How yelling less taught me one important lesson

How yelling less taught me one important lesson

Β It’s 313 days since I last raised my voice at my daughter.

This didn’t come easily to me. It doesn’t mean I never lost my temper or never got upset. It just means I didn’t raise my voice or lift a finger. As difficult and strenuous as it may have been, it’s come with its share of slow but much-awaited rewards.

On a Thursday in July, 3 years ago, I gave gratitude forΒ completing an entire week without yellingΒ at a 7-year-old. At the same time, my heart was fighting inside, telling me I shouldn’t have even had to yell at a child. This tug of war, the battle between ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ yell, made me examine a very important aspect of being a parent.

Every time I yelled at Gy, it was for a number of reasons:

* I was angry

* I’d been defied

* I was losing control over the situation

* I was tired and beyond exhausted

* I hated when things didn’t go according to plan

Common factor for all triggers? Yes. That was me.

What I didn’t realise was I was offloading a lot of my expectations and emotions on to a child. And this isn’t entirely my fault. As parents, we all do it. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up over it though. We can, however, learn from the mistakes.

Kids are incredibly resilient and forgiving too. They’ll bounce back, hug you and forgive you all within the space of 5 minutes, maybe less. But you’ll notice that as they grow older, they are more observant of the way you handle stress and manage your emotions. And they watch and learn.

Slowly, I began trying to put into practice a few key concepts that I’d learnt in the last 3 years.

Let go of the small stuff

I stopped yelling at her for not doing her homework or completing her school work. I figured that she needs to learn these things at her own pace.

Take a deep breath

It’s tempting to want to explode when the fury of being defied hits you full in the face. My suggestion? Walk away and take a few deep breaths.

Listen to the reasons

Sometimes, kids do things because they are upset with someone else. You may not be the actual target but you end up being one anyway. When calm, find out if something else is bothering the child.

Spend more time with them

I know this sounds trite but it’s one of the things that really works. Whether the child is one year old or ten years old, it doesn’t matter. They want us to be with them, even if it’s for 30 minutes of uninterrupted time just reading, talking, playing or lying down together.

Let them make some mistakes

I’d get wildly upset that she wasn’t being careful with her belongings and roundly accuse her of irresponsibility. No surprise that she continued to be so. But allowing her to forget a few things and face the consequences has helped her learn this on her own.

Appreciate the good

In June this year, she started showing a marked improvement in her school work and I consciously started acknowledging that, telling her that it was admirable that she had started taking responsibility for herself. Praising the efforts, not the child, have gone a long way in building her self-confidence and also eliminated the need to yell.

Why is it important that I share this today?

Because we need reminders. Each reminder is an important lesson and it’s always the same lesson: Love.

In a world where we are constantly forgetting the good in favour of the horrific, we must remind ourselves that we have a genuine role to play in the universe. We are parents, caregivers to children who look up to us and address us with affection, trust and love.

Above all else, love. That takes care of just about everything.

Are you a yeller? Do you lose your temper at your children? I was that parent. Until I learnt to stop yelling. Here is how yelling less taught me one very important lesson and you will understand too.

Pinnable image courtesy: Shutterstock

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36 thoughts on “How yelling less taught me one important lesson

  1. This post is so you. Honest, non-condescending and yet so profound :). Some good reminders in there, and I definitely feel like I need them these days, so thank you!

  2. You have actually installed a yell-free counter? How adorable is that?! On a more serious note, I can so relate to this article. I also yell at my kids, although the frequency seems to have dropped now. But then, you should really ask them. A lovely, honest post Shailaja. Loved it. Hugs to Gy and you. πŸ™‚

  3. So you,really! You're a mom after my heart. So honest, so full with love, so willing to look within and improve. I yell at my kids too and sometimes funny don't even feel bad about it. But my yelling is quite harmless. I avoid being nasty. What you've written is a great reminder for every parent. Lots of love!

  4. We all go through this, Ramya. It's almost like a rite of passage, being a parent. Tell you the truth? I need the reminder myself. It helps to watch that timer in the sidebar and will myself not to yell. Very motivating. Do try and let me know how it goes.

  5. Aww thank you so much! I am always wary when writing parenting posts. It's why I update infrequently too. I don't want to come off as 'instructional'. It's kind of deeply ingrained so I have to work on the voice at times. πŸ™‚

  6. I know, right? A fellow blogger kindly created the code for me when I reached out to a blogging group 3 years ago and it's been on my sidebar ever since πŸ™‚

    Thank you so much, Sridevi. Lovely to see you here!

  7. Those are some great pointers for all parents to ponder on and act on too. I have done quite some yelling on my kid when he was young, but not anymore. May be because he is a teenager now. And also because he is in a boarding school now, so our relationship has undergone a change, where I treat him as an adult!

  8. Thank you so much, Rachna πŸ™‚ I know we've talked about this often and honestly, we must work with what works for us. A stern look and firm voice works for now with Gy. I love how you mention 'avoid being nasty'. That's crucial. Love and hugs right back at you!

  9. Yes, I needed to read this today! My kids are way older, but I haven't turned any wiser….decibels don't seem to be coming down either! Your post gives me hope. Let me start over again, will let you know how it goes. Bless you for sharing this!

  10. You're most welcome, Kala. It's something that spoke to me loud and clear 3 years ago and it's not been easy. But I do see the difference it makes to our relationships- both with our children and with others. Wishing you all the luck and do keep me posted on your progress πŸ™‚

  11. Such an important post.

    The turning point for me was when my mom came over to stay with us for a month. I was this screaming monster and my poor 6 yr old elder one(then), the target…i was having a difficult time managing home, job and a new born child, and like you say, I guess all my frustrations were multiplied when the 6yo threw tantrums. A hard hitting sit down from mom and a threat (almost felt like one!) had me gradually mellow down. I think I lost that yelling syndrome during that one month.

    Shubhangi @ The Little Princess

  12. First of all happy for you for coming so far without yelling. I don’t know how I can yell less, Shailaja. I try but it doesn’t continue more than a couple of days or few hours. πŸ™ She makes such huge mess of the house…I can’t explain. I think I still have some patience left in me to deal with her but the teenager drives me up the wall. I wish I could slow down a bit on my expectations to bath on time, clean up on time….I leave to work early, so I want to get it done by not waking up till 11:00 PM
    Found In Folsom recently posted Ammusings – 5!My Profile

  13. Hi shailaja your little one is the most adorable child and i know she is a very soft and tolerant child. I am happy that you have decided not to yell at her to release your tensions.God bless your baby try to spend maximum time with her because when you are there for your child when she needs you she will never do things for you to yell at her.

  14. Going through your Yelling less posts dear, I can so relate to your melt downs..feel so connected.
    Thanks for motivating me and touching so many lives by your posts. Just started with my first step, do have a look..

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