Not yelling

picnic table on beach with rocks

This morning I entered one of my children’s rooms and almost had a panic attack from frustration.

The mess was overwhelming.

Their chores include keeping their rooms clean, and they are paid an allowance for this.  I get angry when they do not do what we ask them to.

After about a minute, I retreated to the solace and relative neatness of the main floor and whipped up a batch of lavender soap.

Yesterday, as I was driving home from work, On Point was on talking about corporal punishment in children.

One of the things they mentioned was how most instances of child abuse that occur in the home happen when a parent is attempting to discipline their child and gets carried away.  ?!  Most times, parents do not intend to hurt their children, but they are so unable to handle their own frustration and anger that it turns into abuse.

All of the research that has been done on the practice of corporal punishment as discipline shows that it is completely ineffective in the long term.  It only results in the immediate halt of whatever activity the child was doing.  Mostly, it teaches children that hitting another person, even one you love, when you are angry is okay.

I was spanked once as a child, and it taught me not to say “Oh my God” in front of my parents.  I’ve said it 14 times today already so…

I do yell at my kids sometimes though, and after this…I’ve decided to stop.

For whatever reason, the line between child abuse and not being able to handle your own feelings has been laid out for me clearly with this NPR show.   Even though I have never hit my children, I have modeled for them that yelling at someone is okay when you are angry.

No more.

I’m reinstating the peace table practice we used when our children were younger.  Funny how I had kind of forgotten about it completely.  If you are upset with a family member, you sit down at a table together and talk it through.  And, in lovely mediation style, you have to restate and understand the other person’s point of view so you really get where they are coming from.

We learned this technique from my daughter’s preschool teachers.  So happy to have remembered it.

Much Love,