Just the other day C (my 2.5 yr old) was trying to build an obstacle course out of our living room couch cushions. I was totally ok with that. I drew the line however when he wanted to put his little chair up on the couch itself. Of course I told him no that wasn’t safe and he immediately got frustrated because I had thwarted his ‘great idea’. He promptly began to scream and cry. I was nursing Little E so there wasn’t a lot I could do. I asked him, as I often do when he’s frustrated, if he wanted a hug. He looked right at me and screamed no. (I hate it when my kids scream no at me). With not much else I could do other than scold him while he was still crying, carrying on, and begging and pleading to put the chair up on the couch I just looked at him and simply said “I love you”. He screamed “NO” rather emphatically again (did I mention I hate that?). So, I said I love you again, and again, and again and again until eventually his “no” turned into giggles and his tears to laughter. I mean this kid was cracking up! Three simple words completely diffused the whole ugly situation.
I actually do this with C quite often and much of the time it will soften him in the midst of, or diffuse a melt down all together. I know it won’t work in all situations. I find it works best if I use the words I love you instead of yelling (or scolding ) when Mr. C is melting down either because he’s not getting his way or when he’s just simply frustrated and starting to really get worked up. I mean who doesn’t want to hear I love you when they feel like their world is against them?
Why am I telling you this? Well my good friend Amanda from Dirt and Boogers has taken it upon herself to commit to a full year of not yelling. What’s more? She’s challenged her readers to do the same. So…. I am challenging YOU! Will you commit to not yelling at your kids? You won’t be perfect. You won’t not yell every time. But…you will pick yourself up and you will try again and your kids will appreciate you for it. You will appreciated you for it.
Amanda has also put together a little support group on Facebook for the Moms accepting her challenge. I use the term “little” lightly. The group is 440 members strong as I write this and still growing. Will you join us over there? I will be there and I would love to chat with you. It’s a place to get support, encouragement, share stories and get tips to help you stop yelling.
For more information you can read Amanda’s Just Stop Yelling blog post. If you are ready to join the group just click on the image below!
So, what do you think? Will you make the commitment to leave the yelling behind?