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Yelling

post #1 of 78
Thread Starter 
Often I read threads in which mamas confess - usually with sadness and guilt - to losing their cool and yelling at their kids.

I guess I'm just not a yeller, and I have to admit, this always surprises me a bit. I don't remember my own parents ever yelling at me, so maybe that has something to do with it. (They were far from perfect parents, but just not aggressive or angry with us). I imagine if a person grows up exposed to that kind of behavior it's a lot easier to fall prey to doing it yourself when under a lot of stress.

I know we are all gentle parents on this forum, so I realize that we mamas aren't yelling with intention or forethought, but more just in a momentary loss of control. That's pretty easy to understand.

Looking back, I honestly don't remember ever yelling at dd. I know it would just devastate me with guilt if I did. Of course, there are a lot of years of contrary behavior up ahead so we'll just have to see if I can come back in one year or five or ten and still say the same thing .

How is this issue for you and your kids? Is this something that you struggle with?
post #2 of 78
I've yelled a few times out of frustration. I don't beat myself up about it. I apologize to ds, explain that I was frustrated but shouldn't have yelled. I look at the situation and figure out what I could have done differently.

Whining is a trigger for me as I recently discovered. After a couple of whiny days with ds, I got very good at taking deep breaths and asking ds to talk in his "normal voice." He is great at switching to a pleasant voice as soon as I ask.

I find it very helpful to take deep breaths and be mindful. I try to recognize when I am getting frustrated and voice that, which I usually do by saying, "This is why people beat their kids." For me, saying this aloud really helps put things in perspective and allows me to look at the situation objectively and get calm.

So, no it's not a big issue for us, but one that's popped up on occasion.
post #3 of 78
I was yelled at quite a bit as a kid, so when I get frustrated with DS, the first thing I want to do is yell. Thankfully, however, I realize that the yelling I want to do is a knee-jerk reaction. I haven't actually yelled at DS (he's 20 months) and hope I do not. I've been able to realize the frustration before the yelling comes out. I was a teacher before DS was born and in the first year I taught, I caught myself yelling a few times and realized how ridiculous (and cruel) it was to yell at children. I think that sort of helped me to become mindful of the situation.
post #4 of 78

wow

I really admire you all. I get frusterated with whining and sibling rivalry and often yell. I dont want to think they are scarred for life....Im not hitting them,I try not to do it, but it happens. we are human. I apologise, life goes on and i try like heck to stop myself in the future.
post #5 of 78
I'm glad you brought this up, blessed. I've wondered about that too. I wasn't yelled at as a child and I don't remember yelling at mine. I'm always surprised at the amount of parents here who yell and scream at their kids. I find it admirable that they realize it is a problem and want to stop, but I don't understand how that can be gentle discipline, just because they aren't spanking. I have always found (in my life) that words hurt as much or more than physical actions.
post #6 of 78
I am dealing with this a little with my 3 yo. I have yelled a few times very quickly ( not a tirade). I was yelled at as a child infrequently. I was not spanked. My DSand I talk about it after and I apologize. I am so not a yeller. I have never yelled at my DH, for instance. I have rarely yelled at my family or sister. I am definitely able to control my temper, but sometimes I get steamed and something comes out louder than expected. I don't berate my 3 yo or say anything mean, I just say things too loudly. For example, I don't resort to name-calling , etc. , but I might say " you need to come inside now " much too loudly after saying it 4 times already.
It is all a process and we are working on it.
post #7 of 78
We all have different struggles -- primarily determined by what we endured as a child. Personally, no one ever hit or yelled at me. So I do not find it difficult to abstain from those damaging acts.

But that is not to say that I am the perfect model of GD. My parents sometimes used passive aggression and shaming. I find that, when I am at the end of my rope, that is what I struggle to avoid.

To me, those here who were hit and who affirmatively choose NOT to perpetutate that cycle of violence are nothing short of heroic. I really mean that. Once hitting has been engrained in a person as an acceptable act (especially in anger) then I think it is very difficult to avoid (per my DH who was hit a lot -- and I give him soooo much credit for not allowing himself to do to our children what was done to him). I'll bet those who were yelled at have a similar struggle. I hold those who break destructive cycles in VERY high regard.

And as happy as I am that I don't hit or yell, I really don't think it shows any greater commitment to GD or self-control on my part than those who struggle with those things (and occasionally slip and do them). For me, never having been hit, the impulse simply isn't there. I am no more tempted to hit a little person than I am to hit an adult.

I hope that those who are breaking the cycle (of hitting, screaming, shaming, passive-agression, whatever the cycle involves) realize what a tremendous gift they are passing on to future generations. And if we err now and then, I hope we all can forgive ourselves and move forward with resolve to break destructive cycles. Think of it this way -- if we do these thing less (or not at all), we are making it so much easier for our children to parent without the temptation to do these things. I love that I am passing on the gift/right of non-violence and respect for children to my kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, etc.
post #8 of 78
My mother was huge yeller. She would even yell at us in front of friends.
It has been a long journey to not become a mother who yells. Yes, I have yelled out of fear, but never in anger. Like, "OMG! Watch out!" when the 2 yr old walked in front of the 10 yr old who was swinging. My 10 yr old was awesome in stopping herself before seriously injuring her little sister.

I work very hard at never getting angry at a child. I focus more on the behavior or action, how I can change it in a positive way, and by then I am no longer angry, but more disappointed or sad, like if it was something 'special' of mine that got wrecked, kwim?
Recently, the 4 yr olds found my stuffed mouse that I have had since I was 5 yrs old. I had placed certain clothes and bracelets and trinkets on it, as reminders of my journey. They took them all apart and lost some. But as I was picking it up, I realized that I really couldn't remember the significance of a lot of the trinkets and pieces of fabric.
But we did have a wonderful time of sharing stories about memories and how we each 'save' those memories. So, that was very good and healing.
post #9 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by peacelovingmama View Post
We all have different struggles -- primarily determined by what we endured as a child. Personally, no one ever hit or yelled at me. So I do not find it difficult to abstain from those damaging acts.

But that is not to say that I am the perfect model of GD. My parents sometimes used passive aggression and shaming. I find that, when I am at the end of my rope, that is what I struggle to avoid.

To me, those here who were hit and who affirmatively choose NOT to perpetutate that cycle of violence are nothing short of heroic. I really mean that. Once hitting has been engrained in a person as an acceptable act (especially in anger) then I think it is very difficult to avoid (per my DH who was hit a lot -- and I give him soooo much credit for not allowing himself to do to our children what was done to him). I'll bet those who were yelled at have a similar struggle. I hold those who break destructive cycles in VERY high regard.

And as happy as I am that I don't hit or yell, I really don't think it shows any greater commitment to GD or self-control on my part than those who struggle with those things (and occasionally slip and do them). For me, never having been hit, the impulse simply isn't there. I am no more tempted to hit a little person than I am to hit an adult.

I hope that those who are breaking the cycle (of hitting, screaming, shaming, passive-agression, whatever the cycle involves) realize what a tremendous gift they are passing on to future generations. And if we err now and then, I hope we all can forgive ourselves and move forward with resolve to break destructive cycles. Think of it this way -- if we do these thing less (or not at all), we are making it so much easier for our children to parent without the temptation to do these things. I love that I am passing on the gift/right of non-violence and respect for children to my kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, etc.
:
I have struggled with yelling, still do sometimes, and all along have been all too aware of how far from gentle it is. We each bring our own experiences and history and skills to parenting, each family has its own struggles and stress, each child is different, each parent is different. I admire every mother here who has had the courage to come admit to yelling and ask for help, who has the strength and courage and determination to do better. It's not just a simple matter of willpower, or only of learning the right skills (though that's a big part of it), but (for me at least) a matter of UNlearning a lifetime of conditioning and unhealthy and ineffective ways of coping with emotions. It has a lot to do with one's emotional resources, as well. It's a complex problem, at least that has been my experience.

And you know, before I had kids I swore I'd never, ever yell. And for the first almost 3 years that I was a mother, I didn't. I didn't suddenly stop trying, the challenges became such that I no longer had the resources (of varied types) to cope effectively. And that experience was very humbling, and very discouraging. But ultimately it has led to the most amazing growth experience of my life so far, and I am grateful for all I have learned despite the fact that I have regrets and have grieved. I don't dwell on the regrets, because we (my kids and I and our relationship) heal.
post #10 of 78
I was yelled at all the time as a kid, my mother did a lot of belittling and that sort. Generally when I did anything wrong, it resulted in an hour of two of being yelled at and belittled in which I yelled back for as long as I could and hten broke down and cried while my mother continued to yell. Beyond straight out yelling, sarcasm and snide remarks were employed. I vowed not to be like that, but I struggle with this constantly. I don't usually hang around this forum much because I don't feel the folks here understand that its not just something I can just 'not do' like I choose the color of my shirt in the morning.

Like OP, most folks who don't have a tendency to yell don't understand what those who struggle not to have to go through - when I get angry and frustrated, that is the only thing I want to do. When my daughter continues to push my buttons (generally by hitting her little brother) I just come unglued. I try to vent it into statements of feeling like 'I am angry!', or just make angry noises, etc and not attach any judgement to them, but I know this still affects my DD. I see her yell at her little brother in turn and I know its because I yell at her. I hate it, but its not as simple as 'not doing it', its so part of who I am and I'm very frustrated with that.

I feel like I just don't fit in as a GD parent because I struggle with this. I really wanted to abandon this post even after I took the time to type it, but I'm fighting that desire and going to post anyway because I feel there are others out there that struggle with this and I hate to have them feel alone here. I hate that there is the idea that unless you can conform to the principles of GD, then you aren't "GD" (or AP or NFL or whatever). Some of us have a harder journey getting there and need support along the way, not to be judged because we are imperfect. I believe GD is the right thing to do, its my goal to get there, but I'm not there yet.

Maybe we need a 'Adult Children of Yellers Anonymous' tribe or something
post #11 of 78
[QUOTE=mightymoo;6145356]!
I feel like I just don't fit in as a GD parent because I struggle with this. I really wanted to abandon this post even after I took the time to type it, but I'm fighting that desire and going to post anyway because I feel there are others out there that struggle with this and I hate to have them feel alone here. I hate that there is the idea that unless you can conform to the principles of GD, then you aren't "GD" (or AP or NFL or whatever). Some of us have a harder journey getting there and need support along the way, not to be judged because we are imperfect. I believe GD is the right thing to do, its my goal to get there, but I'm not there yet.
QUOTE]


I am glad you posted this. I think that the whole point of GD is teaching ourselves to overcome the baggage of our childhood and guiding our children as gently as we are able. The yelling you endured as a child sounds like it was severe and I am full of admiration that you have chosen a path that rejects that. Striving to gently discipline doesn't mean, in my view, that we are automatically perfect and able to overcome childhood experiences. I think it means that we affirmatively choose something different and then do our absolute best to bring it to fruition.

I struggle with baggage from my childhood too but all we can do is strive to break destructive cycles. Even though I am one of those anti-hitting activists who believes hitting should be illegalized, I can still recognize mamas who struggle with it (even if they sometimes slip) as GD and as excellent, loving mamas. Really! GD is not perfection -- it's respecting your children as human beings and doing everything in your power to unload the violent or disrespectful practices with which one was burdened in childhood. Huge kudos to you for embarking on that journey and for striving to give your kids a better experience in this regard than you had!
post #12 of 78
I think everybody struggles with something, and if they tell you they don't then what they struggle with is delusion and egomaniacism.

I don't yell, but I do use a too-angry but very soft tone of voice. I'm particularly prone when my older is doing something that harms my younger (being too loud during his nap, dawdling getting in the car meaning he freaks out because he hates the car, blah blah blah). I guess that's just a lot of stress on a mama bear. But I think GD is a process- in a way it's nice if your problem is yelling instead of the more amorphous "appropriate anger levels" or whatever, because you can see concrete progress. So GD gives me a frame work and tools to use for the growth I want to be a better parent to my children.
post #13 of 78
I definitely yelled more at my older girls than at my younger ones...it's a journey and I am doing so much better...of course it helps when the rest of your life is on a good course..when I was with my older girls' dad it was harder because of the lifestyle he brought home..half the time I was frustrated with him and that came out in how I parented the girls.

Now I have 4 kids and a husband who is away quite a bit and I rarely yell...generally it's at my oldest if I do..she has had more years to learn how to push the buttons.

What has helped me the most is meditation and just trying to be mindful in each moment...many times I have been about to yell and have talked myself through it. I was driving with my 2 little ones today and my 3 year old who was wayyyyyyyyyyy overtired was screaming in the back...before my meditation practice I would have lost it...she screamed for a long time...I did not lose it or yell at all and when I felt myself come close I became still and just became mindful of the moment.

My husband is not a yeller at all...it's hilarious..one time he was all upset and I asked him why he was so stressed...he said "because I yelled at Christi and I wasn't even upset with her I was stressed about something else" It was hilarious...he had barely raised his voice and had spoken to her with what I would have called "mild annoyance" but to him it was yelling. I said "boy, you must think I am wildly out of control if you call that yelling"

My mother was a yeller...a shamer too...but not a spanker...well she spanked my brother twice. My father was a saint...patient, kind, understanding, sweet.

I think annoying voices and letting someone know what you are feeling is important. I also think when you are frustrated or anxious or whatever you should tell your kids. I think kids understand so much more than we give them credit for.

I will say to my 3 year old...I am stressed about all the work I have to do today, I am trying to stay happy...can you help me out? and she will as much as she's able.

I too find my trigger is when the older is a bit rough with the baby, I never lost patience with my 16 year old until her sister came along and neither with my 3 year old until the baby came along.

I know so many mamas who are devastated at their loss of patience with their older child after the baby comes..it's a real test.
post #14 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo View Post
I hate that there is the idea that unless you can conform to the principles of GD, then you aren't "GD" (or AP or NFL or whatever). Some of us have a harder journey getting there and need support along the way, not to be judged because we are imperfect. I believe GD is the right thing to do, its my goal to get there, but I'm not there yet.
: :
It is also important to teach our children forgiveness. Forgivenness for one's mistakes and those of others. We need to learn to say "This time I reacted this way and I do not like it and tomorrow I'll do better". Our children will be fortunate if they learn to do that. It is important to celebrate our qualities, while working on our mistakes.
post #15 of 78
I hang my head in shame because I'm a yeller these days. It's gotten to the point where my boy won't listen to me unless I'm yelling (ok, it's not that bad always, but sometimes it is). I've had some serious stress issues (unfortunately, a large majority of these issues are caused by his natural father who's immature) and I'm very agitated (much like you are with pregnancy...hormonal swings, skin crawls, limbs are restless, just want to be left alone....those kinds of things). It's also very hard for me to be asked the same thing and have things repeated over and over (that "mommy..mommy..sigh" banner on this site...that's ME)

Fortunately, I stumbled back upon this site (I knew of it a couple years ago) and it's been three days of partial bliss as my mind re-shifts it's focus back to all the things I learned/knew when baby was born. I've been spending alot of time on here, reading, posting; and re-learning. It's going to change alot around here, I'm sure.

PS: It doesn't help that my S/O has just moved in with us and while he loves my child like his own and treats him as such; he's very inexperienced and now he's trying to fit into an already made world. Thankfully, he's come a long way quickly!..one less stress (on most days..lol) Plus, he helps me out a great lot.
post #16 of 78
I'm not a yeller and never was yelled at as a child, but my DH never yells at our DD either and I think he was yelled at as a child.
So I don't know if that has something to do with it.
I wondered about this myself, but then my dd is a pretty low key kid and doesn't tend to do anything that may provoke that in me.
Kids are different, parents are different . . . who knows
post #17 of 78
My DS is 8 and since his mouth has been out of control, I have found it more of a struggle to not yell. I didn't start out trying to be GD or adopt any of the principles (because I didn't know about it and that is just not the way things are done in the community where I grew up). However, now, I find that when I backslide into yelling it is usually after me talking very nicely to him at length, engaging him in conversation, or attempting to explore his feelings about something and making sure we have an understanding and him constantly being disrespectful - clenching fists, answering me in an unacceptable tone, etc. Then my voice gets louder. Sometimes, I have to tell him to go to another room until he can lose the anger to avoid the yelling. Yelling really gets to my DS though - he will cry. He also dislikes me talking in a firm voice as well so I try to avoid doing this as much as possible.

On another note, nobody's childhood is perfect because no parent is perfect. my mother spanked me (sometimes) and definitely yelled sometimes. But, I am still a loving, compassionate person and I view her the same way. People raise their kids the best way they know how. Althugh my mom spanked and yelled (i remember most of this from age 8+), she does not like it when her sisters discipline their kids harshly - and harsh to her is beating their butts for every little thing. Sometimes, when I feel guilty about something I've said to my DS, I remind myself that he is still a loving, caring, wonderful little boy despite the mistakes I made when I was not even aware of GD techniques. So things can only get better now that I am monitoring my own behavior.
post #18 of 78
If you arent predisposed to being a yeller, you would never understand. It is not EASY. Its a guilt filled journey of parenting. When you grow up being yelled at, it is often a forefront of "tools" that are ingrained in you. I never yelled at my son either when he was little. Its soooooo different when you have two kids and they fight. Mama bear istinct rages and you are like... whoaa..... what was that....

It sucks. Its a knee jerk reaction as someone mentioned and depending on your personality its not enough to just reallize its wrong, its a conditioning. I find I do better if I am currently reading some sort of gd book... then I have fresh ideas in my mind of how to handle things when the kids are out of control and I feel out of control.

When I yell its like an out of body experience. I can almost see myself yelling and Im telling myself to stop and I CANT.

The best thing is for me to do is address the children before I get upset, and to get control of the sibling rivalry. I have done that having read "Mom, Jasons Breathing On Me" (by far the most helpful book Ive read), and I really rarely yell anymore, but for a while it was so tough. I mean, my family is relatively loud by nature, but Im not getting upset and yelling anymore to try to control the situation. At least not all day every day.

It is a LONG HARD journey, be thankful and feel lucky you dont understand, and try not to judge us "yellers".
post #19 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by peacelovingmama View Post
Striving to gently discipline doesn't mean, in my view, that we are automatically perfect and able to overcome childhood experiences. I think it means that we affirmatively choose something different and then do our absolute best to bring it to fruition.
It's true that choosing gentle discipline doesn't mean we're automatically good at it and immediately able to overcome all of our childhood and cultural conditioning and experiences. GD doesn't always come naturally and easily, even if we believe very much in it. It's a daily struggle for some of us, and each day--even each hour or each minute--we choose to begin that struggle anew for the love of our children. We make mistakes, we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and try again, trying to let go of the guilt and the shame so that we're free to grow and become the parents we want to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo View Post
I don't usually hang around this forum much because I don't feel the folks here understand that its not just something I can just 'not do' like I choose the color of my shirt in the morning.
I understand it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by angela&avery
When you grow up being yelled at, it is often a forefront of "tools" that are ingrained in you.

Its a knee jerk reaction as someone mentioned and depending on your personality its not enough to just reallize its wrong, its a conditioning.

When I yell its like an out of body experience. I can almost see myself yelling and Im telling myself to stop and I CANT.
post #20 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo View Post
I hate that there is the idea that unless you can conform to the principles of GD, then you aren't "GD" (or AP or NFL or whatever). Some of us have a harder journey getting there and need support along the way, not to be judged because we are imperfect.
I deffinatly agree with this. I was raised in a very AP/GD familly, however, my parents did occasionally slip up, no one is perfect.
For the past two years, I feel like I've been living in a pressure cooker, and as a result, have not always been the perfect example of GD that I would like to be. When I was at the peak of this difficult time, my local LLL leader felt the need to phone me to tell me that she was concerned that I didn't believe in GD, and that Jenna was suffering as a result of this. I've had a very hard time dealing with her comments, and I ended up leaving my LLL group as a result. The added stress this caused made it even harder for me to parent the way that I wanted/want to.
What people need when they are struggling with yelling etc is not judment, it's support and understanding. Casting judgement only ends up making things worce.
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