I confess I am a habitual yeller. I love to get it all out. It feels like I am getting away with something that maybe I shouldn’t.
The problem is my yelling affects other people, namely my kids. This is not a good thing because even though it is usually something that they have done that incites my yelling, my inability to manage my emotions renders any message or lesson I might have been able to impart, moot.
Like it or not, kids hate yelling. It literally causes them to shut down which in turn often causes the yeller to yell more loudly. It is indeed a vicious cycle, one that must be broken if peace and harmony are to live in the household. Yelling may seem effective in the moment but over time it will erode your relationship with your kids, spouse, or any significant other for that matter. Knowing this however makes it no easier to stop.
I have actually told my kids that if they didn’t want me to yell, they needed to stop doing the things they know will cause me to do so. It’s those things that they do repetitively, in spite of knowing my previous reaction that flips my volume switch to its loudest setting. The problem is, in telling them this, I am loading them up with the responsibility for my actions. My yelling is my choice, the way I choose to respond to a situation in that moment. It is not their doing but my own. In addition to this, I often forget that my kids don’t think the way I do. For me, it’s simple. Don’t lie to me over and over that you’ve finished your homework when you really haven’t because once I find out the truth, you know what’s coming. Kids don’t have the capacity to think along these lines and it is not fair that we expect them to.
My confession has been stated and explained. I wish I could offer a list of ways to effectively stop yelling and offer some constructive substitutions but I am still in the process of figuring out what works for me. The first step is awareness and next admitting that for myself, sometimes yelling is a problem. Also, not letting myself off the hook when I try to play the blame game is another solid start. A meditation practice that is either breath or word focused has been immensely helpful as well. I shoot for at least five minutes every morning. Lastly, setting a daily schedule and sticking to it to the best of my ability has made not yelling easier because I can better handle unforeseen stressors when I have been most productive. Perceived productivity is a like a balm on my soul.
I guess I came up with a list after all, at least one that works for me. I still like yelling sometimes. I am an edgy and passionate kind of girl or a hothead depending on how you look at it. But on those occasions when I put the mental health of my family before my base desires, I feel selfless and sometimes selfless is a good thing.
Published in That Odd Mom