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help me stop yelling

post #1 of 203
Thread Starter 
i so upset at myself right now. I have become the parent I have always said I wouldnt be. I just do not have any patience any more. I am yelling all the time. Lately my kids have just really gotten to me. I dont know what it is. But it seems like I am always yelling! They dont listen to me if I talk quietly, if I ask nicely etc...
I dont want to be a "controlling" parent like my dad was, (i still have horrible memories and a lot of resentment) but the only way that i can get my kids to do anything at all is by begging, pleading, coercing, threatening, yelling, and finally in the end i end up punishing. not physically, i mean like (you cant go to your friends house today) etc...

My kids fight horribly!!! I was an only child, so I dont "get" sibling rivalry thing. My husband says this is normal, but I dont think it is.

I get NO help with housework. I would think that my almost 8 and almost 5 year olds could be helping, but it doesnt fly. I swear they think I am torturing them because I ask them to pick up their toys, or put clothes in the hamper.

Now, my oldest has ADHD, but he is still very capable.

I have no clue where to start. HELP!!!
post #2 of 203
Originally Posted by cravenab00
I swear they think I am torturing them because I ask them to pick up their toys, or put clothes in the hamper.

I have no clue where to start. HELP!!!

sorry I cnat help but i think im subbing to this one as I could really use the same kind of help!
post #3 of 203
I am watching this, too. I am stuck in the same rut and feel just, well, guilty all the time. Hope you get some good advice, soon.
post #4 of 203
i so have this problem right now.

my 15 yo thinks my life's goal is to "find things for him to do."

post #5 of 203
I have been where you are, yelling all the time and disappointed with myself because I was not the parent I set out to be. What helped me, finally, was to realize that the anger and the yelling were the result of my own unmet needs, my own feelings, my own thoughts/assumptions, my own desires. When I finally realized that, I found I could let go of a lot of things and/or address my unmet needs and as a result not feel so angry all the time and find resolutions before I got to the point of yelling. I was overwhelmed doing all the housework while the kids just made messes, too. It helped to realize that my anger and the yelling about that were the result of my unmet need for help. I couldn't do it all and relax and enjoy my kids. It was too much. Once I realized that, I could find ways to get the help I needed (by explaining my need to my children and asking for help, which they were suddenly more willing to give. Dh already does so much when he's home that it's only a problem when he's at work) and by deciding which things I could let go of and finding ways to be a little more organized. When my kids fight and I'm getting irritated, it's because the yelling hurts my ears and I need a reasonably peaceful home or I feel edgy. When they fight, it's because they need something too. So instead of just telling them to stop, we try to talk about everyone's needs. Make any sense? (I don't always remember to approach things this way, but when I do life always feels easier.)

Another big realization that was helpful was the realization that I can't control my kids. I could make them do things by punishing or nagging or threatening, but then they really weren't learning what I wanted them to learn and things would just get worse. And when I let go of that desire to control them, to make them do what I want and right now, then I found that I was finding other ways of handling most situations that led to more peaceful resolutions. We can work together as a family, we don't have to control each other (and we can't, anyway). Part of finding more peaceful resolutions was also taking the time to understand that under my kids' behaviors were their own needs, feelings, thoughts, desires, etc. When I address those needs, etc., there is no power struggle-when the focus is on needs there just isn't a focus on making the other do what you want. At least in my experience-it just doesn't seem possible to really focus on each other's needs and still be engaged in a power struggle. If we're still struggling, someone still doesn't feel heard IME.

Some books that might help you: When Anger Hurts Your Kids, Giving the Love that Heals (is that the exact title, anyone?), Kids Parents and Power Struggles, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, and Non-Violent Communication (not strictly a parenting book, but does talk a lot about parenting and communicating with children). Peace Is Every Step is a good book, too, even though it's not a parenting book.

It's a journey. You can be the parent you want to be.
post #6 of 203
post #7 of 203
Me too. :
post #8 of 203

When I've even asked my 5 year old "What can I do to help you listen so that we can all be safe in this space?' His reply is "Get up close and yell really loud!, then I listen."

This is hard work we are doing.
post #9 of 203
Mamas, this is really hard work.

I would like to gently suggest a project for you, if you're open to trying it. Stop for a few moments, listen to your thoughts and feelings without judging whether they are bad or good-they're simply thoughts and feelings. You may feel comfortable trying it in a moment of conflict, you may feel more comfortable trying it in a calm moment. What do you need? It's really hard to be a mom, and modern moms don't have nearly enough help and support and tend to have a lot of unmet needs. So what do you need? What do you feel? What are you thinking? How does your body feel? Are memories coming up? Memories of what? (I'm not asking anyone to share here, this is a personal thing.)

This is how I started moving on from yelling, with this baby step of awareness. Yelling is about me, not about my kids or their behavior. Awareness of your own thoughts and feelings is important. We all tend to have automatic thoughts and emotional reactions that we aren't aware of simply because they have become so automatic. These automatic thoughts and feelings have a huge impact on how we respond to our children and to everyday events.

When I can listen to myself, hear my own needs, I can then request that those needs be met or do something to ensure they are met. When I'm aware of my own needs and feelings, then I am more free to listen to my children's needs and to respond to my children more gently.
post #10 of 203

And : (for me).
post #11 of 203
: wow, some really good things to think about. I think I may have to come back and read these posts a few more times. hmm now how to get through to dh about it all.

Thanks ladies
post #12 of 203
is there a hit the nail on the head smilie? I really feel it is my own anger that is making me react to dd the way i do. I copied the reply and am saving it to re-read as i need it. thanks sledg
post #13 of 203
[I get NO help with housework. I would think that my almost 8 and almost 5 year olds could be helping, but it doesnt fly. I swear they think I am torturing them because I ask them to pick up their toys, or put clothes in the hamper.

Now, my oldest has ADHD, but he is still very capable.

I have no clue where to start. HELP!!]

I may be able to help a little here. I started establishing a routine ala the Flylady. It has really helped bc some of the stress is simply the house is not tidy and the cleaning was overwhelming. Its been much easier to get throught the day once I incorperated more routine with the daily task. I also have a friend IRL who is my buddy in creating routine in both our lives. We are definetly doing major baby steps but once I decided that I could make some small changes, like the clean sink (flylady thing), I haven't looked back and I haven't ever been faced with a huge pile of dishes.

But when the kids know what is expected by them, for example dressed with all dirty clothes in the hamper before breakfast or toys picked up before bath etc. Less yelling. My dd hair can become a nightmare but now I just say "oh your hair!" and she runs for the brush. Find your biggest offenders and make it part of your routine and they will help and you won't have to yell. Except to say woo-hoo this room is clean!

I HTH you search for the flylady stuff there is a website and all. I perfer the book Sink Reflections

ITA with Sledg too! Great post!
post #14 of 203
post #15 of 203
I found myself doing the same thing. Then I stopped eating dairy and realized I had much more aptience than before. I would consider food sensitivity - many of us know it can affect our kids, but don't always look at our own diet.

As for kids not listening, I find that if I have to say/request something more than twice it's b/c I'm not asking properly or not following through. My kids are younger, but the same concept - get on their level, make eye contact, ensure you have their attention (tv/music is off, book is down, etc.) and ask politely but firmly.

Phrase things as statements rather than questions "I need you [or: You need] to pick up the toys on the floor in your room and put them away in the toy box" is a more direct statement and gives an exact expectation than "Can you please clean your room?"
post #16 of 203
reading and learning
post #17 of 203

As far as getting the kids to help around the house, I think it helps to start small, with a few, simple responsibilities, i.e. dirty clothes in hamper, bed made, shoes put in closet--or things of that nature. Things that are quick and are either done or not done (no argument over what exactly defines a "clean" room, etc.) When my now 6yo was 3, I gave him 3 "responsibilities", and I have gradually added more. My girls (3yo) put their clothes in the hamper, dishes in the sink, and put coats and shoes in the closet. We call these their "jobs" and they seem to like it. In addition, we all do a "10-minute-tidy" each night before dinner. Usually we will all work on one room together, and we put music on, and end up having a pretty good time. I feel like this is creates a positive energy around working together and reinforces the good feeling of a family helping each other out. I have also found that, at the end of a long day, when the kids are getting on my and each other's nerves, it really turns all of our attitudes around when we stop and have these 10 minutes of cooperation. Sometimes, when the kids are fighting and I'm about to lose it, I will announce 10-minute-tidy early, and maybe because it gives everyone a chance to do something constructive and helpful, it really stops that downward spiral.

Sledg, your insightful posts brought tears to my eyes. How true...
post #18 of 203
post #19 of 203
I am learning so much.....thank you!

My DD seems to "like" me yelling. I know that sounds wierd. Clearly we have set up some sort of dysfunctional dynamic here and I just don't know how to break it. When I ask her calmly to do (or NOT to do) something she may or may not do it. If she doesn't do it, I ask her again and maybe again, and then, inevitably, I raise my voice. She doesn't seem frightened or upset by the yelling, she just knows I'm serious and does what I have asked. Is this a problem with consistency maybe?

I think I answered my own question.

Now I just have to figure out how to be consistent while still listening to/honoring DD's requests after I have made my own.
post #20 of 203
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