I Haven’t Yelled at My Kids in One Week and This Is What I’ve Learned

I have read so many books, studied methods, gone to counseling, and learned about my personality. I have owned my own stuff and prayed for change in the lives of loved ones. I have rationalized, ignored, and most of all grown very very tired.

Everything I have been exposed to has focused on understanding how to communicate differently, avoid triggers etc… But when emotions are high it’s hard to remember the steps to keeping a quiet heart and it’s harder still to even want to.

That’s why last week I decided that instead of continuing to try to learn how to not yell, I was just going to stop yelling and find out what I would learn from that.

Before making the commitment to not yell for a year, I was sinking in confusion over why my heart explodes so easily in anger, how to change and if I even wanted to or could respect a gentler, quieter way. As soon as yelling was not an option, a stillness in my soul began to grow and I began to hear answers I never dreamed of. Here are just a few things I have learned already.

1. I am not alone.

Five minutes after posting that I was committing to a year of not yelling, no matter how long it would take me to succeed, I wanted to take the post down. It was terrifying to bare my soul like that and invite the world to hold me accountable. But I was amazed how many people had already said, “Me too.” The comments came pouring in on my instagramfacebook and blog, Mamas and Papas shared their struggles to control their temper and tongue and wanted to join me in this commitment to not yell. Some of them said they were also going to start a year long project that very minute, and some said they would start with a week or a month long challenge first. Within hours I had created a private facebook groupso that we can support and encourage each other and the words and love that has been pouring through this new, little community has given me strength daily. If you’re reading this and want to join me, or would just like to listen and glean encouragement from others, please feel welcome to join us in the gently + quietly fb group!

2. Multi-tasking is not a real thing.

Yes I had read that you can’t actually give your attention to more than one thing at a time… But I figured that meant I could still quickly change my attention back and forth between multiple tasks. I mean, I’m a women, that’s part of my God-given skillset right? I would never have thought that doing too many things at once was causing me to yell at my children. However, once yelling wasn’t an option anymore I realized I couldn’t do such and such task that I thought I could or should be able to do because I was fully immersed in – not yelling at my children. Many times in the past week I have found myself just standing still and breathing. For someone who loves being productive, I have asked myself in those moments – what am I doing? Well, I am not yelling at my child. That is the one thing I am doing in that moment when they are lagging to get into the car, yelling at their brother or rolling their eyes at me. And there have been other times when I have been making dinner, answering an email or even reading a book, and I have had to tell a child that is asking me a question or needing something, “I can’t talk to you right now, because I’m doing something else and I can feel that if I try to do both at the same time I’m going to end up raising my voice. I will need you to wait a few minutes, and then I can give you my full attention.”

Sharon McKeeman
Sharon McKeeman
Sharon is a homeschooling mama to three sons and a daughter. She is a Midwestern girl at heart who now lives with her family on the sunny beaches of Southern California, where they enjoy reading together and playing in the surf. She is an author, educator, speaker, and photographer who shares more of her story as @sharonmckeeman on Instagram and at www.sharonmckeeman.com where you will find her blog, Writing in the Dust, as well as her newsletter, Mourning into Joy, which is filled with encouragement and resources for grieving mamas.

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