I’m a yeller.
I’m that mom at the grocery store yelling at her kids to stop running up and down the aisle.
I’m that mom who yells at her kids to quiet down.
I’m that mom yelling her kid’s name over and over (and over) from across the public pool, getting continually louder and more exacerbated, until they half-heartedly respond.
I’m that mom that yells at her kid during a play date, making you feel awkward while you’re trying to quietly discipline your own in an orderly fashion.
I’m that mom yelling at her kid to get back in the car as he runs half-naked down the street at the school drop off.
I’m that mom who feels she isn’t being heard or listened to during the first 15 times I ask my kids to do something so I have to yell.
I didn’t use to be this way. Becoming a yeller is a slow but relentless process. It’s an art with fine lines I walk every day, trying to make sure I don’t turn my yelling into uncontrolled screaming. There’s no way to tell the exact moment I switched my parenting style from “I’ve got to be perfect in every moment” to “Well, if it gets me heard and obeyed, I’m not above raising my voice so high, even the neighbor kids are taking their shoes off and washing their hands.”
And you know what? I’m not even upset about it. Even though if you Google “yelling at kids,” what pops up seems to suggest that I’m going to eternally damage my children. But I’m not going to force my parenting style to be anything insincere to what comes naturally because I know two very important factors:
- They’re my kids, I know them better than literally anyone (even their dad, sometimes), and I know what reaches them best and what they can handle.
- At least 90% of my yelling isn’t coming from a mean, angry, or frustrated state so I’m not worried about emotional damage. Just damage to my vocal chords.
So I’m pretty sure they will turn out all right. When there are a billion ways to screw up our kids before they reach the age of 18, being a yeller is only one of them and I’m taking a gamble that this is one of those, it-doesn’t-matter-in-the-long-run type things.
And I’m not the only one!
We all yell at our kids. Don’t deny it because you know that if your child was about to touch a hot fireplace or run into the street after a ball, you’d scream like a banshee to stop that from happening. That’s yelling to keep the child safe and we all do it. Especially when they are little and fragile and exploring their world, we do this safety yelling a lot more than we realize.
You also know you’ve had moments of frustration, too, where you lose your cool and respond a little louder than you should have. We are human so it’s pretty hard to avoid this type of yelling in our entirety of parenting. Most of us have a least favorite age where we seem to struggle with our child’s developments a little more and lose our cool too often. For me, that’s the toddler stage and would you look at that? I have two of them right now.
And you also know that you sometimes have to yell to get a point across because you’ve been ignored so many times and you just need them to respond or at least acknowledge! Like, “COME TO THE FREAKING TABLE FOR DINNER NOW OR I’M THROWING IT OUT AND NEVER COOKING FOR YOU AGAIN!” Often, this type of yelling comes with empty threats.
I’m a yeller and that’s my parenting style. Maybe someday, I can naturally morph that into something more socially acceptable like being “Crunchy” or being a “Pinterest Mom” or being more “Free Range.” But for now, I’ll take what I know and make sure I rein it in as much as each situation calls for.
My kids know I love them, no matter what volume I use on the daily.