I’m The Parent Who Yells At My Kids
I’m gunna say this here at the beginning so you can remember it the whole way through this post without thinking that I’m a terrible person.
I adore my son and there is absolutely nothing I wouldn’t do for him. I am so so beyond grateful that I get to be home with him and Zoey.
But this is going to be a real, raw, motherhood post because I just have some feelings, ok? I value humor in motherhood, but I also value authenticity. I feel like if this isn’t a place I can be honest about my shortcomings and what I’m learning, then what’s the point?
I’m the parent that yells at my kids.
I am. I had a temper as a kid, and I can see it coming out now with my own kids. I see so many posts on Pinterest about “how to be the calm mom” or “how to not be the angry parent”. So I click on them and read, and without a doubt they all say, “don’t yell at your kids.” I read that and I just think in my head, “DO YOU EVEN HAVE A 2 YEAR OLD?!”
Y’all, I try to be the calm, even keeled parent. I try to take the deep, cleansing breaths. But sometimes my 2 year old does something he knows he’s not supposed to do. And he starts to do it, and I say, “Oliver, let’s do something else” (because apparently you’re supposed to keep it positive and redirect), and he looks at me, smiles, and then still does it! And I scold him. Then he does it again. And he goes to time out. And then he does it AGAIN. And I yell.
I don’t yell because I genuinely believe it’s the most effective way to communicate with my son (though honestly, sometimes it helps him get the message that mommy ain’t playin’). I’m not saying that I yell because it’s something that I’m proud of. I yell because I’m a human being and sometimes my perfectly-understanding two year old seriously pisses.me.off. He knows my buttons and he pushes all.of.them sometimes.
And I try, y’all. But have you tried to get on eye-level with a two year old and talk to him about the decision he’s making? Cause I tried that, and he slapped me. Then he laughed in my face.
Dan and I talked at length before kids and during pregnancy about how we would punish our kids when the time came. We decided that we would see what worked for our kids, because every child is different. Some kids respond to time outs, some to spanking, some to grounding. Oliver used to respond to time outs.
Now he thinks it’s funny to sneak off of the chair. Or just stand on it. And I can’t put him in his room because he jumps on his bed and it’s just not the sturdiest little bed. I’m not super ready to start spanking yet, and grounding just gets me a trantrum like no.other and I don’t think he learns anything. So I yell because sometimes I get so incredibly frustrated and that’s how it comes out. (Y’all, my mother is reading this right now laughing, saying, “that’s exactly how you were as a child!” I’m sorry, ok?!)
I want to be that parent that can write about what a terrible day we had and follow it up with, “but he’s just my favorite.” Is he usually? Yes. But I can’t put on a front and say that I end every day thinking how perfect he is. Sometimes I end the day with an early bed time because I just can’t anymore. Then I sit on the couch, catatonic from how emotionally drained I am, while simultaneously feeling terrible because I yelled at my son all day.
Again, I’m not writing this as something that I’m proud of. I’m not saying this a perfectly fine way to deal with my frustration. I’m wanting to be honest about my parenting journey, because why else am I writing this blog? If you can go through your life without ever yelling at your kids, kudos to you! I am just really tired of reading all of those articles and feeling like a terrible mom because hey! I do yell at my kid sometimes, and I know I’m going to in the future (hellooo, teenage years!). I just don’t think it’s realistic for me to be ever be a non-yelling parent. You can bet I’ll keep working every day to be a better mom and role model for my son, though.
So I’m starting with trying to find practical ways to try and yell less. I’ll still try the deep breath thing. But I’m also trying to pick my battles with Oliver. If it’s not dangerous or illegal or harmful to Zoey, I’m probably not going to fight him that much. Does this make me that mom that can’t control her kid? Maybe. But he’s a 2 year old boy. If you have a method of controlling that, I’m all ears!
Mostly, though, I’m trying to extend Oliver a lot of grace. He’s two, and he’s just starting to understand the world. As my husband would say, it’s developmentally appropriate for him to be testing his boundaries. So I’m trying to give Oliver grace, but I’m also trying to give myself grace. I’ve never had to parent a two year old before, and it’s hard. I have never understood nor been so grateful for the grace of Jesus up until this point in my life. I’m trying so hard to lean on His wisdom everyday, as well as leaning into His grace. And lots and lots of prayer.
I’m the best mom for Oliver, and there are some days I really have to remember that because I fail so hard at having patience with him. I will never stop trying to be a better mama for this little boy, but let’s just be honest that it’s going to be a heck of a journey!
Drop a comment below and lemme know how you handle it when your littles drive you up a wall! I’d love to get some suggestions!
[And if you read to the end- thank you for bearing with me. I feel like this was a wordy post!)
Have a phenomenal day!