I admit it. I hate to admit it, but it does happen- albeit infrequently. Yelling. There I said it. Yellers, I come from a family of them. It was unfortunately how I was brought up, and exactly what I did not want for my children. And yet…occasionally a yell escapes from me.
“KC, get dressed now, put on those tights. We’re going to be late for your dance class.”
Nothing. My daughter sat on the floor with her arms crossed, a defiant look across her face. “No. I don’t wanna wear THOSE tights. I want the ones without the feet in them!”
“KC, you HAVE to wear these tights or else the tap shoes will rub your feet and they will hurt. Put the tights on.”
“Put the tights on NOW!!!” The voice was raised, but I was still in control. I took a breath, looked at the clock and started to assess my options. There was no response to my request that she get dressed, instead there was just a furrowed brow and a hard stare. This was clearly turning into the battle of the wills. The clock was ticking and I was forced to try and dress an uncooperative wet noodle of a five-year old. My frustration level increased and there was no time left; we were barely going to make dance class.
“KC, I DON’T KNOW WHY YOU ARE BEING SO DIFFICULT. WE ARE DOING THIS IS ALL FOR YOU!”
My yell escaped and I could hear the tone of my voice, my mother’s voice, echo in my head. And, I felt horrible. As I put her in the car, I went over what had upset me about her behavior and then apologized for my own poor behavior. I hugged and kissed her and wished that it had never happened.
Ironically very soon after that incident, I came across an article on www.parents.com, “10 Ways to Stop Yelling” written by Jami Brown and it was a great refresher, with many tips that I current use and a few more for me to think about:
Time permitting, I regularly employ the idea of a parent time-out. When I have reached the end of my rope, I often look away briefly to catch a breathe, make a frustrated face and