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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 to The Orange Rhino, who was the original inspiration for my journey. 

Today, in my own way, I will talk about how I reduced yelling, while tackling one of my triggers.

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You know that moment when you are going to yell? Your eyes roll dangerously, your fists start clenching, your teeth are on edge and you feel like throttling something?

So, what do you do next? You yell, right? You expunge it from your system. You take it all out on the unsuspecting victim, your child.

That child can be a few weeks old, five years old or fifteen. Hey, she can even be 25 and drive you insane! The point is, it still hurts. It doesn’t matter what you do and how you justify it.

It hurts.

So, in most cases, what happens is that there is a trigger that causes this yelling. What if we identified the trigger? Would that reduce the possibility of an all-out scream fest?

Trigger : Tiredness

Take me, for example. Over time, one thing that was obvious was that I tended to yell when I was tired. This usually manifested clearly during the sultry afternoons and late at night. I am the kind who is up at 5 am to get things ready for school. The rest of the morning is spent doing  household chores, going for my workout, taking my classes and blogging (but, of course!). 

By the time it’s 3 pm, I am ready to drop. So, I do just that. I take a quick nap for 30 minutes. All good so far. 

But, that’s not the end of the story. You know how they tell you never to rouse a sleeping tiger? (Aside: Why would anyone do that? If they value their lives, that is!) That pretty much sums up how I am, for the ten minutes following my nap. I am an angry, irritable, annoyed parent! If I happen to notice that the homework has not been completed or the food lies unfinished on the table, my lungs start expanding to produce that yell!

Once I realised this trigger, I started working on tackling the trigger instead of misdirecting my anger.


And this is what I do:

  1. I inform my daughter that I need to rest and she complies by reading a book or keeping herself otherwise engaged.
  2. Turn off the phone (put it on silent mode) for those 30 minutes, so that I can get uninterrupted rest. This is necessary and do-able. Believe me, we have lived without phones for many years. Half an hour each day will not matter.
  3. Wake up and splash cold water on my face first. This ensures I am awake!
  4. I make myself an inviting, steaming cup of tea. The warmth of the liquid soothes my brain and I am far better equipped to handle any stress that comes my way.
Suffice to say that even if I am not a satisfied feline at the end of this, I am sufficiently mellow enough not to yell.


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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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Comments

comments


Simran · June 5, 2014 at 2:33 am

Loved reading this! I have been going through my own “yelling episodes”. 73 days of school holidays have not helped either! But i need to stop doing that, so am going to try and use this technique. Thanks for sharing, will identify my triggers 🙂

Beloo Mehra · June 5, 2014 at 3:16 am

As a non-parent too, I find this tip about identifying one's yelling trigger very helpful 🙂 Good write-up, Shailaja!

Pixie · June 5, 2014 at 3:38 am

I usually just breathe… A deep breath helps. If I'm hungry, I identify it and state it and rectify the issue. If I'm tired, I just take a nap. Phone on silent.

My triggers are usually hunger and sleeplessness! 😀

nibhz · June 5, 2014 at 4:47 am

That are some really important tips! WE often don't realize how much it hurts when we yell at others!

Archana K B · June 5, 2014 at 5:06 am

Awaiting other triggers…

Kajal Kapur · June 5, 2014 at 6:18 am

Great tips….I use them too. Looking forward to more

Shailaja V · June 5, 2014 at 6:23 am

Thank you very much, Simran. I am glad it resonates with you. Start with baby steps. You can do this!

Shailaja V · June 5, 2014 at 6:24 am

Really happy that you found this helpful, Beloo. Thanks, as always!

Shailaja V · June 5, 2014 at 6:29 am

Deep breaths are my lifesaver! Looks like our triggers are similar 😉

Shailaja V · June 5, 2014 at 6:29 am

Very true. It is when I stepped back and watched that I noticed the damage being done.

Shailaja V · June 5, 2014 at 6:30 am

Anything specific you would want me to address? Feel free to leave a note 🙂

Shailaja V · June 5, 2014 at 6:30 am

Thank you, Kajal. Good to know you use them as well.

beingFab · June 5, 2014 at 8:43 am

So true!! Actually, the tips that apply to preventing toddler tantrums apply to us too – identifying our cues and working on them. I'm a yeller, so these tips are useful for me – thanks!

G Angela · June 5, 2014 at 8:55 am

I try deep breathing a few times, and most of the time, I get out of that place, afraid that I may harm my child. Still with all that … there are moments sometimes I still yell ! thanks for the tips, appreciate you for sharing !

Soumya · June 5, 2014 at 10:05 am

Oh finally someone wrote about this. I am gonna follow these tips to the T.

Thank you so much for sharing these!

Vinodini Iyer · June 5, 2014 at 10:34 am

Yes, lots of sense in these tips, if one can think coolly at that point! I personally meditate for half an hour daily and it has helped me to a large extent in keeping cool….yet way to go 🙂

Eli Z · June 5, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Yup! Nap and a soothing cup of tea sounds good . A self imposed time out works for me .- I rush out to the balcony, count to ten or smell some flowers … and cool down..:-) 🙂 Ha ha – love your yelling-less strategies, dear:-)

Shailaja V · June 7, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Glad you find them useful, Fab 🙂

Shailaja V · June 7, 2014 at 7:36 pm

It is so brave of you to share that Angela! Do keep sharing your progress too.

Shailaja V · June 7, 2014 at 7:45 pm

More than welcome, Soumya. Do share your journey too.

Shailaja V · June 7, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Meditation is a great way to control anger. I just wish I found the time to do it daily.

Shailaja V · June 7, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Thanks for sharing, Eli!

Vidya Sury · June 8, 2014 at 9:44 am

Yelling is banned in our house 😀 Not that we don't feel like – but consciously curbed. On the rare occasions we feel like, we just control ourselves with deep breathing. Consequently, we do not have many occasions to yell, thank heavens. 😀 I think the Government gets on our nerves more than our offspring! Yelling does nobody any good. I love that Orange Rhino site!

Shailaja V · June 12, 2014 at 3:24 am

I bow to you, Vidya. Although I never grew up in a house that 'yelled', I think this has more to do with my personality and my obsession for order. If things don't fall in line, I see red and that translates to anger and yelling. I agree with the deep breathing. It is very effective, even when dealing with other relationships.

Sreeja Praveen · June 19, 2014 at 7:28 am

Very good tips, Shailaja 🙂 I was also a quick tempered person for a long time, till I learnt to try mastering it by controlling the triggers. And there has been a considerable amount of progress on this front.
Of course, a steaming cup of coffee is a wonderful tranquiliser for me too 🙂
Deep breathing has been of great help, these days !

Balaka Basu · June 18, 2015 at 6:42 am

even I try to take a nap in the afternoon that is precisely when my son comes and starts jumping on my bed…this acts as a trigger for me and what follows you can very well understand 🙁

mythoughtstheyare · June 18, 2015 at 12:27 pm

My yelling times are when I come back from tiring day at work and I find the room completely shattered with toys and my son refuses to pack them and at times when he uncontrollably nags. These tips will surely help. Thanks for sharing.

Shailaja V · June 18, 2015 at 4:55 pm

That's great to hear, Sreeja 🙂 Deep breathing really helps too 🙂

Shailaja V · June 18, 2015 at 4:56 pm

Can you take a nap when he does? That may help both of you. Else give him something to keep him occupied while you rest.

Shailaja V · June 18, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Depending on how old your son is, it may make sense to help him out with some tasks initially. Having a responsibility chart with his tasks marked out can also go a long way towards building some confidence for him to complete chores on his own. Hang in there. It does get better.

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