We were discussing the topic of "Yelling at our Kids" in my Facebook Group and why, at the end of the day, it simply doesn't work.
But we continue to do it anyway.
Even though we know better.
And we whine about how self-control is hard, and we already tried that, and so forth.
If you think about it, yelling at our kids only escalates the problem. If you're arguing with ANYone, yes - yelling feels better, you feel like you have more power and control.... but it doesn't actually solve anything.
So you got to make your point... AND??
Which made me start to wonder.
Why do we yell at all?
Fear in our parenting comes from 2 places.
1 - Your own conditioning.
You probably experienced your parents or a teacher yell at you at least once. They meant business. You learned to do what they wanted to AVOID the yelling (fear). Now you don't know any other way to get your kids to do what you want... because no one showed you.
2 - The feeling that you need to be in control.
--- If your child is in danger, you want to get their attention quickly. You FEAR their safety.
--- If your child refuses to listen, you FEAR you've lost control and respect. And if you've lost control, then what happens? You fear they'll grow up to be horrible people. Which means you then FEAR others will judge you and you'll look bad.
--- If your child doesn't behave and follow certain rules/standards/expectations, you FEAR that you've failed them even after you tried your absolute best. What if they fail in life because you failed them? How can you live with yourself? (And the panic rises)
What does this all mean?
Other than the real need to keep your child physically safe, this is all about us and our deepest fears of not being good enough.
It has nothing to do with our kids and what they're doing.
Let's go deeper.
WHAT IF ---
* Your kids turn into assholes? You blame yourself. You feel embarrassed. You were hoping for good relationships with your adult child and grandkids. You weren't good enough as a parent to prevent this.
* You fail them? Maybe it's repeating something in your past. Now you're disappointed in yourself. You weren't good enough as a parent to undo what happened to you.
* You look bad and made all these mistakes? What will others think? They'll judge you. You weren't good enough as a parent because you weren't perfect.
* They give you no respect? If its bad now, what will you do when they're teenagers? You project misery before it's even happened. You assume you won't be good enough as a parent because you're clearly failing right now.
* You have no control? All of the above feel true. You weren't good enough as a parent. Period. They should never have let you have babies. Loser. Failure. Etc.
"We think we're being leaders. We have really good ideas about how everyone should be." - Glennon Doyle
This feels bleak, right? YEAH. Cause this is what we do to ourselves, and then we parent our kids from this space of total paralyzing worry about a future that hasn't arrived yet. We're trying to prevent horrible things by focusing on horrible things.
This makes no sense.
It means we micromanage, manipulate and over-control every little situation. The helicopter, enabling parent, is born. And we're lost about how to fix it when it's not going our way.
When you're so focused on controlling your child, under the guise of "doing what's best for them," are you really allowing this relationship to even BE?
Or are you so busy manipulating their every move to your specifications?
And when they don't comply - because they're their own person - you get afraid, and then eventually you yell to demand compliance.
If they would just obey, it would all be ok and I can sleep at night because I feel like I'm in control as a parent which means I know exactly how their futures will turn out.
Because it only feels safe when they're doing it your way.
When they're doing it within your constraints.
When they match whats' "normal" and acceptable to society - so you're not uncomfortable with others' judging eyes.
Because the alternative? The realization that you cannot control someone else? Is terrifying.
We've all been there. We've read all the books and researched the internet and it FEELS like it's out of love to help them be the best person they could be by giving them endless opportunities, helping them every step of the way, keeping them in line, following rules, making good grades, sharing, listening... (aren't you tired?)
What if that's not the way it's meant to be?
--- What if you could just allow your child to be their own person and not worry if they're perfectly well-rounded for college acceptance?
--- What if you stopped forcing them into checking things off the list just because? (For instance, summer reading went out the window here because it turned into a fight. I want my kid to LOVE reading, not be punished into it)
--- What if you quit worrying about Susie Snob from School and her perfect child that never does anything wrong, gets all the awards, and sells the most at fundraisers? (Cause fuck you, Susie)
--- What if it's totally ok that your kid is the weird kid and you just let them BE WEIRD??? What is the worst that could happen??
Does it mean its anarchy now and we should toss out all expectations, boundaries, and discipline?
This doesn't mean they get to play video games all day and never see sunshine, or eat all the candy all day long with no real food.
That's not love either.
Your child is depending on you to create the safe space within which they can be themselves. If they can't find this at home, where the hell will they ever find it??
The world isn't going to give it to them.
So why should you care?
This all came about because its SUMMERTIME. And I have 2 kids home with me by myself. And I'm exhausted because I'm pregnant.
I get to choose every day.
--> To be irritated and count the minutes until nap time. And then until bedtime. Snapping at them for needing things. Huffing around and yelling at them for inconveniencing ME.
--> I can choose to see each moment... often a moment to moment decision... as a beautiful gift. Just taking the time to notice.*
(Things like - my kids hanging out together peacefully. playing outside. enjoying the sunshine sitting in the shade because there's a breeze and it's not humid today, a butterfly. my plants blooming all nicely together. the big trees in my yard....)
*And if this triggers you (aka "How Annoying") it's because you don't believe it's actually possible to have it
Children do not inconvenience and irritate you on purpose.
Check yourself if this is happening. Because it's not THEM. it's US!
No one makes you feel anything. You take that on.
We are the grownups.
We have the self-control they don't have yet.
And every time they see us get annoyed and yell, it's teaching them that this is how it goes. That this is how you get what you want in life. And they'll do the same thing to their kids.
When you approach life like this - out of fear and anxiety - you never find the happiness you want.
How often are you deliriously happy when they go to sleep? And the rest of your day is totally stressful? WHAT A WASTE OF THOSE 12-14 HOURS! What if it could be completely different??
We get to choose happiness every day.
It doesn't just APPEAR.
It doesn't just magically happen one day without us doing anything.
You choose it in these little moments by choosing LOVE.
And it doesn't take long before you realize you're all having a really FUN DAY with kids you actually like. <gasp!>
Because guess what?
When YOU start showing up better for your kids, in little moments of LOVE instead of fear, they start showing up better for you. Your vibe will color how they respond and react all day long.
Are you irritated? They'll be that right back.
You're tired and don't want to deal with them? Get ready for them to ignore you.
I know because I've watched it change in the space of a half an hour.
If I adjust ME first, they will follow.
It starts with us.
This doesn't mean you can NEVER yell. By all means, get your kid away from the street and off the roof or whatever it is they're doing to threaten their own lives.
This doesn't mean they do whatever they want with no rules and you just smile and say "OK HONEY" all the time!
But if you're struggling with their behavior, their confidence, their whininess, their unwillingness to do anything, their ANXIETY (big one), take a look at how you are approaching each day.
Your child is a mirror.
When you can change this, you will see them change on a dime.
Get ready for cooperation, calmness, and cheerful attitudes.
Fear vs Love. Which do you choose??
If you need help with this, please reach out. I'm taking 1:1 clients for a limited time.
You can have the HAPPINESS you want, the peace of mind in parenting, the behavior from your children, and the JOY of having kids.... for real.
I'm here to show you how.