I yell at my children.
I yell often, pretty much daily. I yell when I ask them to do something for the 457th time that morning. I yell when they’re naughty. I yell when they’re fighting, and I yell when they’re yelling at me.
I was recently in a situation with a group of mothers where I realised this is a pretty taboo subject. Some mothers don’t yell (or claim to never) some are ashamed they yell too much and feel guilty about it. Very guilty. Some possess a lot of patience and don’t ever raise their voices.
Which got me thinking. Do I feel guilty? Should I feel guilty? Am I damaging my children?
The yelling on school mornings is at its peak. Get up. Get ready. Get your clothes on. Brush your teeth. Yet every morning is the same – I ask multiple times, they don’t do it. We run out of time. So I yell.
When they’re fighting, I try to talk reasonably. I try to be all earth mother and work it out. Trying to work out arguments between young children doesn’t work. They don’t want a resolution. They want to fight. So I yell. And then I threaten – “if you don’t stop fighting I’m going to do X, Y and Z.”
When they’re at the shops and asking for everything under the sun, and I’ve said no for time #622, I yell. Sometimes I just give in and buy them that oversized packet of lollies at the checkout so I don’t have to look like a lunatic again.
When I tell them to clean their rooms, and 7 hours later it still looks like the local tip, and they tell me “I don’t really want to” I ask multiple times, then I yell and that room is spotless pretty damn fast.
When my crazy toddler is doing something dangerous, I yell to stop him. “Please stop jumping head first off the kitchen bench or sticking your fingers in a power point” has no room for debate. I’d rather raise my voice than watch him light up like a Christmas Tree.
So do I feel guilty? Sometimes. But not for long. I’ve got far too many other parenting failures to worry about. My kids know I love them.
And to the lady I witnessed admit she yells in front of a room full of mothers, it was one of the bravest things I’ve seen a mother do – this ones for you.