am wired.

My daughter is what I would describe as a free spirit. She likes to do things at her pace, in her own way. For most of the time, I believed that I let her do that. But, examining a typical day, I noticed how many times I used the words, ‘No’ and ‘Don’t’ when she asked something. That must be so frustrating to hear!

Things really came to a head a couple of days ago, when I completely lost my temper and yelled at her for being irresponsible, careless and useless! πŸ™ Yes, I said those things to a 6-year-old. The cooling down period after that outburst left me shaken and subdued. I realised I needed help. Thanks to a couple of friends(‘A’ who blogs here and ‘V’), I turned to two great sources: The Orange Rhino challenge and an e-book version of this book.

Day 1:

I started with the simplest of rules:

Listen carefully and with complete attention
It is very tempting to keep reading that book or complete reading that interesting article on your laptop, when the child is in a mood to jabber.

Today, I decided I would physically turn myself away from whatever I was doing and focus on what she had to say. It wasn’t easy, mind you. But I did it! I looked into her eyes each time, as she glowingly told me about the star she had received for neat handwriting that day ( for about the fifteenth time πŸ™‚ It was amazing how calm I stayed during the repeated statement :):)

Acknowledge her statements with a nod/ a look

She was finishing her glass of milk. As she came down to the last quarter of the milk, she started whining, ‘I can’t have any more. I am too full.’

Today, I just looked at her with a smile and said, ‘Oh?’

She repeated the statement. I responded with , ‘ I see.’
She said it a third time, but with far less conviction. I merely looked at her, still smiling.

Then I asked her, ‘ Do you feel well enough to finish it?’ She said, ‘Okay, I can do that. I feel fine.’

And just like that, the milk disappeared into her system! And all without raising my voice or even an eyebrow!

Wish me luck as I undertake this challenge! Daily updates will follow (I hope) πŸ™‚

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Read more on my weekly challenge here:

You can read all about my ‘Yelling Less’ journey under this tab.

Featured image courtesy: Shutterstock

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24 Comments

Aparna · July 13, 2013 at 9:02 am

Go for it Shailaja πŸ™‚ I never thought you needed this one, but great that you're taking the bull by the horns if so!
I've been meaning to write a blog post on this, but I don't feel inspired enough to take up the challenge when I know I'll have a million Day 1s!! So I'm just doing a silent watching out as of now, let's see how it goes :). Good to have company ;).

Shyvee · July 13, 2013 at 9:05 am

Thanks Aparna! Yes, I really need this. And I can really use some company too πŸ™‚ I have roped in another friend too, so the more the merrier! Thanks for the support again!

Prema Pradeep · July 13, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Its a very good step that you have taken Shailu. Don't quit and keep going. All of us have so much to add but we never start it. I am with you.

Shyvee · July 14, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Thanks Prema. Having a goal to work towards has made it interesting. I feel much better too!

Shobana Anand · July 16, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Great Shailaja,it's an achievement to get things done by making them realise their responsibility.That way,we dont have to oversee them constantly.

Sai Sri Lakshmi · July 24, 2013 at 5:23 am

Hi Akka,
This is the same situation i am also facing with my son. I keep yelling at him even for trivial matters like keeping the toys in place do your homework , eat fast etc. i want to change but the effort i take becomes futile the moment he doesn't do his work or listen to me. i will surely check your website for a change i need to take better care of my son.
Thanks
Sailakshmi

Shyvee · August 5, 2013 at 6:19 pm

ShyveeJuly 24, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Sri Lakshmi,

It is great that you can even admit that you yell at him. That is the first step- realisation. And the road isn't easy, mind you. But, yes, definitely take up the challenge. It is very fulfilling!

Natalie DeYoung · December 14, 2013 at 6:41 pm

A very commendable effort! Kids respond better to calm adults. πŸ™‚

Stacie Dalrymple · December 15, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Good for you!

janiceheck · December 16, 2013 at 12:17 am

Way to go. I learned to put aside my reading to respond to my child…eventually. Wish I had learned that earlier.

Poorna Kranthi Madhav · June 13, 2014 at 10:09 am

hi…Ur aricle has really worked wonders for me.. my angel is 2 yrs old now but can sometimes just get on ur nerves especially when it comes to having her food..At first i screamed, yet , and even spanked her..but all she would do was cry and go running to my MIL. I didn't understand how i could make this situation better..Thanks to your blog..my child seems to listen to me more when i don't yell at her…

elly stornebrink · March 5, 2015 at 4:59 am

Being told “irresponsible, careless and useless” – that sounds like a big “OUCH!” on both your and her part. However, I am glad that it helped you to remedy the situation and come up with some useful strategies. I am glad that you overcame the urge to yell and admired how you kept your cool! πŸ™‚ <3

Varsh · September 11, 2017 at 8:59 am

Patience is the key word here, wow! I loved how you so easily turned things around and made her feel heard too. Am going to try this out.

    Shailaja · September 11, 2017 at 9:01 am

    He he he it wasn’t easy. At all πŸ˜‰ But patience reaps dividends. Good ones. So definitely worthwhile πŸ™‚

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