I hate it. No seriously, I hate it.
“Stop this!” “Stop that!”
“What are you doing?!”
Having a 6 month old and an almost 3 year old means that you can’t always chase after your 3 year old and correct her/him when they are going down the path towards destruction. So, what do we do? We yell! It’s really not a pretty sight. When we see someone else doing it, we shake our heads. Sometimes we remark, “Oh my God, WHY IS SHE YELLING LIKE THAT?” Sometimes we look down our noses because at that particular moment our child is being the picture perfect toddler: “Yes Mommy” “Please…Thank you…. Your Welcome.”
But when we’re the one in the spotlight, we either do one of two things:
1. We attempt to mask our anger by doing the gritting teeth whisper yell:
“You better get your act together right now or else!” We threaten in an awkward last-resort whisper, hoping our child will be intimidated by the accompanied scowl.
2. We just loose it:
“Get your butt up off the floor right now _____! Do you hear me! Do you hear me!” We have really lost all reasoning by this point. At this point we have completely lost control of our child and our emotions. Usually this action makes everything much worse. Whatever was initially wrong with the child will now be amplified. Rage is met with rage. And the whole ordeal is both emotionally and physically distressing.
However, most yelling takes place in the home. This may seem more appropriate than a public show of rage, but the home is supposed to be the one place we can be at ease; our place of rest and recuperation after a stressful day out. So, as a parent, when I yell in my home, I am creating a hostile atmosphere.
I used to argue with my brother a lot from the ages of 10-14. He was older, but I was not intimidated by him, and did not accept the concept of sonority when it came to anything. We would argue over silly things, like what to watch on television. Sometimes we would be in a yelling match, calling each other hurtful names, and I don’t even know how it all started. Then my brother went to college and my yelling was retired.
…Until now. Having a two year old has revived this ugly trait from my past. I rarely even yell in my marriage because as an adult, I have grown to hate confrontation. Yet as I sit here now and write this blog, my voice is actually hoarse. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t yell at my daughter. It is sad and it is exhausting. Ruqi is a normal toddler, with lots of energy, imagination and curiosity to explore everything within her reach. With a baby on board, I do not have the time to calmly walk her through every moment of her life, explaining what is right and what is wrong. It all started while I was pregnant; battling sickness, fatigue, and all the emotional ups and downs of pregnancy, my fuse was short.
The other factor is that Ruqi shows that she understands so much, so perhaps I confuse her understanding of certain things with actual comprehension. For instance, I will see how gently she interacts with the baby, so I trust her to play with her sister without hurting her. What a misjudgment on my part! Most of the time she is gentle and soft and her sister adores her, but then there are the times when she grabs Saji’s face in her hands and squeezes and it all happens so fast that all I hear is Saji screeching for help. So, of course I yell, and I yell loud. It’s to the point that Ruqi isn’t even affected by my yelling anymore. So why do I do it? It obviously isn’t working.
I bought Dr. Sears’s “The Dicipline Book” and it’s great. In typical Dr. Sears fashion, the book is more about training parents than it is about training children. So, I recommend it to anyone who might have a yelling problem or any other roadblock in their parenting. And prayer, prayer always works…