Ever feel like you live in the House Of Screams? An assortment of screaming and crying, emitting from your home everyday. There are days, when I feel like the people in the next suburb can hear what is coming from our house.
The kids scream at each other. They scream at me. I’m screaming back at them. And then my husband comes home, and he has his turn yelling at the kids because I’ve had enough for the day.
< insert audible sigh here >
I don’t know how I became this person who screams all the time, gets frustrated and angry at her kids. I always thought I would be a calm mother. A mother that would listen to her children and laugh with them. I always saw myself as a child at heart. A Big Kid.
Don’t we all?
Then I took a step back. What could be done to reduce the screaming so that the neighbours stop thinking someone is being tortured in our house? And I came up with a few mantras I am constantly repeating to myself, as well as to my husband.
Choose Your Battles
In our family we don’t budge on the important things like manners, rudeness and respect. I will not allow my two children to step out of line with these three items without knowing it is not acceptable. Equally, when my children are being dangerous, for example – they aren’t concentrating when crossing the road, I will spend the time to make sure they understand why I am so upset.
Though there are other things I let slide. When you are fighting lack of sleep, or are having a tough day (as you do), sometimes just ignoring a small issue could actually work for the better. Not giving the mini tantrum any acknowledgement may also help your young one realise that they aren’t getting the attention they wanted.
Just ask yourself – Do I really need to make a big deal out of this right now? Is this going to cause me stress over nothing?
Be The Adult
At times I hear myself and I realise I am having an argument with my 3 year old, as if I was a toddler too. I have completely allowed my son to draw me into his tantrum and I am also acting like a child. It is in these moments, I have to pause, and reassess. Remembering that he is only 3 and unable to understand reasoning completely, my thought process has to change slightly.
Finding a different way to get through to him by either distraction or shifting his focus, can at times get the results that I am after. For example, just last week I was at the local shopping centre and he was screaming at me that he wanted a lollipop at the checkout. My first response was a firm ‘No’ that sent him into a crying statue state. I sighed and then said, ‘Buddy, we are having sushi for lunch in a little while.’ This explanation at least got him to stop crying and I even got a ‘Oh yeah!’ out of him.
Laugh A Little
Kids laugh so freely at so many different things. Sometimes as parents we don’t see the forest for the trees. Most of the time your child isn’t trying to be ‘naughty’ but is simply exploring their immediate surrounds. Being able to laugh and smile with your kids will help you understand life through their eyes.
My kids seem to be most intrigued by water. The task of washing their hands, brushing their teeth and even watering the garden are lengthy events. Originally, I would get so angry at the mess they would make in the bathroom, or that they were saturated with water whilst the garden was dry. T days, I just laugh. I will ask them to turn off the taps so that they aren’t wasting water at least, but for the most part, I just let them have their fun. Especially when that fun with the garden hose sometimes gets taken out on me.
Overall, because I have relaxed in my attempt to police everything my kids do, the screaming in our house has reduced. I wouldn’t lie and try to convince you that all yelling has completely disappeared from our house.
After all, sometimes as a mother you need to lose your s*@t to make a point.