Keep Calm and Carry On: The No Yelling Challenge – Week 2

How did you do?   I was thrilled to see everyone joining in last week.  If you’re just tuning in it is never too late to join in.  I have accepted the No Yelling Challenge- 30 days of using a kinder tone.

Last week I touched on what my triggers are.  My number one biggest trigger has to be not enough time with Dave.  If he has been working a lot then I seem to get short-tempered.  I am not sure if it is because when he is working he sleeps during the day and is gone at night so it feels like I am flying solo, or if it just that I’m energized spending time with him.  I just know that if he has been working a lot I can get snippy.

As the week went on I continued to watch my behaviour and look for triggers.  I have to say I have been pretty good, I haven’t really yelled at the kids; I have caught myself feeling like I was going to and I have noticed if two of my children are nit-picking at each other I want to jump in with a loud ENOUGH ALREADY!

My second observation is that if I am going to get to the root of the problem and really deal with this, then we came up with the wrong name for this challenge.  It should be something like, “The Speak Kindly Challenge.”  I discovered that if I don’t want others around me to know that I am correcting my children and kind of losing my temper at the same time, I can get right in my little person’s face and ever so quietly with a tone that could slice through their little hearts, say, “If I have to tell you one more time we are going to the car immediately, got it.”

There is nothing wrong with, if a child is misbehaving, telling them that there is a consequence to what they are doing.  So why do I feel I need to use the nasty tone even if it is barely audible?  It comes down to me.  The reality is their behaviour is embarrassing me, so I swoop in and correct before someone else notices and thinks I am a terrible mother.

This week was eye-opening to me.  During this challenge, I have been really watching my behaviour and my family’s and I am learning a lot.  For instance, I never realised that I did the ‘nasty toned whisper thing’ until I did it this week.  Quite frankly, I hope it was the last time. To me it is equivalent to yelling at my child, it is just done sneakily because I don’t want YOU to know I am doing it.

It taught me two things, we can be hurtful with our tone no matter the volume we are using, and I can control myself.  I did not raise my voice on purpose because I did not want to make a scene, which then means no matter the situation I can control what and how I say things.

Now, I know my children are not going to be perfect, but something I noticed this week is about 95% of the things that would set me off with my children are probably preventable on MY part.  It is easy for me to get side tracked with something and in essence ignore my children until there is a situation.  Then I am tempted to go into the next room and bellow, “What on earth is going on in here!!”  Instead, I could have included them in supper prep, laundry folding, or gone and crocheted among them.  I have a friend who calls this, Holding the Space.  Which just means your presence is there and your children know it.  They know that if things start to slide towards misbehaviour you are there to help direct them in the way in which they should go.

Very closely related to this is consistency, I need to be consistent with what I expect from my children.  There is an old saying, “Inspect what you expect”.  I have heard it many times and it is so true.  If you expect your 6 year old to put away her clean clothing neatly then when she is done inspect it.  If you go in and find things are not to your standard you can give further instruction; she learns, and you are not frustrated.  However, if you don’t do this and bedtime rolls around, you are now both tired and the clean clothing that was sloppily put away have been knocked onto the floor when the pj’s were pulled out, and now we have a recipe for Mom losing it.

These are just a couple of examples of things that I know could set me off but can be avoided with proper parenting.

This week the verse that came to mind, and again is another one we have tried to instil in our children, is Romans 12:18

“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” 

Some translations say, ‘with everyone’ instead of ‘all men.’  Living at peace with all people will lead to a life of speaking kindly.  I like how this verse puts responsibility on us to step up and be active.

Continue to look for your triggers this week, and think about what you need to do to avoid letting those triggers set you off, and as much as it depends on you be at peace with everyone… especially in your home.  We set the tone for our children.

Don’t forget to check out Ramblings of a Christian Mom and Simplify, Live, Love, as they are both writing about this challenge too!

If you missed Week 1 of the challenge you can find it here.

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