I hate shouting at my children. Actually hate it. Hate myself for doing it, hate that I was brought up being shouted at, hate that I've once again - despite all my efforts at remaining the calm, patient parent - failed to break the cycle and handle things better... My daughters are inherently so sweet, kind and loving (which are traits we've successfully managed to teach them), but how can I possibly hope to convince them that shouting isn't ok when I can't seem to stop myself from doing it? There's a quote that used to be stuck to my wall that said something like "If you don't want your children to see you do it, hear you say it, copy you & tell everyone else you did it, then don't do it!" Hmm, perhaps I need to stick it back on my wall.
I try to be calm, patient, kind and understanding of their inquisitive playful nature but occasionally they just push me to the edge. I give them a few minutes warning, then I ask them nicely, then I explain it's time to leave (or whatever) and ask again, then I tell them a bit more sternly but after 4 times of requesting they get dressed/put their shoes on/pack their bags/sit up at the table etc I just get exasperated. I know they are not purposefully trying to wind me up but nevertheless, they so often do. And then I shout, they get upset, I get upset and then hate myself a little more... The cycle continues! I actually caught sight of myself in the mirror one day shouting at them and even scared myself! I had morphed from the kind, loving, lovely mother that I try to be into the freaky dragon lady. Very unlovely indeed...
I stopped immediately, apologized to the girls, sat down, gave them a cuddle and tried to explain that Mummys sometimes just get so cross of asking and asking and asking and asking the same thing... And of course I told them that I didn't like shouting at them. To which my ever wise 6yr old said "It's ok Mummy, we still love you and we'll get our shoes on right now." Grrrr. You can read as many parenting books, magazines & articles as you like but nothing prepares you for the reality of how far your own children will actually push you to the edge. We are all human and I'm sure even my most zen, calm friends must crack occasionally in the privacy of their own homes - at least I comfort myself with the thought that they do.
I've been occasionally complimented by strangers for either having perfectly delightful children or on the flipside not being afraid to discipline them in public, but as much as I'm fine with being a strict, firm but fair parent, I say it again.... I hate shouting!
I do believe that as much as it is our duty and responsibility to teach our children the lessons they'll need to lead successful happy lives, we must also humbly accept the fact that some of our greatest lessons will come from our children. For me personally, patience is something I must work on daily... So girls, I thank you for the lesson, but for today it's back to school for me!!
What lessons are your children teaching you today? What are you struggling with or trying to master?
Love Holly x