It’s been 6 Weeks since I took the challenge to stop yelling at my kids. I don’t think I’ve yelled at my kids since then.
I know it sounds weird, but one of the strange things about trying not to yell, is that sometimes it’s hard to tell if your tone is really yelling or not.
When I am pushing my son to hurry up and my tone isn’t necessarily all that pleasant. Does that count as yelling?
When I’m frustrated and whispering to my son with my jaw clenched and anger in my voice. Does that count as yelling?
When I have to raise my voice to get him to pay attention to me. Does that count as yelling?
When he does something dangerous and I yell “Stop”! Does that count as yelling?
Honestly, it’s all very confusing. Something as simple as not yelling, turns into “what’s yelling anyway?” It’s not quite as black and white as I thought it was when I took the challenge.
It’s been debated time and time again in our Stop Yelling Facebook Group. We even made a Yelling Scale to help us figure it out.
It’s helpful for sure, but it doesn’t really cover it all.
The decision that we’ve come to is that it’s personal. Each parent in the group decides what’s right for themselves. We have the group to hold ourselves accountable, but we each get to decide if we crossed the line or not.
Here’s what I’ve decided for me.
What’s the feeling behind my words? If I’m raising my voice, but not angry, than it’s ok. When I’m raising my voice to get attention, but am feeling on a level 2 or below on the scale, I’m ok with that.
However, if I’m angry, at a level 4-5, but I’m whispering unkind things, I’m not ok with that.
Stay below a 4-5 on the scale. The reason I took this challenge was because I knew the big time screaming had to stop. It was happening more frequently, and it scared my son. So, anything above a 4 is not acceptable for me.
Understand my limitations. I am not looking for perfection, I’m just trying to do better. I still snap at my son every once in a while, and get to a level 3. It happens so quickly, it’s over fast, and I always apologize after. I’m still not very happy that I do this, but I know that it’s something I’ll work on in the future. Right now, I need to work on the big time yelling and my attitude.
I’m a work in progress. I can’t expect too much all at once, or I’ll beat myself up when I do slip up. The more I feel like I’m failing, the more likely I am to quit.
Right now, I like how I’m handling the challenge. Once it gets easier to not explode, I’ll reevaluate and make new goals.
So, what’s yelling for you?
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