I am typically that mom who yells at her children a lot of the time. Yep! I said it! I freaking am that mother who yells at her children. Yet, I have a rule for when yelling is appropriate and I’ll get there, give me a sec. Any way, don’t tell me how to parent my children. Don’t tell me I can’t or shouldn’t yell at them. Don’t tell me there are better ways. Don’t tell me I’m being emotionally or verbally abusive to my children (as I’m not belittling them, demeaning them, or using harsh language when I do). Don’t tell me I am shaming them or being harmful in any way, shape, or form. Don’t tell me how to parent my children, at least upon first meeting me.
I have a rule about yelling. I ask my husband and children to follow the same rules. It’s not always easy as I get scared when they are about to get hurt. I yell to get their attention. I yell when I’ve had to make a point for the umpteenth time. But first, I am calm and I am nice. I use manners. I actively listen to my children. I use good tones when an issue first arises. It works sometimes. When the problem repeats itself? I get firm. My voice is stern, yes. I make sure the consequences are then known if the problem continues. But when it does continue, it’s the third strike. That means I enforce the punishments and we have at least one more “talk” about ways to solve the issue or that it needs to be left alone for a while. Sometimes there are lessons and metaphors during this talk. But when the problem continues still, I yell. I don’t yell mean things. I have said some things out of anger to my husband but really try very hard not to do that to my children. I usually just yell the same points I had made all those “talks” ago. Punishment sometimes needs to be lengthened as well depending on the offense of course.
So yes, I resort to yelling at times. I have multiple children. It can get chaotic and loud even when we are happy and just playing around, or the tv is going for my poor husband who suffers from tinnitus. Sometimes I have to yell to reach over the chaos. I also have sanity limits. I know kids repeat mistakes. I was a kid once, I understand very well. But darn it, if it just keeps going for the day, I’m done, I yell. I don’t care if the problem is repeated the next day, but gosh darn it, mama needs a break! Yelling provides a pretty clear boundary too, ya know? Seriously, it’s an instant boundary that mom is not going to put up with any more of “that issue” for the day. Sometimes yelling is a “cue” for my kids to snap out of it much like we do to one another as adults. Sometimes I yell because it won’t matter how many talks or lectures I give, it doesn’t matter in what tone or how I word things, they just don’t understand (maturity) or they just aren’t in a place to hear it; much like us, as adults receiving criticism or feedback. Also, yelling provides the utmost cue to my sincerity.
I am so that mom who doesn’t typically follow trends for her children. I am a thrift store mom, second hand buying mom. I brag about the “brand new” or “like new” items I get from a thrift store because they were an eighth of the cost Susan paid for her daughter’s clothing. Don’t get me wrong. I purchase brand new items. Usually my kids get a few new outfits just before school, and I purchase new socks and underwear and typically shoes as well. It kind of stems from when I was a single mom. If it weren’t for the generosity of quite a few people in my life, my oldest wouldn’t have had all the neat clothing she had. I try to pay it forward as well. I mostly like the idea of saving money and recycling (reduce, reuse, recycle!). Also, I am a woman. When I was old enough to have a job and buy clothing I preferred, I remember the dollar amounts very well. And let’s get real here: I have four freaking daughters… yeah, you can probably imagine. I have taught them quite well, though! They are trendy but thrifty themselves! I’m sure it will help them in the future!
I am also a penny pincher. Saving for the future of our girls and ourselves is huge. I use Pinterest, yes, but not to be trendy. I use it for meal planning, or ideas for crafts. I guess you could say I’m trendy when it comes to the crafts I make. I really love the used wood and pallet crafts! I am not a big fan of Pinterest, however. A lot of the mom’s on there make me look like a slob and a jackass for not spending every waking moment keeping my house organized to a “T” or for not allowing them to craft a ton of things during the day. To go a long with the penny pinching, well, I’m pretty practical with our budgeting so if it is not something that has a group price or a family price, we typically do not attend those events. School activities? Different story there.
I am also that mom who embarrasses her children in public. Again, lets get real. Embarrassment is a fact of life: it is part of it. I’m helping them to gain a “thicker” skin, or to be able to bounce back from that embarrassment, or to even rise above because I’ve seen some people and their reactions to embarrassment and it’s not very pretty… it’s pretty ugly and even more hurtful than the initial sting. I think what I’m getting at here is that I’ve seen some people get embarrassed and then take their reaction out on others. Mostly, I just embarrass them by kissing them or hugging them in public. My 12 year old takes it like a champ! She is actually pretty darn courteous! She will actually hug me back (doesn’t kiss me back any more) and tell me she loves me too. She’s a doll!
I am also that mom who will embarrass her children by yelling at them in public or give them a punishment in front of people (not spanking, I mean time out or yell and then sternly give them a #truthbomb). I mostly yell and scream at the top of my lungs at them in a good way, however. How’s that? Well, at sporting events or at their concerts. I’ll be that crazy mom who will give a standing ovation to her kid for her kid’s solo (one that was a little painful to hear) because my kid did something that took a heck of a lot of guts and to be able to do that whether or not her performance was “on fleek” is more than I could do and I’m just simply proud of her for trying.
A lot of you will probably hate me for saying this and I honestly, it took me a while to be able to write this because I wanted it to be true so I had to rid myself of some guilt and shame, don’t care one bit what you think of me for being honest. I am soooooooo that mom that will let her kid tantrum in the middle of Walmart for however long it needs to happen. It’s not something that happens often, but it has. But when it does happen trust me when I say that I have tried every other method that is allowable in public to get my child to quit disturbing the peace of others. So, this is for you if you are that mom too who:
- has tried reasoning with the child.
- has tried lecturing the child.
- has tried to guilt the child into understanding that what it is they want is not something that is needed and honestly, mommy just doesn’t want to spend the money on something that will get destroyed before it’s actually used.
- has tried to bribe their child.
- has put their child in a corner for timeout.
And when this behavior has continued and I have tried all other methods of coping through this tantrum to get my child to “behave,” is there really anything else we can do? No, there really isn’t. There really isn’t except:
- Not acknowledging the behavior (because boundaries)
- let it run it’s course – yes, like a virus
- take back your power
- so that when the tantrum is over, damn it, you can approach the kid with better pretenses!
So, to all the Judgey McJudgertons: keep talking your crap about how I don’t know what I’m doing or that I’m neglectful or that I’m simply a bad parent who doesn’t deserve her children. Keep up your perfectionism. Go ahead. I’m going to do what I’m going to do because I am a parent and I know what’s best for my child and my damn self! I’m going to keep doing what I know works when all else failed!
Let me tell you one thing, for certain: It is not my damn fault you walked into the situation before my other methods were used to attempt to stop my child from having a tantrum. It is not my fault you assumed (made an @$$ out of you and me) and jumped to conclusions before you found out why it’s happening (her tantruming and my ignoring it). It’s not my fault you never learned how to mind your own business! Maybe you should learn to mind your own business before karma kicks you in the butt. Also, thank you for teaching me to not jump to conclusions like you did, to not make another mother feel ashamed for taking back her power, to not make another mother feel as though she really doesn’t know what she’s doing, to not be an asshole, and to let other mother’s do what they need to do in the moment for their child.
I am a person who is all about progress, not perfection. Take the perfectionism elsewhere. I am not exactly shy to tell people where to shove their judgements. I’m not a physical person by any means, but I’m just not shy enough to tell you to be quiet. You’re not helping in those moments, in those embarrassing and shameful moments. You’re making the situation worse. You’re potentially making the child think that whatever it is they are having a tantrum about, they simply just deserve what it is to get them to shut up. You are undermining the parental authority. So, if I choose to ignore my child while she is having a tantrum, believe me, you should too.
Can’t stand the tantrum? Congrats! You have choices! Chances are, I don’t! You can:
- walk away! No really, you can!
- you can come back shortly when the tantrum is over because chances are if my child hasn’t quit, I’ve left my cart where it is, without anything I needed and returned to my van and home for that matter because I wasn’t going to make everyone listen to my kid for more than ten minutes.
- you can have patience and bite your tongue! This is what I’m trying to do! Yelling at my kid isn’t going to have any affect at this point, it’ll just make things worse so really I’m just trying to keep my cool and my patience so I can calm the storm in a minute or so.
So just let me try to gather my thoughts, let me try to gather my own patience (clearly my child’s has run out and my fuse is short), let me try to adjust my attitude so I can help my child in a hot damn minute, when she’s more apt to listening without tantruming! Don’t add insult to injury. Your judgements, your thoughtless words only add fuel to the fire!
Kids are a lot like adults. Why is it we can remember that as adults we need to be in a mental space that is willing to listen to truth, criticism, and/or feedback, but not our children? Why aren’t they allowed the same curtesy? Sure, we don’t throw tantrums publicly any more (or at least some of us don’t). We learned to act more appropriately and that took time, that took our entire childhood!!! Give my kid some curtesy and let her throw a tantrum for a few minutes! Good grief! We can’t expect them to get it right the first time or the second time! It took us a long time not to do that so it’s more than likely going to take her a few times too!
To you, the mom that’s a lot like myself, that’s allowing a tantrum to happen for a few minutes, God Bless you! Keep doing what you know best. I know it’s really hard not to let people take up space in your mind with their judgements, but you really don’t have to fret over their negativity. There’s already a lot of negativity in your situation and what you need is a little peace so don’t even give that person a glance or a chance to take up that space. Find your peace and move on with your kiddo because I believe wholeheartedly you know what’s best! I’ll pray for patience and understanding for you! I’ll pray you make it out alive that day, in that store, in that moment, when your children is epically flailing and all other methods of taming it have failed and you have nothing else except finding peace for just a moment or two. Breathe, have faith in yourself that you can survive the tantrum, that you will get through the tantrum and that your child will find peace too. If I could be there to hug you I would. If I could be there to tell you, “You got this,” I would. Just keep it in the back of your mind that some stranger much like myself is telling you the opposite of everyone else, “You got this mama! Don’t give up and don’t give in! Keep your power and peace! You got this!”