There’s a movement underway, fueled by bloggers and mothers alike. It’s a movement that advocates removing raised voices, consciously speaking calmly and without anger, and exercising the patience of Buddah when it comes to raising our children.
While I raise my cup of tea in salute to those brave souls who are able to somehow remove yelling from their repertoire, I’ll be honest, I’m not Buddha.
If anyone asks my children if their mother yells, they’d laugh and smile knowingly at each other. Their mother is known for beseeching them to close the door, for the love of all that’s holy. She’s known to stand on the front porch and yell across the neighborhood, for the last time, dinner is ready. She’s known for pulling the ends of her hair and asking any listening deity to give her the strength not to beat her children.
I’m not always the most patient of people. It’s a very good thing my children are content and learning in their public school because homeschooling might result in unpleasant results. And while I do honestly watch in awe at the mothers who can parent without raised voices, I also have to think I’m teaching my children something important as well.
Years ago, while in therapy, I learned we, as culture, have a difficult time expressing negative emotions. We tend to bottle them up, hiding them with positivity and allowing them to fester and grow into stress and depression. While I take most things said in therapy with a grain of salt, this one really hit home.
My kids have seen me cry. They’ve seen me argue. They’ve seen me yell. They’ve seen me experience a range of negative emotions that are scary and not always seen. But they’ve also seen the aftermath. They’ve seen me apologize for losing my temper. They’ve seen me laugh after crying. They’ve seen me at my worst and at my best.
And when they have big emotions, they let them out too. They yell in their pillows. They express anger and frustration. They cry great gulping tears followed by laughter and hugs. They know it’s okay to feel. It’s okay to yell. It’s okay to be angry. Different people handle it in different ways and as long as you allow yourself to work through the emotions, it’s okay.
Is this the best way to raise kids? I don’t know. Am I justifying losing my temper and not having the strength to talk in whispers instead of shouts? Maybe. At the moment, though, we seem to be muddling along well enough.
I’ll let you know after they start therapy if it was the right direction to go. Do you raise your voice at your kids?