Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Old Yeller

Long ago, when Colin was a baby and Trevor was 2 or 3, I remember yelling at Trevor for something and then going outside to get the mail. As I slammed the front door and walked down the driveway towards the mailbox I could hear through my open upstairs window Trevor crying in his room. I realized that my neighbors probably just heard me yelling at my kids and now heard crying and I could only imagine what they were thinking. You would think that experience would have stopped me from yelling at my kids, but it didn't. Dave always told me that when he first met me and during our first two years of marriage he thought I was the most patient person he had ever met. Then we had kids and that changed. I would always pray for patience, for anger control, to be a better mom and not yell at my kids, but it seemed the more I prayed the more I yelled. I think the Lord was testing me and I was failing, big time.
But I am happy to say that I am now a recovering yeller. I have not yelled at my kids in over a week. For real. Last week I watched a webinar on parenting. I knew the webinar was more or less just an advertising tool to get people to buy the book and pay for the online classes. But I watched it anyway, and one thing really stood out to me. The lady giving the webinar said that your parenting personality has a lot to do with how your kids behave. She said what you do will reflect what your kids do. If I'm a yeller and can't control my temper then my kids will be the same way. If I am calm and speak to them in a respectful way then they will do the same. I know I have heard this before and I know Dave and I have talked about it before but it finally hit me and this time it sunk in. So I've been trying it out and it works, for the most part. My kids still fight and throw temper tantrums, they still disobey and talk back, but there is a huge difference now. I don't yell. I don't argue with them. I don't pay attention to their tantrums. And their behaviors are changing. I don't know what it is but all those 10 years of praying must have finally paid off because I have never been able to control my temper like I have this past week. And right now as I write this Logan is sitting next to me yelling because he doesn't want to do his chores, "Mom! Mommy!! MOM!!! You're not listening to me!!!!" and I am just ignoring him, kind of laughing at him and happy that I don't have the urge to yell back like I used to. Keep praying for that patience, Moms and Dads, because eventually it will come. 

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