How I Stopped Yelling at My Kids
By Crystal Paine
I thought I was a patient person…then I had kids.
I said I’d never yell at my kids…and then I had kids.
I pictured myself as a sweet, loving, always-cheerful mom…then I had kids.
Motherhood has stretched me and humbled me. It’s brought out the best in me and the worst in me.
About five years ago, I found myself snapping at my kids more and more frequently, which only served to frustrate me. The more I snapped at my kids, the more frustrated I was at myself. And the more frustrated I was at myself, the more I’d snap at my kids.
It was a vicious cycle and I felt trapped.
One night, I was up late thinking of the kind of mom I’d been and feeling so ashamed of my behavior and the example I was setting before my kids. I started praying and asking God to help me to love my children, to help me have patience with them, and to stop getting so angry with them.
My 4-Week Commitment
As I was praying, an idea birthed in my head. I decided to make a commitment to my husband for the next 4 weeks.
I woke Jesse up to tell him my commitment (I have such a gracious husband — poor guy!). It was this: every time I was tempted to lash out at a child I would, instead, find a very practical way to love that child.
It was a BIG commitment, but he agreed that he thought I could do it and said he was willing to hold me accountable. I went to bed resolving that, by God’s grace, I was going to change the tone in our home.
It Was SO Hard
The first day was very, very hard. One child in particular was pushing all of my buttons and seeming to make a game of trying to see how much they could annoy me.
Well, the first few hours on that first day of my 4-week commitment, this child tried all their usual tactics. I didn’t get frustrated. I didn’t yell. I didn’t even raise my voice.
Oh, it was very hard. But I’m a stubborn person and I was determined to stick with my commitment to my husband.
Instead, of lashing out, I asked this child to come snuggle next to me. I poured love, love, and more love.
The Change Was Amazing!
Within a few hours, this child’s attitude had drastically changed. They were calm, happy, and asking what they could do to help me. I could not believe it!
And this only continued for the next few days. Until finally, I felt like I almost had a completely different child living in my home. It was amazing!
I decided my 4-week experiment was a smashing success. And I decided to extend it for another 40 years. Or something like that.