Somedays, some weeks, some months, I feel like all I do is nag. I feel like I am constantly working to keep my voice in check, my tone in check, my attitude in check. There are so many little details to take care of when you have four little kids. So much of my day is like directing an orchestra. There are so many parts and I am just one simple person.
I'm not just parenting babies anymore. I'm now parenting toddlers and pre-kindergarten five-year-olds who can really get a smartness to their voice that seems well beyond their short half-a-decade-on-this-earth-life.
What to do? Spanking. Time-outs. Rewards. Punishments. With four kiddos, I feel like my job is disciplinarian nearly every single second of the day.
I am currently not a yelling parent. However, I have it in my blood to be a yelling parent if I let myself.
My husband is a non-yelling parent. He never raises his voice and stays calm all the time.
(I know. It makes you sick, doesn't it?)
If it wasn't for him helping me stay in check constantly, I fear I might turn into a raging lunatic.
I have given the boys permission to say to me, "Mom, I think you are losing your temper!" anytime they hear me raise my voice.
(And yes, it makes me angry when I am angry and they tell me I am angry.)
But I do NOT want to become a yeller. I want to stay calm because they deserve calm.
So the big question: HOW DO YOU STAY CALM?
I recently read a great article online that helped with just that. Click hereto read: "Is Yelling the New Spanking for Parents: 5 Tips for Screaming-Prone Moms and Dads."
This article contained some great tips for avoiding yelling in your home. These included
LOOKING INWARD: The article says: "The yelling comes when we have lost control of the situation and we do not know what else to do." This is so true. This means that it isn't the kids fault we are yelling. It is our fault because we are no longer in control! In addition, am I tired? Stressed out? What is causing me to feel out of control?
SETTING BOUNDARIES: I make it a point that my kids know what is expected of them. I remind them when we are going into the grocery store or church. If there are clear expectations, then behavior is kept in check. This is a parents' job -- not the kids.
HAVING A GOOD TOOLKIT: We use a variety of strategies when disciplining our kids. I wrote about the practices we implement in our home in a post you can read here. Having a variety of ways and means to get the job done is important.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING: Consistency and immediate action are huge when it comes to young children. Older kids might need to cool down.
GIVING YOURSELF GRACE: I am not perfect. I have to do my best and ask forgiveness when it is required. I have done this with my kids on occasion and I know I will do it again int he future.