March 27, 2013

Goodbye, Old Yeller

I spend a lot of time looking at myself and thinking of ways that I can change for the better, especially in my parenting.  When it comes to the way I parent, I am constantly trying to make improvements.  Recently, I took a look at myself and realized that I yell.  A lot.  I yell to be heard.  I yell when people are in trouble.  I yell when I'm frustrated.  I yell because I'm in a bad mood and I take it out on others.  I yell because the kids move too slowly to the car.  I yell because nobody is listening to me. 

I've decided to challenge myself to stop yelling, ESPECIALLY at the kids.  I have tried to rationalize my yelling.  I've told myself that it's necessary.  If I don't yell, how will the kids know that I'm angry or when they're in trouble?  How will anyone know to listen to me?  The answer is simple.  I will tell them.  When I'm yelling, I am not conveying my feelings, the kids are not learning any lessons, and everyone tunes me out.  Yelling does not get results. 

When I yell at my kids, they are learning that it's OK to yell at others in order to get what they want.  They learn that I'm not listening to them.  They learn that it's OK to make others feel like crap because you're mad.  These are not things I want my children doing and yet, here I am teaching them to do exactly that. 

I want my kids to listen to others.  I want them to be able to convey their feelings without hurting others.  I want my kids to respect me and others and know that I respect them.  I want them to learn self-control.  I want them to know that people are people, whether grown up or small.  It is not OK for me to do the opposite of what I tell them just because I'm an adult.  I want them to learn by example. 

My plan is to go 1 month without yelling.  I am on day 2.  It hasn't been easy, but I know it will improve my relationship with the girls and hopefully their relationship with each other.

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