Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
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This is a great topic! I used to be a BIG time yeller/screamer. Even though I always looked down on moms who yelled, I ended up yelling at my older kid. He was soooooooooo frustrating!
Then he developed Bipolar disorder; it started slowly at age 12, so we didn't even know anything special was wrong. He just wouldn't listen! He would argue, argue, argue. He would get fixated on one idea and not stop nagging about it. I didn't know this was part of his disorder. This is when I really started to snap and scream at the top of my lungs. Then I'd feel horrible.
I had to give up the yelling. First off, I was directing my kid(s) to be aware of their feelings and be responsible for taking a break, etc. But I wasn't doing it myself. I had to Walk my Talk. I had to learn to see when things were escalating for me, and take a break. I would go to my BR, shut the door, take a break. If you have small kids and can't leave the area/car/store, get those silicone/soft ear plugs for kids with ear tubes (sold in drug store...cheap) and have them in your pocket, ready to put into your ears. Shutting out the noise usually helps quite a bit. Then hum to yourself.
The other reason I had to stop was, Bipolar is a mental illness, and I was hugely stressed by it. My son is on the right meds now and he acts normal now, but he was pretty terrible to live with for almost a year. I HAD to find help from others. I had to find people to let my littlest one come over and play. I had to get my husband to do more at home. Anyone who offered help, I took it. I forced myself to let others help out so I could reduce my stress. If you are over-whelmed and fed up it's hard to not yell.
Be clear about what behavior is not acceptable and the consequences. With older kids, I like counting to 3 for them to stop. If you get to 3, write down a chore. If they keep doing the behavior, write another chore while you refuse to argue. Don't argue or discuss with your kids.
The only thing that has stopped my older child from arguing is, we have a code word when he MUST stop talking/discussing/arguing/whining, call it what you want. I say, "Stop...Pineapple!" and that means the END. If he says one more word, it's instant chore.
You are not doing yourself or your child a favor by letting them do things that you decide are not acceptable (whining, hitting, what have you). It makes you not want to be with your own kid.
Other thing: be sure you are targeting age-appropriate things. A toddler who is running around in the grocery store is YOUR problem. Little kids can only sit for a short time. You have to be prepared to spend two, two and a half hours at the grocery store if you have a toddler along. Not fair to blame the kid for acting his/her age.
That's it for my advice! I love not being a yelling mom. It's so worth it.