It’s been 5 weeks since I took the challenge to stop yelling at my kids. Some days are more challenging than others, but I’m proud to say I’m still yell free.
So far there are a LOT of you who have taken the challenge to quit yelling with me, and have joined the Stop Yelling Group on Facebook.
One of the concerns I’ve heard in the group is that some members get frustrated at their spouses for yelling. Because of this, they start feeling angry at their partner and feel alone in their journey to stop yelling.
I’ve been thinking this over, and it’s a tough one. You see…
We can’t control anyone else but ourselves.
Even though we may want our partners stop yelling and change their behaviors. we can’t make them do it. They will have to come to that decision on their own.
The more we push, nag, or tell them that they are doing things wrong, the more we push away our partners and potentially cause problems in the relationship.
So stop trying to force them, and instead show them.
Suggest Taking the Challenge as a Family
Don’t just make the challenge about you, try to bring in the whole family.
My pal, Dayna from Lemon Lime Adventures, has done just this. Not only are she and her husband taking the challenge together, but they’ve made it a family challenge.
The children are trying to stop yelling just as much as she and her husband are.
This is wonderful for family bonding and it doesn’t single out one person as “the yeller” or “the one with the problem”. It’s a family decision and each person is held accountable by the entire family.
Click that blue underlined link up there, to read how she’s doing it. It will open in a new window so you can easily make your way back here.
So what should you do if your partner doesn’t want to be a part of the challenge?
You Make the Change
We can not change other people, but we can change ourselves.
This journey is about you and your relationship with your kids.
His relationship with his children is up to him.
As much as it hurts that your partner doesn’t parent the way you would like, that relationship is in his hands.
One of the best things I’ve noticed is that my house is calmer since I’ve decided to cut out my yelling. My kids are listening better, not perfectly, but better, and they are happier.
Having a happier wife and kids will *hopefully* decrease the need for yelling all together.
Be a Good Model
Actions speak louder than words.
Show your partner that parents don’t have to yell to teach their children. Show him other ways. Let him see the good work you’re doing.
I’ve been amazed with what my husband picks up just by watching me. He has started using some of the same phrases I use and he’s begun speaking to our children in a more gentle way.
I quit telling him how he needed to interact with our kids, and that he is doing things wrong. Now, I model it for him…and he picks up on it.
Talk About Your Journey
Tell you kids and your husband that you’re taking a challenge not to yell.
Talk about the articles you’ve read.
Talk about the successes you’ve had.
Don’t make it about him and what he’s doing. Make it all about you and the good work you’re doing.
You never know…he might just pick up on some things.
Don’t Expect Perfection
One of the things I’ve had to really focus on is that I can not expect my husband to be perfect. I am not a perfect parent, and neither his he.
We both make mistakes, we both have yelled. We both get angry and short tempered sometimes.
It’s not my job to point out his mistakes. The more I beat him up about this, the more I push him away.
He knows when he’s lost control. The last thing he needs is his wife pointing out his mistakes.
I’ve written about this before and I go into more detail there. Read “When Mom and Dad Have Different Parenting Styles” to get more information about what to do.
The point of this whole post is that we can not MAKE our significant others change. The change must begin with us.
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