Lately I have been shouting at my kids far too much, somehow it has become my default setting – shout first, think later. I don’t like it. I don’t want to be that sort of parent but somehow that is exactly the sort of parent I have become. Everything seems to annoy and irritate me. I have zero patience and virtually no tolerance. What has happened to me? More importantly when did this happen?
How the fuck I have I become such a grouchy parent?
Maybe if I write down the stuff that really triggers a cranky attack it will help me so here goes:
Having to repeat myself over and over again. For example (to Big Girl)
“In the morning will you please put your duvet back on your bed, turn your light off and shut your bedroom door.”
“Because you have eczema and asthma and if the cats sleep in your bed it will make it worse AND I have told you every day for the last 4 years and you get sad and grumpy when you are all itchy and sneezing.”
(To Small Boy)
“Please have a wee and brush your teeth”
“Nooooooooooo aarrrrgggghhhhhh nooooooooo I won’t you can’t make me!!!! I hate you!!!! Nooooooo!!!! Whyyyyyyyy??????”
“Because it is bedtime and we do this EVERY NIGHT!! IT IS THE SAME EVERY NIGHT!! BRUSH. YOUR. TEETH. OR THEY WILL GO BAD AND HURT AND FALL OUT!!!”
You get the gist. It can go on for quite sometime. We use bribery, distraction but it always ends the same way – with one or both of us shouting.
And then there is just the kid stuff everywhere.
Bits of paper, sellotape, toys, bits of toys, stickers, half eaten food, sweaty socks, Lego, broken stuff, unidentifiable sticky stuff, pens with no lids leaking all over the carpet, underwear, dressing up clothes, clothes, books, junk modelling, sticks, more sellotape, CDs, bogies, snotty tissues, cuddly toys, drinks cups, magazines (oh that’s a whole other rant don’t get me started), the junk shit from the front of the magazines, loom bands, hair bands and so on….
Because it doesn’t matter how many times I ask them to put their shit away or put stuff in the bin they just don’t. And they don’t care. And then I start……
“Please tidy up, I can’t see the floor and it can’t be much fun in there for you.”
“I will give you pocket money if you tidy up”
“If you don’t tidy up there will be consequences”
But it always ends with..
“TIDY UP YOUR RUBBISH OR I WILL PUT IT IN BIN BAGS AND TAKE IT TO THE TIP!!”
They still don’t do it and we all end up in tears – me because I have lost control yet again and them because I am scary.
So…I don’t want to go on like this because it doesn’t work and we all hate it and it is wrong. Ultimately it is wrong. I am not modelling good behaviour, I am not respecting them, I am choosing being right over being kind. I am choosing what other people think about my children and their behaviour and the state of my house over our wellbeing as a family. That is wrong.
They don’t need to be taught to do as they are told, they need to be loved. They don’t need harsh words, they need kindness and understanding and when did I stop realising that? When did I decide that it is okay to shout and bully my children into doing what I want because that is what fits in with my life?
When did I stop looking at them as the incredible miracles that they are and start seeing them as untidy, noisy little nuisances? Yes, I am cringing writing this because it isn’t true, it isn’t and I don’t believe that at all so WHY am I treating them as if that is exactly what they are?
It isn’t okay is it? There are no excuses. I chose to have them. It isn’t enough just to do that and hope for the best. I have battled through mental illness, grief and health issues so why am I not fighting as hard to be the parent that I know they deserve?
I have to try harder. So I am going to. A lovely friend posted a link to an article about stopping shouting. I know that is only part of it but it is something I can try to get better at. So thank you to my friend and to the writer of that post for the idea of becoming more accountable to your children. I have told mine that Daddy and Mummy are going to work harder at not shouting and that they can decide at the end of the day how we have done.
They are delighted and keep reminding us that we are not shouting anymore if they see a situation escalate. Yesterday we did pretty well. Today I am struggling, fighting emotions and feeling tearful. Perhaps I have become so used to shouting as a way of release that my emotions are spilling out of me in different ways now. I am trying to be kind to myself. I am trying to be a better me for my children. I am trying. I will keep on trying…