Mummy, use your inside voice

Mummy, use your inside voice

I don’t think there’s any mum who has not felt frustrated by their kids. Who at one time or another felt the need to shout and yell some sense back into their kids.

Kids are very expressive individuals. They sometimes have no reverence for your feelings, schedule or timing. They just want what they want at any given time. That can get very annoying or frustrating especially, because we also have our needs which a lot of times are different from what our kids want. Cue the yelling, spanking and other forms of snapping sense back into our kids.

Parents resort to yelling and often think it’s working because it usually gets the kids’ attention. It stops them in their tracks and at least for a few seconds gets them to look at the parent. But with time and after excessive use, children begin to consider yelling a norm, so it no longer gets their attention. This automatically means that even when it is okay to yell, like stopping them from doing something harmful or running into danger, we can no longer get their attention. Because constant yelling at them already disrupted its ‘effectiveness’.

Like spanking, yelling has so many adverse effects on children’s psychology. It can result in low self esteem, andall forms of mental health issues along the way.

Instead of yelling all the time at your kids, consider doing this;

Talk to your kids. Kids are human beings with understanding. And if you have been speaking to them way early, you would be able to always talk them down and have them behave (though there are times when this would not work, especially in public). Talk to them about their behaviour and how much it infuriated/frustrated you. Give them alternatives for showing that emotion the next time so that everyone is able to understand. If my 2 year old can understand this, you don’t have a problem. Kids listen. You continue to say it, without any condemnation or their person but of that particular behaviour, and they will eventually adjust.

Repeat instructions calmly but stern. Convey that you mean business but with a controlled voice. They know, Mummy means business but not enough to cause them to panic.

Understand when it is not about the kids. A lot of time, parents yell at their kids in reaction to a compilation of upsetting situations throughout the day. Work has been stressful, you are tired, you managed to make dinner and the kids decide the food is not what they would like to eat. I mean, that’s a justifiable reason to yell, isn’t it? However, the frustration didn’t start with the kids, so they should not bear the brunt of it. You could have your partner or someone else attend to the kids at that time, while taking some time to go breath. That’s better for you and for your kids. By the time you have rested, taken a shower, and then back to the kids, Mummy is refreshed and all that frustration is gone.

Make aYes list – I saw this and I loved it. Try making a list of acceptable reactions to your kids before you get to yelling and spanking. Paste it somewhere visible, where you can remember to use it and then adhere to it. You could also make a list of acceptable reactions from your kids when they are faced with unpleasant situations, before they yell. This would work with kids who can comprehend what this is.

Have assorted ways of disciplining your kids and interchange them from time to time. That way, you do not abuse anyone of it thereby, reducing its potency.

Now, I know it seems impossible not to yell at times. But the key is not to abuse it. Save it for when it is absolutely necessary. When that is the only way you could have conveyed that message/instructions. Don’t be a parent who acts and then evaluates their actions later. Be the kind of parent who considers their actions carefully and the impact of their kids before actually doing it.

We may not be able to do parenting right all the time. At least, let’s try our hardest at it. You are already doing fine!