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 ๐Ÿ™

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! ๐Ÿ™ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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) ๐Ÿ™‚

Read more on my weekly challenge here:

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

Featured image courtesy: Shutterstock

Shailaja V

Hi there! I'm Shailaja Vishwanath, a blogger with 12 years of blogging experience and a parent to a teen. I work as a digital marketing and social media consultant. From positive parenting tips to useful productivity hacks, social media advice to blogging advice, you'll find them all right here. Welcome to my blog.


Aparna · July 13, 2013 at 9:02 am

Go for it Shailaja ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ <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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ But patience reaps dividends. Good ones. So definitely worthwhile ๐Ÿ™‚

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