Today I’m choosing not to be a shouty mum

Today I’m choosing not to be a shouty mum

Choosing is the most important action in that title. I should probably start by explains that it’s not that I never get cross or live on a bubble of zen with my legs crossed and rose-tinted spectacles, ignoring EVERY misdemeanour with a smile and a nod

 they’re just expressing themselves

type thing. I know when my kids have stepped out of line and that they do things which need pulling up and stopping. I just choose not to shout.

It’s a parenting style which evolved through understanding and looking at things from their point of view rather than my own. Once I realised that life can be just as complex and downright wobbly for them, the light bulb moment came that yelling (and smacking) was more about releasing my frustrations than teaching them right from wrong.

Need that clarifying? Here goes;

When I’m stressed my brain and my patience goes gaga. Little irritating things turn into big irritating things. All that cortisol and adrenalin rushing round my body stops my rational thoughts like a huge boulder on the track. for example, when I’m stressed and my toddler’s wiping my favourite hand cream all over the bathroom wall instead of washing his hands. That really pisses me off. I WANT to shout and ask him wtf does he think he’s doing? Does he not think I’ve got enough to do. (of course he doesn’t, he’s 2 and it’s perfectly natural to be egocentric)

But I know that’s my fight response taking charge. I’m cross and I feel like shouting to release that frustration. You still with me?

Sure it’ll make him realise that I’m fuming, it was wrong and maybe he shouldn’t NEVER do it again.

But here’s the problem.

I need to be showing my kids how to show some self-restraint

By nature, I’m not that shouty, stressed person. Most of the time I’m rational and would talk to my son in a calm but stern voice when he’s done something wrong. Explain why it’s wrong and give him an understanding of why not do it again (not just it’ll make Mummy scary) Those moments when I want to yell are the hardest by far. Those are the ones when I’m exercising every level of restraint not to lose my parenting cool.

But they are also the moments when I’m modelling to my sponge-of-a-son how not to lose your cool. When I yell (it has happened in the past, I’m not Mary Poppins!) my kids glaze over, they shut down OR they get angry back. THEIR brain stops working as it should & they go into a fight or flight situation, where any chance of rational understanding goes out the window. In short, they stop listening,

When I yell (it has happened in the past, I’m not Mary Poppins!) my kids glaze over, they shut down OR they get angry back. THEIR brain stops working as it should & they go into a fight or flight situation, where any chance of rational understanding goes out the window. In short, they stop listening, instead, consumed by their own feelings rather than understanding what they did wrong.

I need to be showing my kids how to show some self-restraint, so they can do the same when faced with similar situations. By not shouting at every annoying or naughty thing they do, they also know that if they do do something horrendous, then they’ve really crossed the line. But even those moments when I have to whip out the big Mummy voice, we still regroup and talk about why it was wrong. Like I said, I’m not perfect but I am the role model and trying my arm hardest to raise level-headed kids.

But the no shouting thing, that’s normal me, that’s what my kids expect and that’s how my kids learn right from wrong and go out into the world with little inner voices reminding them how best life works. Don’t always jump in with both fists.

That’s why today I’m choosing not to be a shouty mum.


 

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20 Comments

  1. 18th May 2017 / 11:53 am

    Such an interesting read and I completely agree, though like you say it is hard to always maintain. I much prefer (and get better results) when I speak to my daughter about the problem rather than shouting from the offset. I also find that if she’s having a tantrum it is best to just leave her to calm down before trying to negotiate 🙂

    • 22nd May 2017 / 10:10 am

      Thanks Helen, sounds like we’re singing from the same song sheet! Especially when they’re upset and beyond and understanding

  2. 18th May 2017 / 1:51 pm

    Ooooh I’d be interested to hear how you go on with this – I’ve often said I’d be the same and then I’d end up falling at the last hurdle! But at the same time I do explain how I’m feeling and why I’m upset so they grow up with some emotional intelligence as well as common sense!

  3. 18th May 2017 / 6:48 pm

    I don’t know how you parents do it and maybe I will learn when my time comes but I can promise you my mother gave birth to kids who pulled every patience code out of her. It came to a point where if she didn’t shout we would get scared lol but in the mix she also explained things to us calmly but we took advantage as you do.

    • 22nd May 2017 / 10:12 am

      sounds like you’ve had a perfect role model, and I agree, my older boys know that when I’m giving them the silent treatment I’m too cross to even speak!

  4. 18th May 2017 / 8:59 pm

    The bit that resonated with me was ‘It’ll make mummy scary’. I will remember that next time I feel like shouting, because I don’t want to be scary and you’re right, it’s not the best way to get the point across anyway.

  5. 19th May 2017 / 10:18 am

    It’s hard sometimes being a parent isn’t it? I think you are right, you are a role model and it’s better not to be a shouty mum but we all have times when we lose it too

    • 22nd May 2017 / 10:13 am

      It’s only natural to not be able to control it all the time. I’m worse when I’m completely overloaded with stress.

  6. 19th May 2017 / 11:42 am

    I completely agree with your choice. Whenever anyone shouted at me I would go into the fight or flight response mode and as you said rationale can go out the window x

    • 22nd May 2017 / 10:15 am

      Its that primative flight or fight trigger which you have to remember everyone resorts to when scared isn’t it.

  7. 19th May 2017 / 12:48 pm

    I think this is such an important and valuable choice to make, as you said you are not only helping your kids understand why something was wrong, you’re showing then how to be restrained and collected and reasonable themselves when they’re older. Well done!

    • 22nd May 2017 / 10:16 am

      Thank you, I’m glad you understand where I’m coming from.

  8. 19th May 2017 / 1:52 pm

    I am not a shouty person but I do admit sometimes I shout at my children more then I would like too, mostly when my 2 and 3 year old are trying to kill one enough. I totally agree that we are role models and need to try and see things fom their point of view though as sometimes they do things by accident or without realising xx

    • 22nd May 2017 / 10:17 am

      my point exactly! I think that sometimes we forget that they’re still learning the rights and wrongs in life and do make mistakes.

  9. 19th May 2017 / 5:40 pm

    It is really hard sometimes as a parent what to do for the best. It all takes time and lots of learning on what works best 🙂

  10. Musings of a tired mummy...zzz...
    19th May 2017 / 8:37 pm

    I hate shouting at the kids but sometimes I have said something 5 times and still been ignored 🙁 It is like they can’t hear me. One shout is enough to get them all behaving, phew! Even Zach (very reluctantly) listens when I shout ‘no’

  11. 20th May 2017 / 12:46 am

    I am not a parent so I can only admire people who have so much patience. I am not sure if I wouldn’t end up shouting at my kids.

  12. 20th May 2017 / 8:00 am

    I try and not be a shouty mum and working with pre-schoolers has done wonders for my patience but sometimes, shouty mum has to make an appearance

  13. countryheartdeb
    20th May 2017 / 8:02 pm

    It is really hard and some days i feel as though all i do is shout and say no or get down from there or get away from that….. you get the idea lol

  14. 23rd May 2017 / 12:05 pm

    I totally agree with this. Both my husband and I can become stressed with our girls and I hate it. I too need to choose not to b a shouty parent

I'd love to know what you think?