I was sitting peacefully waiting for the kids to arrive from school. They come in like a force of energy. Limbs flying everywhere, hugging Coco who jumps up and down, with huge smiles on their faces. Before they start keeping their things, they begin chatting nine to a dozen. I smile and try to keep up with their day’s happenings. Possibly this is my favourite part of the day when I am in a good mood, having finished my own work for the day, and looking forward to meeting the kids.
Half an hour into the evening and they are changed and fed. Then they speed off to do their own thing. Chances are that they are either fooling around with each other or arguing over the silliest things on earth. I hear their voices increase in decibel. I promise myself, I will keep calm. I can feel an urge to yell.
There was a time when I was an extremely patient person. I really was. I was an obedient child and except with my brother, I hardly sparred with anyone. Few years into marriage and with two kids, I seem to have gone low on that reservoir of patience. I do love my kids. But they can be so testing at times. I try to keep out of their petty squabbles, but what I don’t tolerate is them yelling. You know how kids have a way of not ‘hearing’ you especially when you are calling them.
So even when I call them for dinner, the younger boy always manages to come few minutes late. I mean, if someone was serving me hot, delicious food, why wouldn’t I eat when called? But every single day, he has to find some pressing matter right around dinner time. What maddens me more, is that as I call out his name, no response at all. No grunts or even yes. Once, twice, thrice, I call out each time with my tone getting shriller. Finally, he shouts back that he heard me and why am I getting so worked up? 🙂
I tell you, becoming a mother really is a huge test of patience. From telling them very gently every day to pick the things that they have thrown or to keep their bed tidy, it is a losing battle. And to add to it, I am trying to teach them not to be short tempered! Now since I have to be a good role model, I can’t even shout. Such travesty I tell you.
So yes, I try not to yell. I hate when someone yells at me, so obviously I wouldn’t want to yell at a person for no reason. But kids can often get under your skin and make you yell despite your best efforts. But yes, I never really insult or pull them down in a derogatory manner.
I am not proud of the times when I yell even if I feel that they brought it on. Because it is a failing. People who constantly shout make for very bad company and one would rather just move out of earshot than put up with tirades at the drop of a hat. As parents, we have to do our best to not yell. So I try really hard. And I think I am doing a pretty decent job.
My younger son has even told me many times that just because I speak to him in a kind and gentle tone even when he is worked up, he feels like talking back in a gentler tone. That was a huge shot in the arm for me. All I can say is that I know that there are triggers that make me yell. If I am sick, overwhelmed, low on energy, haven’t slept well—I tend to be low on patience. Recognising these, I often tell the people close to me how I am feeling so that they would know and perhaps be less testing. About the problem of them not listening and me reacting, I try to take it in my stride. Also I go back to reiterating how sterling my kids are. They are so non-fussy, conscientious and generally good kids. So what if they give me a tough time once in a while?
Do share with me if you yell at your kids? And how does that make you feel?