You might remember when I embarked on a 365-day journey to stop yelling at my kids. I vowed to practice keeping my voice down, responding quietly and not letting my anger and frustration get the best of me. I vowed to no longer be a “yeller.”
So here we are: Day 56/365
I still need some serious work. Unlearning a reaction you feel is innate is hard stuff; but I AM improving. I have gone into my room and yelled into my pillow. I have hit the bed. I have walked away. I have started singing “la la la la la” really loud. I have intentionally whispered. And, of course, I have slipped and I have yelled. But my reactions are coming slower, and I am becoming more intentional in what I say and how I say it.
One of the most important parts about this challenge is figuring out what your yelling triggers are. What makes you lose it? What drives you insane? Where do you see patterns? It’s only when you discover your triggers that you can figure out how to avoid them.
I have noticed that one of my yelling triggers is my own impatience; particularly with my preschooler.
Mia is in her own little world. She is imaginative and happy and curious and always on the go. She loves exploring. She talks to herself. She makes up stories and songs and dances. I love her sweet, crazy little mind.
But because of this, she is flighty, sometimes unaware and slow to respond to requests. For instance, getting her to go from the front door to the car takes a good 15 minutes and looks something like this:
What is not included in this diagram is her rolling backpack, baby, and 3 bags that she insists she must take with her wherever she goes (which all get dropped on the way to the car), and me saying: “Mia, get in your seat, please…,” “Mia – your seat…,” “Amelia Grace, get in your seat,” “MIA! GET IN THE CAR!”
I have come to notice that getting her out the door is one of the most frustrating moments of my day. It is often a time when I yell out of frustration (a proud moment for the whole neighborhood to witness). We are generally always in a hurry (who isn’t?) and the fact that it takes her so long to just get her little hiney in the car is eternally frustrating.
But I know that I am not going to all of sudden become a more patient person. True, it is something I need to work on, but I decided it would be smart if I were a little more proactive than that. So, I began getting Mia and Lincoln ready before myself in the mornings. This way, when I am ready to go, so are they and I can just nudge them out the door and toward the car. If I am the last one to get ready and I am running behind, I can move faster – and I don’t have to depend on anyone else to get me out the door.
This means that waiting for Mia to go potty, brush her teeth, fix her hair, and put her shoes on happens while there is still time available. There are less tears on her part during the process and more patience from myself.
Of course, there is still that walk to the car that takes forever, but I am trying to allow myself more time for that process.
Honestly, this is working. Or at least, it’s helping. And Lord knows I can use all the help I can get.
Do you have tips for getting your kids out the door faster? Have you noticed what some of your yelling triggers are? Please, share!