Everyone always talks about the Terrible twos but no one talks about the Threes. Three was absolutely full of insanity. Mason seemed to be testing my boundaries every single day. And then one day (
or two or three) I lost it.
I screamed and screamed. I was so angry. Why can’t he just LISTEN?! JUST ONCE!?
But the truth is, he listens a lot. More than I seem to remember when he doesn’t listen and I’m upset. After I calmed down (which wasn’t easy) and tucked my sweet boy into bed and cried my eyes out I vowed to change. I couldn’t be that mom who is constantly yelling. Who doesn’t seem to be present in the moment and know what’s actually going on because I’m too busy focusing on MY emotions of frustration and anger.
It hasn’t been easy and I have my weak moments for sure but I have been able to see a change in myself. I’m not yelling as much as I used too instead I’m doing a lot more listening and a lot more hugging BEFORE things get ugly not after when I feel guilty.
So how am I making these changes? I came up with a list of ways to stop yelling and I use them. And most of all I except that I will have setbacks at times. But just because I have a setback, doesn’t mean I should stop trying. It takes 21 days to form a habit so my list has 21 Ways to Stop Yelling. If you use these ways to help you stop yelling every day for the next 21 days you’ll be well on your way to not yelling. Instead you’ll understand better what makes you yell in the first place, what isn’t worth yelling about and what may potentially make your children act in a way that makes you want to yell.
- Ask for Help–Talk to your kids and your spouse about what you want to do. Ask them to remind you not to yell when it seems like you’re about to start.
- Take Deep and Calculated Breathes–it seems simple but it helps you pause and take notice of what is about to happen.
- Close Your Eyes–In your mind scream all the things that you want to scream, throw a tantrum, do whatever it is you would normally have down in this situation or wish you could do. Once you get it out of your system open your eyes and address the situation, with no yelling!
- Leave it alone–Did the kids make a GIGANTIC mess? Usher the kids into another room and do something else, watch some tv, get lunch started. Do anything but clean up that mess. Get your mind off your initial anger and onto something more pleasant. Then once you’ve calmed down go with the kids and help clean up the mess.
- Bake Something–For me I love baking so if something happens that makes me angry, I try to focus on something that makes me happy. As a bonus Mason loves to help me bake so we get to bond over baking instead of a scream fest. The last thing we baked together was Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Muffins for quick after school snacks.
- Craft Something–you can do something with the kids, or without.
- Paint–Set the kids up with some paper and some paint and let them go to town!
- Read a Book–Get lost in another world. Instead of yelling, walk away and read a chapter or two of a favorite book or your latest read.
- Go to the Bathroom–and lock the door. Ignore the hands reaching under the door. Collect yourself. Then head back out.
- Scream into a Pillow–Head to your bedroom and SCREAM as loud as you want, into a pillow!
- Ask Questions–Instead of yelling ask your kids what’s going on. Do you want mommy to play with you? Are you hurt? Are you tired? Do you want snack? Get to the root of the problem.
- Put Yourself in Their Shoes–Refer to number 3. If someone was yelling out you, how would that make you feel?
- Leave the House–Pack up the kids and go somewhere, anywhere, the change of scenery will help everyone!
- Play with Them–A lot of times Mason gets frustrated when I’m not paying attention to him because I’m doing housework or working on the blog. This is often fixed quickly by just doing what they’re asking.
- Call a Friend–Vent to a friend. Talk it out with someone, commiserate 🙂
- Pretend You can Get Fired–Pretend your kids are your bosses (cause they kinda are). If you reacted with yelling end screaming at your boss, how would that turn out?
- Pretend you have an audience–If there were a bunch of people watching your interaction with your children how would you respond to them? What would the people watching think?
- Do some jumping jacks–This is two fold. 1) it gets out some of your energy through physical action instead of screaming. 2) Since it’ll be surprising it will most likely make the kids laugh and ease some tension.
- Write it down–Write out the way you’re feeling and why you felt that way, it will give you some time to reflect. It doesn’t have to be long. At the end of the day you can see what really upsets you though out the day and evaluate what you can do better.
- Dance Party–Instead of screaming start a dance party! Turn on a favorite song and dance, be silly and then address the issue in a calm way!
- Hug Them–Bring them close to you and soak them in!
You’ll notice that so many of these involve stepping away in some way shape or form. It’s about not making the snap decision to get angry and start screaming. Instead it’s about making a conscious effort to address the situation with a clear and calm mind.
This change isn’t going to happen overnight but it can happen. And just like anything else you will have set backs but if you keep trying I think you’ll be happy with the results you see in your family and with the relationship you have with your children.
This post was made possible due in part to my partnership with Kellogg’s and their #GreatStarts tips. Who want to remind you that it takes 21 days to form a habit and that goes for anything from not yelling to going on a daily walk!
Kellogg’s® believes that From Great Starts Come Great Things®. So we’re helping Moms start every day with a tip from the top athletes of Team Kellogg’s™ and Team USA dietitians. The thirty days leading up to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will each feature fun pieces of advice to help families fuel just like the athletes of Team Kellogg’s. To see all 30 tips, visit Kelloggs.com/GreatStartsTips.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Kellogg’s via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kellogg’s