February 19, 2013 by Carin
Today’s post is a little bit of a confession and is something I don’t really like about myself. I tend to yell at my kids. I have a temper that is usually under very good control, but I find myself losing control especially with my kids. It usually comes out when they are not listening, I am constantly repeating myself and when I feel like there is general disorder. This is a horrible trait to have and even more so because Grace has started to use yelling as a form of communication when she is not happy with us or something. Whoa, wakeup call!
The past month or so I have been working really hard to control my anger/temper around my kids. I am consciously calming myself down before speaking to the kids when I would otherwise yell. I am taking deep breaths, thinking about my words and asking either of them look at me when I talk so that my words are heard and we can talk, instead of me just yelling while they tune me out and me getting more frustrated. I know that yelling is a horrible form of communication for anyone, but especially with kids. My kids spend all day with me and learn a lot from just watching how I react to everything. They pick up on everything, even if they don’t say they do. My actions are an important form of their development. Scary, but true.
This is also having an effect on Grace, she is calmer, is raising her voice less. When we ask her to “Try again” when she does have an outburst she is able to calmly speak. If I do have an outburst or my own “temper tantrum” I have been sure to let them know that it is not because of them but because Mommy is having a bad moment that has nothing to do with them. It is my lack of self-control if you will and not their actions that causes me to yell. I am not perfect by any means, but I think this is a huge area I need to work on and am happy to do so. A lot of deep breathes and sometimes just walking away is occurring in our house. There has even been an instance when I was tired and cranky myself and having a hard time with whatever the issue was and I just walked into my bedroom, shut the door and told the kids I needed a minute alone and you know I walked out of that room feeling saner.
Having kids for some reason has brought this part of my personality to the surface, maybe for the reasons I mentioned above. I always knew I had a temper, but when my kids were baby’s I was a calm, go with the flow mother. I was patient and able to control my emotions well. But now that they are older, it has really come out and I am not a fan. So I just keep working on it and learning to control my frustrations by not yelling, because we all know that it doesn’t do a lot of good and most times it just exacerbates the situation. I will be a better mother for it and my kids will grow up learning that there are better ways to communicate than raising their voices.
Learn anything about yourself that you didn’t like when you had kids?