Some people grow up in households where yelling is almost non-existent. If kids do something their parents disapprove of, all mum has to do is give them 'the look' and they literally cower and turn into obedient little kids.
'The look' was something my mum had perfected to a tee over the years. Dad was less strict but if I ever did cross the line, the tone of his voice would change and I would quickly switch into 'obedient' mode. This was the kind of parenting I was subjected to as a child. I realize now how lucky I had been.
Sometime after marriage, my husband and I had a child. We debated over how to bring our little tot up, with numerous disagreements on whether yelling should or should not be apart of disciplining our child. I remember hubbs would laugh at how confident I was in not yelling at our son. He grew up with his mum literally chasing him with a spoon and yelling into his ears. Yelling was apparently a normal part of growing up for him.
Oh no, not in this household I would tell him. I was so adamant that with my jurisdiction, everything would be under control. But boy was I wrong, so wrong the word 'right' flew out of the dictionary.
I yell at my kids (yeah, I now have two mini havoc-wreaking creatures in my house) when I least expect to and more often than not, the situation catches me by surprise. I lose my cool when I least expect to and I am not proud of it. So when do I yell? Well, let me count the times for you...
20 When The Kids Played Past Their Bedtime
We have a bedtime routine at home. The eldest, at 4 usually goes to bed between 8 to 9 while the youngest at one would usually zonk out between 7 to 8. Once the younger one crosses over to dreamland, it would be a race against time to put the eldest one to bed before his little sister wakes up again for milk (yes, my daughter still wakes up a few times at night for milk).
At times when I am utterly tired and when my eldest is unusually active, it would be an uphill battle to get him to surrender and lay his head down on the pillows. Once I had to run all around the house to catch him (he thought we were playing cat and mouse, I was more catch and conquer and dump to bed) and still he couldn't wind down.
It was supposed to be fun and engaging but I lost my cool and yelled at him to march himself to bed. It was only when the yelling woke up my youngest that I realized how thunderous the screaming just have been.
19 When They Forget To Brush Their Teeth
Getting a four year old to brush his teeth shouldn't be hard right? Buy them an electronic toothbrush or a colorful one with their favorite characters on and they should eagerly pop the stick into their mouth and brush their teeth non stop right?
Nope. I was absolutely wrong. Darn all those misleading toothbrush advertisements. There was one time he kept forgetting to brush his teeth after waking up. His toothpaste was still sitting on the toothbrush at the sink by 11 in the morning and he was going around playing with his Legos and making a great big mess in his room as usual.
Kids can be forgetful. Heck, we adults forget many things too but that day I found myself unable to let this slide. What if his teeth started rotting?
What if he grows up needing constant reminders? Why is his room always so messy? More and more unpleasant thoughts filled my mind and what was supposedly a simple thing made me yell. I yelled so loud the neighbors probably ran to brush their teeth too.
18 When They Wet Their Pants
My son had grown out of his diapers quite some time ago. But once in a while, he tends to forget to go to the bathroom when he is too engaged with playing. And when such 'accidents' happen, I would normally get down on my knees to assure him that it is normal.
He would then hurry over to the bathroom to relieve himself before putting on a fresh pair of pants. But on that particular day, he accidentally peed on the freshly cleaned sofa and dug himself a grave when he told me he peed in a jolly manner. I burst into flames, fire spewed out of my nostrils and ears, while I loomed over him and pointed a witch's finger at him.
He literally cowered. Extreme yelling came after and I saw what still haunts me to this day. His face crumbled in shame and tears rolled down his face. He said he was sorry and quickly scooted over to the bathroom. That night, he wouldn't let me hug in before bed and I realized I had hurt him badly. I probably would have won 'worst mom of the year' award that day.
17 When They Fought With Their Siblings
You'd expect a four-year-old boy and a one-year little girl to get along much easier than those of the same gender and of fewer years apart. But noooooo, my feisty little girl is a diva in the making.
Take her toys away and she will fight you tooth and nail for it. Lose the fight and she will cry a river for all to see.
And so it happened. Little sister had waddled into big brother's room and broken his Lego pieces. His work of art, assembled through sweat and tears, gone in a matter of seconds. Naturally, he was angry and snatched away whatever he could grab from his sister's fists.
He gave her a scolding in a very adult manner with a hand on his waist and another with a finger shaking no-no. Little sister cried.
Labeling it a cry would be an understatement; she wailed. She probably woke up the whole neighborhood too. I should have gently soothed her and carried her out of the room to let big brother grieve a little but instead, I turned into the Hulk and yelled at my son for making his sister cry.
It wasn't even his fault in the first place. I was not proud of that. I guess there are days when logic does elude me.
16 When They Didn't Do Their Homework
Being a SAHM, I make it a point every weekday to run through some homework with my son. Getting in to master simple words and math can be rather daunting at times and one particular day, he had trouble concentrating.
He would be sitting in the chair writing numbers and the next minute, his attention would be on another galaxy.
We were going through the same lot of numbers for the past 20 minutes and my blood started to boil. It was the last straw when he jumped down from his chair for the umpteenth time to go find Mr. Slinky and his Paw Patrol toys. I yelled.
I lost my cool yet again, even after telling myself to count to 10 and hold my temper in check. But at least he has finally mastered his numbers. So, I guess yelling does work once in a while.
15 When They Threw Yet Another Tantrum
Bring a child to the toy shop and you might just end up with a bawling kid on the floor. Toddler tantrums are something that each and every parent has to face.
My son wanted to buy some kinetic sand he saw on a YouTube channel one day. He cried and demanded to have it 'now'. Instead of gently explaining to him why we couldn't buy them 'now' or diverting his attention elsewhere, I yelled, shouting at him, telling him how poor kids in Africa had only sand to eat (I exaggerated) and here, he wanted to buy kinetic sand to play with?!
I brainwashed him into how privileged he was and how poor kids had nothing to eat let alone play with. . I could have cried at his naivety and innocence then.
14 When They Refused To Pick Up Their Toys
Whenever the kids are home, the house ends up looking like an aftermath of a tsunami. It matters not how many times I nag and remind the eldest to keep his toys. The younger one follows whatever her big brother does so keeping the toys in an orderly manner rests heavily on his shoulder.
At times, he will diligently clean up his room and dump all his toys in the toy chest. Other times, well, other times can be extremely trying. One night, I find his toys strewn all over the house. There were Legos on the staircase. Hot wheels on the sofa. His stuffed dolls in the playpen. Arts and crafts on the bed and plates of leftover food he had munched on earlier.
It was made worse by the fact that both hubbs and I had just finished another round of our arguments, so I guess I was unconsciously looking for an outlet. My son took an unfair amount of verbal bashing that night. To this day, I feel guilty that I let the lid off.
13 When They Talked Back
Toddlers are funny little things. They are basically miniature versions of ourselves with three times our character.
Naturally, when we try to discipline or correct them, they will inevitably retaliate or answer us back. This is exactly what happened with my four-year-old. I had told him to clean up after his own toys and to brush his teeth (trying in vain to instill tough love). He refused and insisted I picked up after him like I do his little sister.
All reasoning went out the window as he didn't quite understand that a one-year-old could not clean up after herself the way four-year-olds could. He demanded equal treatment. Enticing him with lollipops and a trip to the park didn't work. So I tried yelling instead and it worked like a charm.
12 When They Snuck Food From The Fridge
The song 'Johnny Johnny, Yes Papa' must have definitely been inspired by some kid who snuck into the kitchen for candy. I am unsure whether this is a norm for every other kid or whether my son took his inspiration from this song but I caught him sneaking into the kitchen one night to down a whole plate of chocolate cake and a tub of Tom and Jerry's ice cream.
If I thought I could be as calm and collected as Johnny's dad, I was wrong. The alarm in my brain went off. What if he gets a stomachache? Or tooth decay? Or worse yet, diabetes? I literally screamed like a banshee and woke up the whole neighborhood.
Welcome to the world of overreacting mothers.
11 When They Wouldn't Stop Talking
Have you ever had a really bad night where your youngest child kept waking up and refusing to sleep until the wee hours of the morning and then having to face another child who just wouldn't stop yapping? Most of you have probably dealt with a lot worse.
In my case, it was simply the lack of rest and my son being overly talkative that day. He just wouldn't stop. No fault of his, I know. On any other day I would have indulged him with the endless conversations but on that particular day when he asked me to play hide and seek while acting out a scene from Paw Patrol, I lost it.
'No more! Mommy's tired!'. Of course, it didn't work and I ended up having to play the same scene with him over and over again for another 10 times. My husband had the cheek to come home from work that day and complained how hard 'his' day had been. Try being a zombie and still having to act like a human being.
10 When They Failed To Recite Their ABC's
Maybe my child just isn't Bill Gates material. But he just couldn't grasp his alphabets even after teaching him for what seemed like the hundredth time.
His lack of concentration (or lack of enthusiasm) made me really concerned about his future. I worried he couldn't catch up with his peers. Images of him ending up begging on the streets flashed across my mind.
What if he won't be able to even graduate junior high? Noooooo... So again my temper flared like a boiling teapot and out spewed lots of yelling. The yells were so loud my neighbor's kids started reciting their alphabets.
9 When They Ran Around The House
Kids love physical activities. Running around the house and courting danger is apparently one of their favorite past times. Never mind that they could trip, fall and end up with bruises or a broken arm, they will just continue running or jumping around.
So here was my child, dangling at the top of the staircase precariously and then zooming in and out of the house like Quicksilver. At first, I gently reminded him to be careful.
No response. Instead, more running ensued and a little louder this time. Still no reaction. Perhaps the wind in his ears had blocked out all other noises.
So I tried yelling. Ahhh, this time it worked. Yay! My victory lasted 10 minutes. A short victory but still a victory nonetheless, at which point, denial sunk in. Sob!
8 When They Refused To Get Off Their Tablets
Screen dependancy is never a good thing. Sure, some channels on YouTube can teach our kids a useful thing or two (my son did pick up an impressive amount of information about the solar system from the internet) but there simply has to be a limit for the little ones.
So what I usually did was to have my son stop watching his tablet before 7 at night. One particular night, his 'please, an extra five minutes' went on for far too many times and way too long. So I yelled.
Naturally, I should have gently but firmly explained to him that 'no' means 'no' but I had to add on extra volume to my so-called explanation that night. Not exactly proud of what I did. Then again, I guess motherhood is always filled with moments we regret.
7 When They Refused Their Medicine
Kids hate taking medicine, especially the 'yucky' ones. Most of the time I succeed in bribing my son to take his medication. Sometimes, I would promise to buy a little gift or two.
Other times I'd brainwash him into thinking that the virus will take over his body like the evil character from Power Rangers did. And on good days, I would explain to him the workings of the medication.
But every once in a while when he refuses and runs around the house expecting you to catch him while your youngest daughter has just soiled her pants and is crying our the Niagara Falls, you just have to yell for your son to stop and open his mouth.
6 When They Refused To Go To School
Normally, when my son gets his Monday blues, I am able to empathize with him. After all, no one likes Mondays, especially not after how much fun Sunday gave them. On days like these, I would stoop down, give him a hug, wipe away the tears from his eyes and kiss his puffy cheeks and nose.
However, one particular Monday morning caught both my son and I off guard. He was crying in the car and sobbing all the way from our garage to the front of his school gates. With each passing minute, his wails became more and more 'fake'.
Being a mum, you get to discern which cries are real and which belong to the Bafta Awards. Apparently, he needed to brush up on his acting skills. So after numerous attempts to humor him, I got mad and yelled (yet again).
Maybe I should join some anger management class. Motherhood can be truly trying.
5 When They Didn't Want To Share
Some parents teach their children not to share in order to protect them. Don't be a pushover, they'd say. Fight for what you believe in, they'd chant.
Usually, I would tell my son (and also my daughter, not that she understands yet) that whoever has the toy first should be allowed to play with it first.
But on that fateful day, I tried again to tell my son as gently as I could but still be adamant that the particular toy was absolutely necessary at that exact moment. He couldn't wait another second and little sister was starting to hold onto the toy for dear life, her eyes defiant that this time, no one would wrestle the toy from her tiny little hands.
Naturally, big brother won and little sister resorted to crying. So far, her art of crying was second to none. Instead of trying to diffuse the situation by distracting the younger one and disciplining the older one at a later time, I yelled. It definitely caught them both by surprise. For a second they stopped whatever they were doing, one a calm before the storm. Then, both wailed. Never a dull moment with these two.
4 When They Tried To Grab Your Parts
By four, kids will start being curious about their bodies. I bought my son some books with illustrations to give him an idea about the human body. Boy, was he fascinated, as all children should be.
I taught him (or at least tried to) to respect other people's bodies. But then one day, he came home from school and said his friends all had a new game: butt poking.
I have no idea which parent I should thank for this, but my son absolutely loved the 'game'. 'No', I told him. It was wrong and disrespectful. 'How about grabbing this?', he'd ask as he made a beeline for my twin peaks.
What is it with kids these days? We used to play with sticks and stone during our time. I had to remind him numerous times to not touch other kid's private parts. But like all kids his age, they never listen. So when he tried to poke me for the fifth time, I yelled.
3 When They Spilled On The Sofa
Kids are sloppy eaters. You'd think they would shove every single morsel straight into their mouths and not waste a drop of food with the way they keep asking for edibles.
But noooooo, it is a child's signature to drop and spill food. Normally I would just laugh it off and have my son join me in cleaning up the mess. We'd dust off the dirt and mop the spillage and go about the rest of the day like nothing major happened.
Because spilling food is a normal thing. For some reason, I was on the edge the day my son spilled his soda on the sofa. And instead of handling the situation like a mature adult and loving mother, I screamed. Horror movie scream queens couldn't hold a candle against my screams.
2 When They Made A Mess In The Kitchen
Sometimes, my son would be extra helpful in trying to prepare his own food like peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Other times he would try to make his own play dough and add his favorite food coloring to it.
One day, after battling it out with the laundry and cleaning up the living room, I went to the kitchen to get a cup of drink. And to my utter horror, I found my son covered in flour. In fact, the whole kitchen was covered in flour. It was practically an all-white Christmas in the kitchen.
I would have laughed it off and posted a picture of the mess on Instagram but instead, I yelled at my son.
1 When They Forgot Where They Hid Your Purse
Sometimes my child likes to dig into my bag and pull out all the things inside. Everything from the purse to the comb would be taken out and there would be times when both my kids would take my belongings elsewhere to play with them only to forget where they placed it a few minutes later.
One particular day, I urgently needed to go pay some overdue bills. And as luck would have it, my purse was not in the bag. When asked, my son couldn't remember where he last played with it. My fault for indulging in my children by allowing them to play with my bag. But I wasn't thinking straight and instead of being reasonable, I berated my son for being an irresponsible child.
It broke him. Turns out, it was actually my fault.
Motherhood is truly a strange thing. It makes me see how ugly I can be at times and yet through all the nastiness I lash out, I realize that my children still love me and for that, I am truly sorry for having lost my temper at them.
To all mothers out there who are going through similar situations, I feel you. Let us all try our best to be only the best for our kids.
Reference: This one mom's experience.