Friday, February 12, 2010

Time to Stop the Yelling

Brayden usually wakes up early.
Like really early.
Like way before my alarm goes off, early.

Yesterday he did just that, creeping into my bedroom long before the sun was up to alert me of his wide awake AM presence. In my less than awake state I mumbled that he had a snow day and there would be no school and maybe he should go back to bed.

Instead he crawled into my bed, which was a bit lonely since the husband was already long gone and well into his work day, so his presence was welcomed.

Yesterday morning was spent with Brayden and I cuddling in bed.

I wanted to go back to sleep. He wanted to talk, seeing this as a rare opportunity to have his mom all to himself. Like most 7 year olds, he won and my eyelids remains open. We laid together in bed, his little body hanging onto mine.

"Will you play with me today, Mom?" he asked. "You never play with me anymore. All you do is yell."

I honestly didn't know what to say. Its a strange feeling when your child puts you into your place and your entire perspective shifts. Things in our house have been crazy lately. I've been tired, irritable, and unfocused. And I'm ashamed to admit it. But I am human and it happens to the best of us, doesn't it?

"Yes baby, I'll play with you today. Anything you want." I told him.

I tell my boys how much I love them multiple times a day, but often times I think that I forget to actually show them that love. Yes, I do the normal mom things like cooking and cleaning, but if you really think about it, to the eyes of a 7 and 3 year old, that's not a tangible way of showing my love for them. It's expected.

I'm guilty. I spend so much more time on my youngest son, dressing, cleaning, potty training, etc, that sometimes I expect Brayden to care for himself. And he should to a certain degree, but at the core of it all he is still a 7 year old child who needs his Momma.

"Lego's. I want to play Lego's today with you and build a huge tower. And you can't yell at me today."

And right there it is, repeated twice in the span of a few seconds. He's right.

I do yell.
A lot.

And that is doing absolutely nothing to help my child learn and grow.

"I won't yell at all. I promise. I'm going to try really hard not to yell anymore. But I need you to try too and be the good boy that I know you can be."

"I will, Mom."

There is going to be no more yelling in my house.

And as it turns out, kids are more receptive to being told to do something nicely than they are to being yelled at and have things demanded of them.
I know, right! Where was this tidbit of information for the past 7 years of motherhood?

It's going to be a trial and error process, and I'm sure that we will fail sometimes. But as of right now things are going well. But then again, I am only a little over 24 hours into the No Yelling family rule. Stay tuned to see how it turns out.


  1. What a sweet reminder. I often find myself yelling too much as well, and I do worry that the yelling is what they will remember about their mom. Thanks for the reminder to calm down, and spend some time with them. :)

  2. hmmmmm.... I'd like to say I don't yell ever, but as it turns out, I spend about 85% of my day yelling. Methinks I need to have a no-yelling policy, too!

  3. Oh my goodness... this is my house as well.. and I always feel so guilty cause I yell a lot. I am really really trying to figure out different ways to communicate with my children without yelling, but to tell you the truth life is getting to me a bit these days (yes its hard, and its hard for a lot of people)... I think I'm going to claim this weekend a yell free weekend.
    thanks for sharing... even the BEST mommies in the world yell.

  4. I'm a pretty level person, but I didn't realize just how harsh I sounded until Amelia said to me one day "mommy, why are you angry?". I wasn't, but I guess that is how it sounded. I'm generally not a yeller, but sometimes even the wrong tone gets noticed. I'll have to remember that!!

  5. wow... That is a bit of a harsh reality, but it is very sweet. It is hard not to yell sometimes. I hope that your pledge to not yell is working out well :)

  6. Whew. Good luck with the no yelling thing.

    I snapped at my daughter once, and she ran off to her room. She came back downstairs a few minutes later and handed me a picture that she drew of herself with a sad mouth and great big tears.

    You could have scraped me off the floor with a spatula.


  7. Um, yeah, I'm a yeller too. I wish I didn't spend most of my day doing it. Unfortunately, my kids don't listen either way and at least yelling gets my frustration out. I'd love to adopt a no yelling policy though. That would be awesome for the kids and for my voice.

  8. I yell more than I think I do... My grandma would always start talking quieter and quieter the angrier or more irritated she got. lol. So when we didn't come when she was talking generally nice we knew we'd be in for it.


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