Sunday, January 18, 2015

No More Yelling | I want to be a Peaceful Parent

No matter your situation, parenting is a challenge; an emotional roller coaster wrought with love and laughter and tears. As young adults. before we have children, we swear we will treat our children differently, we know EVERYTHING and we have all the answers.

But as parents, we know the truth; we know NOTHING and have none of the answers. We are also so full of questions, that I personally feel great compassion for my parents' generation who didn't have anywhere near the amount of resources and support that modern parents have. When all else fails, we have the internet, social media and government supported workshops to help us navigate parenthood.

Unfortunately, one of the first lessons we learn as parents is that NO ONE has THE answer, even the doctors. Child-rearing recommendations have changed drastically over the years and as far as I'm concerned, the very best guide, that a parent MUST consult, is their gut.

But what happens when your gut, emotions and exhaustion all get mixed up together?

In my house, that lethal combination results in frustration, anger, tears and yelling. Lots and lots of yelling. The kids yelling at the parents and the parents yelling back. It turns into a vortex of tears, threats, time outs and little people hitting, kicking.

Sometimes, we can avoid the vortex and instead are able to be the peaceful parents that we all want to be, but without conscientious effort, its easy to slide back into bad habits. I'm a huge fan of Aha Parenting and find that the weekly newsletters often seem to be speaking to me as they tackle REAL problems that we face each and every day.

So, I decided to buy Dr. Laura's new Book, Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, as an audiobook and I've been listening to it while I make lunches each evening. I haven't gotten very far yet, but I'm already reminded that I WANT to be a Peaceful Parent and I can be.

So we're taking the first step, of what I'm sure will be many, to helping our family learn to communicate better.
No More Yelling. 

No more yelling for Mom, Dad or the boys. We've explained to the boys that we don't want to yell or be yelled at anymore. That we are going to do our very best to use our words and we want them to do the same.

And surprisingly, it seems to be working, at least a little bit. We're only a few days in and there have certainly been tears, flailing arms and yelling, but less. And when I remind them that I'm trying not to yell and so I need them to listen to my words instead, the boys have actually listened.

To keep things positive, when we put reminders up for the boys, we try and encourage the behaviours we want rather than giving attention to the negative, in this case, listening ears, gentle hands and inside voices.

Dr. Laura says it takes 3 months to break a yelling habit, but after only a few very conscious days, I'm starting to believe that with some effort we may be able to crush this goal.

What are your tips for being a Peaceful Parent, because believe you me, I need the help just as much as you.