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Friday, October 7, 2011

Lucky Seven - WILMA!!!!!!!!

I may be dating myself but remember the Flintstones? And Fred constantly bellowing
"WILMA!!!!!!!!" for one reason or another?  I do.  I don't remember much else about the show but that yell is imprinted in my mind.
I admit to raising my voice with my kids, especially Sierra. 
She has been known to be afflicted with sudden onsets of can't-hear-itis.  Flare ups typically occur when she takes something that her brother has and and she "needs" right that moment.  Or with any other sibling 'moments'!  Like she has this bizarre need to push him over for no reason.  (Ah, the love)  
After numerous attempts at asking/telling Sierra to stop/give it back with no avail my voice eventually must escalate to a much higher volume.  Sierra's ears eventually turn back on and she wails because I yelled at her and I attempt to explain that I tried speaking normally but since she didn't obey I assumed she couldn't hear me so I had to be loud.  My logic is lost on her most of the time.
 My vocal chords also work a bit harder when Sawyer is into something (99.0% of the time he's awake!). 
Strong "No's" and "Sawyers!" can often be heard throughout the day.

Two things have made me step back and analyze this tactic:

1.  Sierra has taken to hollering at Sawyer if he does something he shouldn't or that she doesn't want him to.  I tell her not to yell at him and I can tell by the look she gives me that she's thinking "You do."

2.  I heard a mom repeatedly disciplining her child recently and it was always in a very loud, firm voice that had an angry quality to it.  It was enough that Sierra was actually a little scared.  My thoughts were, "Do I sound like that?"  
(Now I don't know this mom or the situation(s) behind what was going on, I know only know how it came across to me.)

So I've been making a conscious effort to attempt a different approach.  It involves stopping what I am doing and going up to my child and getting down to their level and speaking to them.  If they continue to ignore me than a time-out is in order. 

It's surprisingly effective.  I still overcome the can't-hear-itis, and I don't feel like a rotten egg when the situation is dealt with!   
I don't want my kids to have imprinted memories of me hollering at them.

1 comment:

Judie said...

Breaking a cycle that your parents handed down to you is never easy.

When we got hurt my father would SCREAM at us. How dare we do such a thing. ahahaa

When I had kids, guess what? Yep. I saw what I was doing and just changed it to a concerned, "ARE YOU OKAY?!?!