The ¨30 days without yelling at my child¨ challenge
The thing started spontaneously. A few times I had committed myself to ¨not yelling just for today¨, which gives great results. Then a few times, it was: ¨Wow, 3 days in a row without screaming!¨ But then I´d forget about it.
Last week though, I had a quote from A.S. Neill stuck in my head: ¨Compulsive discipline always implies fear¨ (I don´t want my daughter to de afraid of me, so that I get something done or cleaned), plus learning what self-regulation means, when during a 2-days in a row without screaming I read Jennifer´s post: Do you scare your kids? Do you think they deserve it? which talks basically about self-regulation and the adult´s need to learn it before expecting if from a child.
All the latest readings I had done were simply calling me to action: Self-regulate yourself for Christ-Sake!
And so I had the idea of the 30-days-without-yelling challenge for myself as a way to make the change happen. And then I read this post from Leo Battuta that talks about how when you want to form a new habit you have to tell other people about it and so I decided to make it public, first on Face Book and now here on the blog.
I´m in my 9th day. It´s unbelievable! I know my routine this month is sort vacation like with minimum work (it´s my last month in the Caribbean of Costa Rica before going back to Brazil), so I get how this might be easier than for a full on working mom.
Staying with your kid every day can also add some challenge to the thing. Being a stay at home mom is not exactly the easiest task. I only have the kindergarten hours to be by myself, which are great, I know.
Ok, I did slip on the 4th day. I started to yell and Luísa called me on that one and I stopped right then. Maybe I´m cheating, maybe I should start counting again from day 5 and so I´d be only on day 5 again. But I´ll keep in mind the slips, hopefully they´ll be minimum.
Hopefully just that one on day 4, when I realized right away that my reason to yell wasn’t exactly Luísa being slow to get out of the house, it was me being anxious to be on time somewhere, it was then my responsibility to have started getting ready with time. See? It´s quite easy to see what´s really going on when you yell at your kid if you focus on why are you are yelling. You can realize that it’s not really the kid´s behavior, but you that are going off limits.
It´s been really helpful to set the intention in the morning: ¨Today I won´t yell at my kid!¨. And telling it to other people as well. I am actually quite proud that´s been 9 days and I´m envisioning myself not yelling at all from now on. It´s starting with this 30-day challenge, but once I reach this goal, I´ll go for way more than 30 days.
I also tell Luísa what I´m doing and it felt fantastic when I was coloring my calendar last night and she asked what I was doing and I said: ¨All the days painted in blue are the ones I didn’t yell at you. Let´s count together: one, two… eight!¨ She did have a smile on her face.
My daughter is already 5 and I guess I started the abusive behavior when she was 2 (hopefully not before that…). I want to make this stop now. She´ll only be this little once and I want to be aware and treat my precious little one the way she deserves: with plenty of kindness.
Anyway, I hope this inspires you to try this too. I´ll update on how this is going here and on Facebook.
If you want to share your own triggers and how you do it here, be my guest. If you want to keep it for yourself, fine too (tell at least one close friend).
Good luck for us!