I need to stop raising my voice

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ktllc, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Seriously, it's like I cant help myself: one or 3 kids are misbehaving or doing something they shouldn't and here it goes, my voice is going up, up, up. I know it is NOT helping, it's actually causing more stress for everyone involved. But it's like a bad habit, even a tick!
    And to be honest, except for Sweet Pea (and that's normal at her age), the boys are not being really defiant. Or at least, I almost always know wherethe problem is coming from. V needs more time to process, shorter simpler directions. But yet, I can't help getting crossed if he does not follow suit right away.
    It is not rational, I know it and actually kind of hard to admit. I know part of the reason is mental exhaustion from having to watch I say and how I say it all the time. Sometime I wish things would flow more easily with V. I wish I could just answer his questions and would just get it without having to rephrase 2 or 3 times.
    I NEED to change my behavior. I can control for afew hours, but than it builds up inside and at the end of the day, I explode anyway.
    It is not fair to the kids or not healthy to react like that. I am not beating myself up, but I know I need to work on it.
    Don't get me wrong, I don't feel like an awful mother over it. I just want to be better for everyone's sake. We've all come a long way this past year. It would make me very happy and proud to control this flaw of mine.
    Any practical help or tips to achieve it? I suppose it will take practice but I need to learn where to start. Oh, and it only happens at home where I feel safe to not be perfect. :( In public, I always keep it together and of course if V goes into meltdown it is handle a lot better because I stay so calm and work him through it. If V has a very bad moment in public, at the most I shed a few tears. At home, I resort to raising my voice. So it probably is the way I react to an intense emotional moment. Either way, i want to work on it and I'm not sure where to start.
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Moderator Staff Member

    I completely understand. There are times I end up raising my voice and then am sorry later. I try to take some deep breaths before I speak to gfg if I am really irritated and a lot of times it helps. However, there are times, when I still yell. Work on it but be gentle with yourself. Remember we're human too.:)
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Sounds to me like you need some Mommy down time each day. No joke. Stressed and exhausted does no one any good.

    When my kids were young they had an early bedtime, and by early I don't mean 9pm, I mean 7pm......except in summer and that was about 8 pm. Kids do need a lot more sleep than most people know. But honestly? It was as much for ME as it was for them. From 7-8 pm on was my Mom down time. It gave me time to wind down from a hard day parenting gfgs.....to relax and enjoy myself for a while in peace and quiet, before going to bed and getting up the next morning to face it all again the next day.

    If I felt myself getting too tense during the day......a walk, a long bath......would help. (depended on kids ages and if I was home with dh or not)

    Mostly though? I counted. A LOT. I counted until the urge to yell was gone, or until the urge to say something I didn't want to say was gone and I could talk to them calmly. I wasn't perfect.......there were times I lost it, but 90 percent of the time my kids weren't yelled at. Now if my voice got very soft, very quiet and a certain tone...........they'd freeze in their tracks in fear. That's when they knew they'd gone too far. (when I'm livid, I get quiet and you can barely hear me talk because I'm working so hard to control my temper)

    Lots and Lots of counting over the years. LOL

    Hugs
  4. Angela41

    Angela41 New Member

    Counting, going into another room, making sure that you're getting some small breaks during the day and early bedtimes for them and you... I chuckled when I saw your post because my hubby and I were just talking last night about how we need to at least give the appearance of being less emotional. Raising my voice to my son heightens his anxiety and actually makes him act worse! Even knowing this, it's still hard sometimes to control the urge.
  5. Malika

    Malika Active Member

    Okay, do you want the good news or the bad news?
    The bad news is that you won't (prove me wrong :)) be able to stop shouting completely. The good news is you could probably shout less. The reason I offer this depressing perspective is because I think... that raising three young children, 2 of whom have particular issues, means that you are drawing on all your reserves of patience and calm and maturity as it is. You are doing something that is often stressful and shouting is a way of releasing some of that stress, like a pressure valve. Not a particularly effective or helpful one perhaps, but there it is. It may also be connected to your own childhood in which you were perhaps given high standards of behaviour to meet and a particular education that means that you now, inevitably and unconsciously, have high expectations for your own children and get stressed when they are not met.
    But since you are a "bosseuse" and like practical solutions, here are my suggestions:
    1) Start training yourself and the children in defusing situations by finding humour in them. Engage Partner on your side, if V is not able to follow in this. Lighten up! Do a Silly Dance when you start feeling yourself getting tense and anxious, see if you can catch yourself getting Dark and Serious and about to get angry with the kids and find a ritual that you do to bring things down to perspective - could be making a trumpet sound and gesture for example!
    2) Instead of feeling you have to be calm and patient at all times, say to one or all of the children: "I'm feeling angry right now!" or "When you ignore me,I feel cross" and talk about it with them. I think it is perfectly okay to say how you are feeling to children and maybe teaches them something about emotions.
    3) Become clearer about knowing what you will regret and not regret, what makes you feel good. As you are about to "blow" and lose it, shouting, try to remember that you are going to regret it if you do lose your cool... but that you will feel proud and happy at your self-control if you manage to stay within normal bounds. Think of yourself, think of avoiding suffering! :)
    4) Start meditating or praying regularly.
    5) Make a conscious effort to have time that is just for you and nothing to do with the kids - when they are asleep, or at school. I expect you do this anyway but maybe more regularly?
    6) (This could be the most effective of all). Come and stay a week with me and listen to my downstairs neighbour screaming all day at her 2 year old, like a mad thing. It will soon cure you!! :)
    Hugs and good luck.
  6. DDD

    DDD Moderator Staff Member

    I used a number of methods because I hate screaming. Most often I would tell the children "I am tired and angry. I need to go to my room until I can be nice." Almost always they would be quiet and look at each other. I would head to my room. Sometimes I would yell into the pillow. Sometimes I would just bury my head under the pillow for a few.

    No matter what method you use think it out in advance and then be consistent. The children will be absorbing your choices. Like K sometimes I just used silly ways like turning on music that we all liked and singing aloud or dancing.
    Sometimes the children copied my behaviors, sometimes they ignored my behaviors and sometimes they actually laughed and we all got back to a better place. Good luck. Great goal. Hugs DDD
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Active Member

    With three kids... I mean, I have TWO and I have to watch this... there are times when you have to raise your voice. What I've found works better than shouting is to SING. I make up words as I go, to whatever tune happens to be in my head at the time. A singing voice carries farther than a speaking voice, and at higher volumes the singing is easier on both ears and vocal chords. It is also harder to come across angry when singing (not impossible, but you really have to work at it!). And sometimes, the words are such a miss-match to the tune that the kids end up laughing.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I'm doing much better but I'm also on meds. It's sort of like cheating. :)
    Also, now that I speak in a normal tone of voice my gfg doesn't think that I really mean it when I say something.
    So I am practicing an authoritative tone instead of yelling, but not as soft as my regular voice.
    You may want to practice being a drill sgt or something, if you have a good imagination.
    I like the idea of singing, or at least voice projection.
  9. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    I have a drone voice I use when I am to angry to use my normal voice. I imitate the voice of Hal from the movie 2010. A very non-emotional computer. Funny but it does help.
  10. Signorina

    Signorina Well-Known Member

    I come from a family of yellers. I HATED it. I don't think a day went by when no one yelled. And it wasn't always in anger. My parents (& older brothers) are native New Yorkers and Italian-enough said. I was a toddler when we moved to the Midwest which may explain my discomfort with their propensity for yelling! (when my now BFF moved here from NY she had many talks w/ her LOUD H about how "ppl don't yell here") When I was pg with gfg, I took a stand and did not allow anyone to yell in my presence. And I learned how to say "you may not yell at me."

    Ok-I digress. When my boys were little & I was overwhelmed, I found myself yelling A LOT. It was almost as though I thought that they were misbehaving because they simply couldn't hear me saying "please stop" and I fell into the patterns of how I was raised. Plus punishing them (removing them, redirecting them etc) took too much time that I didn't have. Lets face it-young kids are naughty often on some days! Add a lot of multitasking, too many attempts to ignore it, plus some PMS and holy eruption! And yelling had actually worked when it was unusual!

    What worked for me was a honest sit down with my kids plus an earnest desire to stop yelling. During a calm moment, I was honest that I hated yelling at them. That it was wrong of me and made us all feel bad and I wanted to stop. And I asked them for ideas. And we brainstormed-they were likely 7 & 5, and they offered a lot of ways that THEY could improve their own behavior without any prompting. And I don't remember the details-but they felt vested in wanting to help me stop yelling & they learned that mommys make mistakes too & are human. It was a win win. And it broke the cycle of them not knowing I was serious about a misbehavior until I was a screaming banshee. We had fallen into a bad pattern & changing all of our responses even slightly changed the outcome.

    Hth-and hope it makes sense! I rambled!
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Moderator Staff Member

    How funny that this comes up right after our trip to see my son and my DIL- the King and Queen of Screamers! They have two kids, 5 and almost 3, and are constantly screaming at them. Its actually miserable to be around them.

    One completely sad event happened over the weekend where my DIL was throwing a fit at my 5 year old granddaughter because she was overtired due to a full day playing and she was trying to get her to take her bath about 9 pm when tons of people were still at the house. Of course the kid didnt want to quit playing and start the wind down process for getting ready for bed and started to act out telling her mother things like "No!, I wont!, You cant make me, etc" Her mom just kept getting louder and louder screaming at her calling her horrible names and threatening her with everything especially us grandparents. What ensued was about half an hour of her screaming at her that she couldnt, then could, then couldnt, then could...come up and down the stairs. At the end she said...with all the horrible yelling we do and as much as she wont listen to me, she always wants to cuddle in my lap love on me.

    Yeah. I told her that my mother had abused me every which way from Sunday my entire life and I spent 45 years trying to figure out how to make her love me. Kids love their parents...mothers especially...because they are their parents.

    I have tried to make suggestions to my DIL about the yelling but it has fallen on deaf ears. I know they are going to have heck to pay with both those kids.
  12. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Lots of suggestion and hinsight from people who have btdt. I will try the counting and might even do it out loud and explain why I am doing it. I have recently started saying "I am getting upset, if you keep going I won't be able to hold much longer" or some along this line.
    I think I am indeed in a pattern where the kids don't think it is serious unless I yell. Even DH made this comment to them this weekend: "no wonder why your Mom yells, you don't listen if she use her normal voice". I usually say something 2 or 3 times in a normal tone, and they don't responde. I yell once and they responde.
    Having a talk with all 3 about it might be just what we need.
    As far as early bedtime, we already do it. And they know that it is grown up time after 7.30. Wether DH is home or not, I NEED this time to myself.
    If I say I need some time for myself, V usually do not get it and keeps on following me even in the bathroom! He just does not understand the notion of personal space. I know I need to teach him but it's one of those things. It takes time, lots of patience and preparation and it just did not make it to the top of the priority list.