The other day I came home from the store. As I was unpacking the groceries, I heard Honey Bear and Happy in the bathroom. Happy was getting in trouble. It was not a very happy sound. In fact, it kind of made me sick. It wasn’t that Happy was getting in trouble for whatever it was that he had done. He’s only 2 1/2 so you can imagine what kinds of things he could be doing in the bathroom other than using the potty. Maybe he was unrolling the toilet paper, or splashing in the sink, or even singing into the toilet. Maybe he decided to paint the counter with the soap again or put lotion in his hair. At least he smelled good when he did that! The fact of the matter is, whatever he was getting in trouble for was not what made me sick.
It was the sound.
The sound that came from that room made my stomach sink. That sound made me feel sorry for poor Happy. That sound made me want to leave the house. That sound made me hate myself. That sound was yelling. We yell. Sometimes we yell a lot. There, I said it. We are all yellers. The whole lot of us. We both know that we don’t like it. We both know that the kids don’t like getting yelled at. They don’t listen when we yell. That only makes us yell more. And by then the kids are too confused with the jumbled up words coming from our mouth to know what to do. And the kids yell at each other. I don’t like that one bit. Sometimes the yelling is out of pure frustration. Sometimes it is out of exhaustion. Sometimes we yell just to be heard. We both know that it has to stop.
The other day I was browsing Pinterest in the Kids category when one of the pins caught my eye. It was a picture of two little boys. One of the boys was standing on a shelf of a refrigerator trying to get something from the top shelf while the other boy watched. I decided to click on the pin to see why this kid was in the fridge. The blog I stumbled upon was The Orange Rhino. What I found there is amazing. This pin took me to a blog about a woman and what she learned when she stopped yelling at her family. She did this for an entire year. 365 days. No yelling. Ever. I knew immediately that God had directed me to this blog. I knew that I needed to be a better mommy and a better wife.
Needless to say, when God puts something in your hands, it would be disastrous to not follow. So now Honey Bear and I are doing the challenge. We are on day 3. I have already noticed how much better the little bears listen. The calmer I am, the sooner the situation is over. I have also noticed that many times, when the kids didn’t do what we asked, it was because we didn’t get off our lazy duff to make them. That first day was so exhausting. Lunch time was tough. Huggy usually decides that he needs to put his food in his hair and say “hat” over and over until I tell him to stop. That or he sticks his food in his ear. And Happy jabbers on about something, asks me the same question 12 times, or plays with his spoon and won’t eat. He likes to take his time. So I’m constantly saying “get that off your head”, “eat your lunch”, “don’t put that in your ear”, “turn around and eat please!” All this while I’m attempting to feed Goldilocks peas or something. It is frustrating! I decided to sing “I’m a Little Tea Pot” to distract us all. It worked wonders! Instantly the kids are listening to me and asking me to do it again. It made lunch time fun too. I felt so much better at the end of the day knowing that I didn’t yell at the kids once. Not once! Woo hoo!! Go me! The next day was easier since I only had the baby for most of the day. Today was trying my patients. I’m constantly reminding myself to not yell. I did catch myself a few times today when I almost yelled. The first word out of my mouth that is raised and I have to quickly change my tone. I have to keep saying to myself that I love my kids more than I love yelling. It’s not easy when you are trying to change a habit.
I think my favorite point on her list of things she’s learned is that not yelling feels awesome, and boy does it! This is going to be a lot of work and I will probably have to restart a time or two. I’m not expecting an overnight change in any of us. It’s going to be a rough transition, but we aren’t doing this alone. We have an Almighty Creator who loves us more than we can ever possibly know and he is always with us, guiding us even when we don’t listen too well.
Yelling is ugly and God doesn’t deserve an ugly heart.