need help with yelling - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 09-09-2010, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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can you guys remind me about why this is so bad? my husband pointed it out to me that i yell a lot, and he is right. i try to be GD in every other way, and i'm a very attached mom to my two kids. i have a 4 yo who never quits talking and i spend many hours of every day answering her questions with a lot of patience. i also have a just turned 1 yo who requires nursing to sleep for naps... sometimes a half hour at a time, and then he sleeps for a half hour at a time. it is exhausting. i am home all day every day; my husband gives me maybe one or sometimes two half hour breaks each day. i use this time to shower. it's not really possible to ask him for more help; we are in one of those "old fashioned" relationships where one person works and the other raises the kids.

anyways, i feel like i am at the end of my rope during the late afternoons and early evenings. this is when most of the yelling occurs.

i know i am yelling a lot, since my 4 yo DD is starting to yell also. i almost always apologize for yelling, and i tell her that i love her even when i yell. but i know it's not a good thing. i'm hoping that some of you guys can remind me exactly why yelling is so detrimental to a child's development.

TIA.

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#2 of 22 Old 09-09-2010, 11:57 PM
 
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Wow. I could have written your post. Except my 4 year old is a boy. Everything else is the same......including the half hour napping one year old and the husband who doesn't have a lot of time to help.

I wish I had an easy solution. I have been explosive lately. Some of it has to do with hormones. When I am PMS'ing everything looks bad. I have had some success in the past, taking some Bach's rescue remedy. It seems to difuse a bit of that pent up frustration. (i should get some more! )
Another tip that I have read but not been able to DO, is from Naomi Aldorts Raising your children raising yourself. Its a technique of letting the feelings you have pop up like a computer screen and mentally listening to them and aknowledging them, but not verbalizing them. Its part of her SALVE system. Separate, Attention, Listen, Validate, and dang I always forget what E is. Anyway, the separate part is essential when you are ready to blow up.

Goodluck!

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#3 of 22 Old 09-10-2010, 12:14 AM
 
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I don't have any advice, as I'm guilty of yelling way too often. It's so difficult being the parent that is with the kids all the time. I feel completely isolated some days and I need a break! I haven't been very good lately at giving myself the time I need to reenergize (I'm an introvert and need my quiet space to function). Just know that you're not the only mama who is struggling with this right now.

I grew up in a house with near constant yelling and I hated it. I've come a long way since meeting DH, but I have so much more work ahead of me. It's like I see it playing out in front of me... all the things I don't want to say come barreling out when I hit my wall. It's not healthy for me or my kids and I need to stop this cycle.

I'm looking forward to what the other mamas here have to share because I've got to get this temper of mine under control.
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#4 of 22 Old 09-10-2010, 01:30 AM
 
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yelling to me is the same as corporal punishment.

when you yell you are mostly using it to relieve your own frustration. it really isnt about your child.

when you yell you go into this body language thingy. you pull yourself up and its v. frightening. you look big and tall with this frightening voice. so try doing that. stand at your 4 year olds eye level and have dh pretend to be angry and yell at you. you'd be surprised at how scary you look.

it really doesnt achieve anything. they may listen to you since you yelled but they learned no skills of empathy so that they think a wee bit before they do it again. yeah they dont 'listen' so easily at that age so you have to repeat, repeat, repeat.

yelling is a power play. you might as well just say because i said so. all it teaches is fear and its not good for the mom either. yes you release some tension but then you have to deal with guilty feelings afterwards.

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#5 of 22 Old 09-10-2010, 11:14 PM
 
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I'm in a very similar situation as you OP. There are days that are just so hard and I end up exploding. I feel horrible, because I remember how scared of my mom I was. I know that yelling serves no good purpose...I'm just having a hard time figuring out how to handle myself in the moment. All I remember about my mother is her yelling though...and that is not what I want my kids to remember about me.
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#6 of 22 Old 09-11-2010, 02:27 AM
 
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Working on this too. We have had talks at family meetings looking for solutions for all of us to stop yelling. One thing we've tried is to have the yelling victim say "you're yelling." Then ideally yeller apologizes, and continues discussion in civilized tone of voice. We weren't good with sticking to it though, so giving it another try.

Are you honest about your boundaries with your 4yo? I can sometimes hold DD off for a few minutes by saying 'no questions right now, I need to focus on X. After that I will be happy to answer questions.' She loves it when I get to the part when I tell her it's question time

Another one for me is intervening early. Yesterday I saw DD start to get out of control playing with DS while I was trying to do dishes. I asked her to calm down a couple times, no luck. So I took the time to call her over, call her out on her behavior, tell her that she needed to stay with me, and had her rinse dishes with me until we were done. If I had left it to the point where she was hurting the baby there would probably be yelling and timeout involved.
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#7 of 22 Old 09-11-2010, 07:04 AM
 
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Anger is a natural emotion and there's nothing wrong with expressing anger, but if you work on learning to express your anger in a more healthy way, your kids will naturally learn to also express their anger in a more healthy way. If you yell at them, they will probably also become yellers. So maybe think about working on this as a way to give them a gift of learning a better way, rather than beating up yourself over it.
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#8 of 22 Old 09-11-2010, 08:46 AM
 
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I'm with you on the late afternoon exhaustion and needing a break. That's a tough time of day. It sounds like you know you don't want to yell, but it can be really hard to live up to our own ideals when our own needs aren't being met. Maybe the solution for you is to focus on how you can give yourself some space when you need it.

Is there an older child in the neighborhood (11 or 12 years old) who you can pay to play with the kids for an hour while you read a book?

When I was having a tough time with late afternoon I decided 1/2 hour of Sesame Street would be less bad for them than me yelling at them. (Actually, I think Sesame Street is just fine for older kids, it was my toddler who I made the compromise on.) So when I get worn out and exhausted, or at the end of my rope, I plant them in front of Ernie and Bert and go relax.

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#9 of 22 Old 09-11-2010, 09:47 AM
 
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I love what meemee said. It IS big & scary to the child to see mama get like that, and the child will react accordingly. I used to wonder why my child hit & bit so much, when we didn't do it to him. Where'd he learn it from? Then I realized that it wasn't so much that we weren't hitting. But we WERE doing the "the big & scary, loud & powerful person wins" "might makes right" thing to him. That's how he saw it & felt it.

So not only was HE then reacting violently but he was failing to learn better ways to handle his very real frustrations. And think of how it seems from their perspective...they haven't been on this earth for very long and there is so much that's overwhelming and they can't figure out how to deal with it (i.e. they don't have adults' knowledge and perspective), so to have their very real needs (annoying and exhausting, yes...but real) met with such a horror from mama....how must it look and feel? They need us so much.

I am NOT trying to make you feel bad. Though not a yeller myself, I was BIG on angry-scary-face (so was my Dad...hmm....time to break a cycle?), and once I realized the part I was playing in my son's inability to cope, it was a HUGE help and I took steps to learn a new way. You may also try reading up on the Marshall Rosenberg's Non-Violent Communication web site and book.

Oh, and this article was shared with me and I found it SO enlightening...they talk about when you reach your last nerve and finally lose patience (try to ignore the title & subtitle...just read it):
http://www.continuum-concept.org/rea...InControl.html

good luck!
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#10 of 22 Old 09-15-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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All said is good and I see the point but gosh these kids can be intolerable. There seems to be no reasoning. Losing priveleges, time out- time out threats don't work. I'm ready to take my kid to the shrink so to speak. She knows about breathing exercises and knows what I want from her but she just keeps pushing. I bought a book about being selfish, that's going to be our book to read for a long while.

Second note, depending on what the situation is at times I actually work with her and compromise in her favor but it's never enough. Constant 5 more minutes is getting annoying, her carrying on is dimishing my willingness to be agreeable. I just had a bout with my 3 DD half an hour ago and I am exhausted, nevermind embarassed how she carried on a huge tantrum in front of her friend and mother.
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#11 of 22 Old 09-16-2010, 03:26 AM
 
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Take some more time for yourself. You do work full time--with your children. So grant yourself one night where you get to have "me" time. It is not selfish. You are not taking anything away frm your children by doing this. In fact you are showing your children how to take care of yourself. Join a book club, go for a walk, go do yoga BUT LEAVE THE HOUSE. Your DH can handle HIS children for the night. If your baby really can not go to sleep without you, then be home at bedtime.
So when you feel the need to yell, just tell yourself "I can handle this b/c tomorrow I am going to ..."
Also, you can set limits on the questions. I have a nonstop talker as well. I am started asking Roey what she thinks. Sometimes she knows the answer but doesn't want to think about it. I have talked with her that I am going to start asking her to think of an answer first before I provide one. But some times she does get mad b/c "You are supposed to know all the answers" It makes me laugh and feel so good that she has the undying faith in me.

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#12 of 22 Old 09-16-2010, 03:44 AM
 
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All said is good and I see the point but gosh these kids can be intolerable. There seems to be no reasoning. Losing priveleges, time out- time out threats don't work. I'm ready to take my kid to the shrink so to speak. She knows about breathing exercises and knows what I want from her but she just keeps pushing. I bought a book about being selfish, that's going to be our book to read for a long while.

Second note, depending on what the situation is at times I actually work with her and compromise in her favor but it's never enough. Constant 5 more minutes is getting annoying, her carrying on is dimishing my willingness to be agreeable. I just had a bout with my 3 DD half an hour ago and I am exhausted, nevermind embarassed how she carried on a huge tantrum in front of her friend and mother.
Do you mean that your DD is 3yo or that she is your third DD? If she is 3yo just wanted to let you know that I was right there with you around that age and things are getting so much better as we approach four. If you think professional help is a good idea, go for it, but just want to give you some reason to hope

If you don't want to compromise, don't. You have a perfect right to meet your needs too. It doesn't sound like you are really problem solving with your DD, just giving in to her.

Timeouts and taking away privileges don't work for everyone and can even contribute to behavioral problems for some kids. There are lots of alternatives. Don't give up!
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#13 of 22 Old 09-16-2010, 04:13 AM
 
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When I feel myself starting/wanting to yell, I take a deep breath and in my head I say "BE THE SUN."

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#14 of 22 Old 09-16-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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When I feel myself starting/wanting to yell, I take a deep breath and in my head I say "BE THE SUN."
Oh great. Now I'll do this and hear this in my head whether I want to or not!!
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#15 of 22 Old 09-16-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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Another one for "so there with you".

One thing that I'm *trying* to adopt (with sporadic success) was suggested on MDC boards. When I want to yell realllly loud I whisper. I can whisper as loud as I can but of course that can never be a yell. Mostly it helps to diffuse the situation immediately because both my ds and i are kinda shocked into laughter. As soon as that immediate tension is broken things get back on track easily.

If only I could listen to my own advice now...sigh.
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#16 of 22 Old 09-16-2010, 06:04 PM
 
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I have this trouble at times too, my girls are 3 1/2, 21 months and Im 19 weeks pregnant.. Some days I seem to have endless patience and other days its like someone turned me into Mr Hyde, poor kids. My 3 1/2 year old was a late talker but seems to want to make up for that by talking NON-STOP ALL DAY LONG. She talks from the minute she wakes up to the minute she falls asleep. Shes actually fallen asleep in the middle of a sentence before. It is so draining to be the center of her non-stop talking, I do lose it sometimes. Especially when Im trying to concentrate or talking on the phone and have asked her several times to be quiet, given her other activities to do, set a timer and told her when it goes off she can ask me all the questions she wants etc etc. Sometimes it comes to a point where I have either 1) hurt myself because she was distracting me while I was doing something like cutting up veggies, pulling dinner out of the oven, cutting something up etc or 2) I have to tell the person Im trying to do business with to hold on for the 10th-20th time in less than 5 minutes and I can feel myself getting more and more and more angry. My husband too works long hours. Hes gone ALOT, in fact he left early this month and won't be back until the end so I have no where to turn if I needed a break. It is exhausting to be the only person your children can turn to.

I haven't found a cure all for this yet unfortunately. Partly I have to retrain myself, my parents were yellers so thats how I grew up. They yelled at us for everything from spilling water to forgetting to do stuff. Im slowly retraining myself though, Im better than I was. I use to yell at the girls constantly, now its maybe a couple times a day (yea, I know still not good but 2-3 times a day is better than 20-30). I keep trying to tell myself Ive worked on so much I can work on this too, I definetly wasn't raised in a GD household so I have a LOT to work on. It doesn't come naturally to me.

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#17 of 22 Old 09-16-2010, 07:26 PM
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What about preschool? It could give you a few small breaks a week and give your 4 year old a social outlet. Also 2 30 minute breaks a day aren't enough.
My DH usually gives me some time everyday after work and then at least one longer block of time every week end. My DD also goes to preschool. It was 2.5 hours twice a week last year, 3's class, and this year, 4-5s class, it's 3 times a week.

We don't like modeling behavior we don't want our DD to use. Also when you yell you are showing you are no longer in control of yourself, so it can undermine your child's respect for you. My mom was a yeller and door slammer. My sister and I didn't find her scary we just thought she had tantrums and we respected her abit less for it. We also became yellers too.
Having a family where everyone yells at each other isn't something I want. I've told my DD "I'm feeling really angry, I feel like shouting so loud all the windows break. My head may explode if xyz doesn't stop.". Usually we talk about how xyz can stop or if a person can really shout that loud or how my head really won't explode but it feels like it. The main thing is I talk about being angry instead of shouting or being scary. It comes in handy when my DD is angry and I remind her being angry doesn't mean you can act mean to other people.
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#18 of 22 Old 09-17-2010, 02:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the support, everyone! i really do appreciate it!!

i am working on my yelling, praying about it. my DD knows i am working on it. most days i can get through the majority of the day w/o yelling. it does creep back in, however.

i am also yelling at my son, who is only 12 months old, when he stands up in his high chair. i am going to have to solve that problem with some kind of a new chair. he is also getting into toilets, as he just learned to open the lid. again, need to solve that problem. yelling at him isn't a good option for so many reasons!

i do want to tell you guys one *weird* thing that has happened to me. in the past three weeks or so, i have been experiencing a "lump in my throat" that comes and goes. after doing a bit of medical research online, i have determined this is a cricopharyngeal spasm -- a harmless condition, basically (not cancer!) that is caused by *stress* and is basically the upper esophegus tightening into a spasm.

i should also note, not coincidentally i'm sure, that we recently adopted an almost one year old golden retriever who is a real handful. i think the addition of this dog has put me over the edge. the big dog was recently neutered, and it seems to have improved his behavior a bit.

not sure how all of these factors contribute exactly. it does occur to me that the lump in my throat is coincidental to me trying not to yell. i wonder if somehow the yelling was a release of stress, and the not yelling/restraining myself is, in fact, holding some stress in... and it is manifesting in this particular way.

weird.

also after a particularly rough weekend, in which i became very angry with my husband for going about doing many outside the house tasks around the house, while i was stuck inside with both kids AGAIN... all day, every day... i found a short article on "how to improve your bad mood," and it listed one cure as "do a project" -- something that is a personal project for you. that being in control of your life is key to feeling well. i circled this for my DH to read, and told him that this is what i NEED. i NEED to do projects other than watch the kids all day. that i am going NUTS only watching the kids all day every day. it is maddening to me. i think he finally gets it that i need a break.

it has been particularly galling to me when he is home on weekends, and this is also, i'm sure not coincidentally, when we fight... to see him home -- not at work -- and enjoying the freedom to garden, clean the garage, power wash the patio, whatever "needs done." I NEED TO DO THESE THINGS TOO.

i am praying that he finally gets this.

thanks again for your support and commiseration.

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#19 of 22 Old 09-17-2010, 02:52 AM
 
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Put it on the calendar that you are going out Saturday from 1-4. And leave. If he ask why or where, tell him it;s on the calendar. Sometimes I think we (moms) take on too much.

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#20 of 22 Old 09-19-2010, 02:34 AM
 
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Um . ..TV? We don't live in the good ol' days where we were surrounded by neighbors and family ready to help out . . .and in those days, children were not at our heels all day anyway.

Since your breaking point is usually in the afternoon (not a surprise) I would plan TV for then. I completely think TV is better than yelling, or even if you avoid yelling, feeling exhausted. When I've had a long day at home, I figure out (usually too late) it's because we've forgotten to watch TV at some point.

Oh, and I hear you about the work at home. I actually get PAID to work from home and it is hard to get that time w/o feeling guilty, even when DH is home. You have to just do whatever job you want (grocery shopping, gardening, etc.) and ignore the looks. Easier said than done!!

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#21 of 22 Old 09-19-2010, 03:10 AM
 
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What yelling does:
It implies a removal of responsibility for emotions--like, I'm so mad at you I yell, thus upsetting you (even more) and bringing you anxiety. You are now carrying my angst. It's still my fault, and while I may feel better it's like I just vomited on you. And now I have to clean you up, and try to convince you I won't vomit on you again. And when you wind up in the future, you'll probably expect me to do it again, thus adding extra anxiety to your trip-out session.

We do it best if we can model for them how to do it themselves, no? So if we yell, we are showing them how to "do it" when they feel frustrated, etc. Is that what the child needs in his environment? Sometimes it seems, depending on environment, they do need the ability to yell. Most times though, we don't want them doing this.

What I try to do with DD (and really, I'm not at all a yeller, but my kid is three, and you know...) is say "whoa, I'm getting very frustrated. So frustrated I feel like yelling and I really don't want to! What might I do instead?" This gives her a chance to shake out of it and try some compassion. Seriously. It works for us. But then again, dd thinks that my no-nonsense voice (rarely used) is "mean", so she's all about avoiding that.

Also, given the age, I expect a few freak out sessions now and again. I understand them. She knows I "get it", she knows I'm there to help when it's calm-down time. She knows I'll remind her that she is a fantastic smart sweet friendly problem-solving kid, and I won't remind her that she's a little maniac sometimes.

Another thing I've done before is said "ooooh, a delicious tantrum! I must get this on film--it's so big!" mostly because I was about out of ideas. This has been no attempt at anything humiliating, and while she really, really, does not like being filmed at her worst, it's been pretty amazing that weeks later when I'm uploading video clips and whatnot, she's occasionally seen these (old ones) and can articulate exactly what she was mad about at the time and is able to problem solve the difficulty with me pretty logically.

SMC to dd 4/07.
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#22 of 22 Old 09-20-2010, 11:16 PM
 
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Dear OP, Sounds like a tough situation. I only have one, who is 3.5yo, and I think having a younger one would be very challenging for me. Even so, recently I realized I was yelling at her - always when I was trying to get her to sleep and feeling so exhausted myself and desperate for a rest/break.
I finally realized that I don't want to have the kind of relationship with my daughter where I get angry and yell. It is being violent toward her. I want to have a peaceful, non-violent household. I realized that having peace and not having her be afraid of me was far more important than even the rest that I so need. Of course modeling better ways of conflict resolution for her is also important to me. So we had a talk about our conflicting needs/desires. I told her that I don't want to be a mean/angry/yelling mama; I want to be a peaceful, loving mama. Did she have any ideas on how to get both of our needs met? She was able to come up with some good ideas. I promised that I would not yell or scream at her or try to force her to nap. This really relaxed things between us and she has gone to sleep peacefully almost every day since then!
I highly recommend the book "Non-violent Communication" by Rosenberg and also "Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids" by Hart/Hodson.
Please remember to be kind and patient with yourself, as well, because kindness starts with ourselves!
Also, please make an arrangement with your husband that you get regulau chunks of time every week when you can do things other than childcare, even if it's just to go grocery shopping or mow the lawn!
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