Going Yell Free, Prairie Wife
Posted February 10, 2014 by Prairie Wife - 3 comments
A little over a month ago one of our contributors TallGirlJ wrote a wonderfully inspiring post about going “yell free.” I had originally planned on writing the post myself, but felt that having my readers learn from the friend that inspired me would be much better than hearing about it second hand. I decided to follow her example and go “yell free” for a month here at the Prairie Homestead. As part of my plan I also started to check in weekly with The Orange Rhino Challenge, the blog that started it all.
For those of you that are new to PrairieWifeInHeels.com I am the mother of three Cowkids and one Cowbaby, all under the age of 8 (and three of them are boys). I am not a yeller, at least not unless really provoked. But, recently due to the stress of the holiday season and the many days of terrible winter weather, I have found that I am yelling way more than my usual one or two times a week. It broke my heart one day when I heard my three year old Cowboy W yelling at his sister, scolding her for being mean, and using the same impatient tone I had used with him mere hours before. I knew something had to be done and so I took TallGirlJ’s challenge and went “yell free”!
I am here to say that going “yell free” can be done…but I can’t claim that I personally achieved perfection. Within my first week of going “yell free” I figured out that most of my yelling was caused more by my attitude than actual misbehavior from the kids. When they were really naughty I almost never yelled; it was a timeout followed by a calm conversation about what the right choice for next time would be. But, have them come up and ask me for the 5th time “What‘s for lunch?” as I am trying to make said lunches, while Cowbaby screams and clings to my leg and the clock is headed way too fast toward time to leave for school…well that instantly resulted in me yelling “Why aren’t you dressed, is your hair brushed, where is your backpack?!”
It didn’t take me long to realize that I needed to learn to take a deep breath before I opened my mouth, especially when I could feel my blood pressure rising. It was amazing how well it actually worked! Simply taking a deep breath and a few seconds to think of a non-yelling response resulted in all of us feeling better. The Cowkids weren’t sad and hurt by my overreaction to them being normal kids, and I wasn’t wracked with guilt for being the grouchy mommy!
I also brought The Cowboy on board in regards to Cowboy W. He is a three year old boy, something that we haven’t had around here in a while. We had Cowgirl G after Cowboy J and anyone that says a three year old girl is just as challenging, well I’m not buying it! Three year old boys are busy, crazily energetic, and wonderfully and terribly filled with joy at every little thing that there is on this planet! Sometimes channeling all that energy and joy can suck the life right out of you! But, it is also so stinking fun to watch them experience everything for the first time…three year old boys are so alive! So instead of yelling at Cowboy W for all that joy and energy I remembered to put it to good use helping me. Singing and dancing to keep Cowbaby happy, sweeping the floor, and picking up toys as fast as we could. The Cowboy and I made a conscious effort to talk to Cowboy W and find out from him the real motivation behind his bad choices, rather than yell. Then we could have a calm conversation and a positive learning moment.
I really encourage you all to try and go “yell free” in your home. I still have my moments of losing my temper, but they are fewer and fewer each week. My kids are kinder to each other and I am finding myself feeling less haggard and run down at the end of the day. And somehow, even with all my breathing breaks, I’m still finding time to get things done!
Have you gone “yell free”? Tell me your story in our comments section!
Categories: Life As It Happens