No Screaming Ban

Recently my facebook acquaintance, Kate, posted an article from the Huffington Post called 10 Things I Learned When I stopped Yelling, by The Orange Rhino.

I expected to read it then very smugly turn my nose up at this woman, who probably has NO IDEA what my life is like.

But it caught my attention because I soon found out she is also a mom blogger, and she also has 4 kids under 6 years old.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a screamer. If nothing else works, I just say it louder and louder until I’m hoarse. I don’t find it to be a particularly effective method. Still, it has become my default method never the less.

When we had less kids, Adam used to complain about my yelling. He grew up in a house full of yelling and it was very upsetting for him. Then, when we had more kids and he started to take on more responsibility for the older ones, he started yelling as much as I did. And I realized, seeing it from the other side, that it is ugly. And doesn’t work, it doesn’t make the kids behave the way you want them to.

Perhaps I needed to change my mind set, not theirs. Perhaps it’s not about making them do what you want, but working with them and their limitations to achieve something together.

I’d love to eradicate the yelling. Now that the twins are older, I’m less in constant emergency mode. I’m starting to work out again. I’m starting to sleep longer stretches at night. I’m starting to think about what kind of impact I want to have on these kids. How I want them to remember their childhood. And remembering a tense, screaming crazy mom ain’t it.

She did it for 365 days, can I?

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